Showcasing your reputation and achievements without bragging is a fine line. On the one hand, you want the world to know what you’ve done and with whom you’ve worked. On the other hand, you don’t want to come across as arrogant by name-dropping.
Instead of using words to “name-drop” all the important people you’ve worked with or have been endorsed by, the following 4 methods will prove more effective:
1. Showcase your third-party endorsements.
Consumers have a tendency to trust third-party endorsements. It’s human nature to adopt the admiration and respect for a brand when it’s mentioned or showcased by another credible brand.
Third-party endorsements are different from testimonials. While testimonials come from satisfied consumers, endorsements come from an established authority in a related industry. Testimonials are effective, but endorsements are powerful and reach far into the subconscious mind.
Think about the companies that use professional athletes in their commercials, like Nike and Gatorade. Nike sells clothing and Gatorade is a beverage, however, both companies appeal to the athletic market.
Professional athletes appearing in ads wearing Nike and drinking Gatorade are credible third-party endorsements. Consumers see the ads and think, “If they use the product, it must be good.”
Show your customers who endorses you.
If your business has been featured or endorsed by a leader in any industry, your customers should know. That information has the potential to instantly build your credibility.
You can showcase third-party endorsements by adding a simple page to your website. For a beautiful example of how to incorporate endorsements into your design, check out the “As Seen In” page from ForYourParty.com. They’ve been featured in magazine publications 48 times including Martha Stewart, In Style, Southern Living, and other wedding-related publications.
Their page is simple, yet elegant and adds undeniable credibility to their business. The overall design of the page is more powerful than words could convey.
Once you have credible third-party endorsements to back you up, you’ve earned the right to talk about what you’ve done and the big names you’ve worked with.
2. Display corporate logos (with permission).
Get permission from any major corporations you’ve done business with and display their logos on your site. Let people know who you’ve worked with. This is a powerful way to add credibility to your business, and “name-drop” without bragging.
3. Avoid the “humblebrag”.
It sounds like a contradiction, and it is – you can’t be humble and brag at the same time, but you can fool yourself into thinking you aren’t bragging. A humblebrag is a brag disguised as humility.
Social media is full of examples of the humblebrag. It usually starts out with the brag, “I just landed a contract with the most expensive client in town!” Then, a self-deprecating comment is inserted to cover up the brag, “But, I totally screwed up the presentation so I don’t know why he said yes.”
Any kind of bragging, subtle or not, is an attempt to be validated by others and gain their approval. It’s not a marketing strategy, and it won’t get you sales.
“The humblebrag is disingenuous,” says social media expert Karen North, Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. “It’s manufactured modesty as a guide for overt bragging.”
It’s also annoying and can quickly get you un-friended or filtered out by your social media fans.
If you want to share something on social media about your business accomplishments, make it genuine. Don’t share anything that doesn’t support your overall marketing strategy.
4. Acknowledge other businesses in your industry.
Acknowledging other businesses will boost your credibility with your customers and fans alike. Nobody likes a braggart, but they pay attention to someone who gives credit where credit is due.
Being generous with others plays a big role in how reputations are formed.
You don’t need to post lengthy articles about how wonderful your competitors are. An authentic acknowledgment will arise spontaneously and generously, and you’ll know what to do with it.
For instance, if it occurs to you that someone else in your industry inspired you to step up in your business or take on a new challenge, acknowledge them. Write an article for your blog about your experience and humbly thank that person or company for being your inspiration. They may never read it, but your customers will, and that’s what matters.