Why is establishing your speaker website’s credibility so important?
In 2023, your website, or digital home, is often the first stop for a prospective customer, partner, bureau, or buyer to determine:
Is this speaker credible?
Are they a good fit for my client or our audience?
Can I trust this speaker?
These questions are at the forefront of their minds when they arrive on your website whether they are coming from a referral, search engines, directories or social media, and they are coming to a conclusion within seconds. The credibility of your brand and your website has a direct impact on your bottom line and the opportunity to step on more and larger stages.
Whether you already have a website or are starting from scratch, it is up to you to take all the necessary steps to ensure that you are creating a site that makes users confident you are a credible leader in your space.
Before we dive into ways to improve credibility on your website, let’s review what we mean by credibility.
The 4 Types of Credibility
Presumed credibility – A belief based on general assumption. Presumed credibility can be built throughout social media and word of mouth. Most established keynote speakers, especially those who have an expanded brand as an author or podcast host, have the ‘presumed credibility’ box checked, prior to a website visit.
Surface credibility –A belief based on our first impression. In relation to a website, this is driven by brand polish, imagery, page load speed time, and the immediate user experience.
Reputed credibility – A belief based on someone we view as authoritative or credible. A website built with an intention to build credibility, authority, and thought leadership is crucial to increase reputed credibility. Continue reading for tactical ways to improve this type of credibility.
Earned credibility – A belief based on a past experience. Whether it is a past client, someone who has engaged with your social media posts, or a reader of your book, the goal over time is to organically earn more and more credibility as your brand expands and you inspire more audiences. As LeBron James said after winning the NBA championship in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, “Earned, Not Given”.
In this article, we are going to focus on ways that you can establish reputed credibility, build trust and show trustworthiness throughout your website.
Past client logos are seals of trust. Psychologically, a prospective client or event planner might reason that if you spoke on a stage like Cardinal Health or Amazon, that you must have the ability to deliver a captivating speech to their audience.
Logos can be powerful tool but they can be questioned by your audience as to the true nature of the working relationship and this is where testimonials can help fill that gap. Testimonials from past clients, especially for people like a website visitor or their peers - can instill trust and that will lead to an eventual purchase. Here’s something to consider, 9 out of 10 people say they trust what a customer says about a business more than what that business says about itself.
3. Framework, Unique Approach, or Systemized Process
Here’s where you need to ask yourself “How do Iu get clients from A to Z? Do you have a unique approach that no one else is offering in your industry? That’s what you need to expose here.
Branded processes, frameworks, and strategies can set your speaking brand apart from the competition. Take this direction and you will foster confidence in the prospective partner that you do not have a cookie cutter approach to your speaking topic
4. Highlight Professional Affiliations and Memberships
It is important to consider both speaking-specific and non-speaking affiliations and memberships, as long as it is in correlation to your brand and there is a through line to your speaking topic. A great example here is a leadership keynote speaker highlighting the fact that they are a certified leadership coach. Yes, you are not trying to get a new coaching client; however, the fact that you are a certified professional in a topic that closely relates to your the topic that you’re speaking on only helps to boost your authority within the space.
5. Highlight Awards and Accolades
Is your trophy case full? Show it off! Got a long list of accomplishments? Awards and accolades are a big deal and you should be talking about them With client logos, media logos, and award badges, you can get creative with how to place these on your site to make sure it is not overwhelming to the visitor.
The first step here, is to figure out what are the most applicable and relevant awards. If your #1 goal is to grow your speaking business, then list the media outlet you just got listed as a top 10 speaker at the top of your website for everyone to see. Other options to consider are to build a dedicated awards and accolades page, create a carousel so people can view this easily. Additionally, include awards on your bio page and weave recommendations throughout the website using a repeating visual element.
6. Add Video
Showcase your skills! Of course, a speaking sizzle reel will lead the video content on your site; however, there are a number of other ways to utilize video. Whether that is explaining your methodology, talking about your ‘why’, or creating vlog-style content, find ways to add more and more video.
7. Integrate Social Media Channels
You don’t want to assume where website visitors are coming from or if this is their first time interacting with your personal brand. Although a large portion of your traffic can come from active social media channels, in today’s digital landscape and communication within the speaking industry, it is important to include your entire digital footprint on your website.
Today’s tools can allow you to embed your Instagram feed, your LinkedIn posts, your YouTube channel, your Twitter feed, and more, allows a website visitor to gain deeper insights into your brand by viewing your thought leadership and personal content, without being forced to leave your website.
8. Put Media and Press Front and Center
One of the most powerful forms of third-party validation for speakers and brands alike is media coverage. Your website visitors are more likely to trust your brand and your speaking abilities is if you have attracted the attention of industry publications, local TV stations, or have even been a guest on reputable podcasts.
9. Utilize Third Party Data and Insights
Original data and insights would be great; however, we understand the busy lives of keynote speakers, and especially those juggling writing books, producing podcasts, or running consultancies, don’t have the time to produce their own research. Third-party data, research, and insights is a great way to remedy this you will need permission before sourcing this content on your personal speaking website; however, if you are not presenting it as your own, you most certainly will get the green light.
For example, if you are speaking on the topic of The Great Resignation and the increasing employee preference of finding purpose in work, stats and data around the high performance of purpose-driven companies can be a great value add for your website.
10. Use Consistent Messaging
Good, consistent messaging will help link your brand with certain topics, values, and knowledge. By creating these links, customers are more likely to consider your brand to be dependable or trustworthy. Consistent messaging across the digital landscape such as email, social, and your website is integral to your brand identity and credibility.
Build an Authentic Speaking Brand to Drive Trust
Every aspect of your brand and digital footprint is being scrutinized, researched, and reviewed at a deeper level in today’s world. Ask yourself, what characteristics define a reliable thought leader? You will likely think of traits like knowledgeable, welcoming, honest, considerate, secure, trustworthy, likable, and more.
Think about these traits and how you can reflect them through your website and digital footprint.
- Social proof
- Seamless user experience
- Thought leadership
- Specific messaging
- and great content
With these, your website and ultimately, your brand will become more reliable and authentic, and you will be well on your way to becoming a respected authority figure in your space.