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In any business venture, there is one quality that can improve or ruin your business. And, it might not be what you think.

Whether you are developing a passive income through real estate or an online business, credibility can be a key factor in bringing in more sales or securing that client.

If you have strong credibility and communicate it well, others will be eager to trust you and like you.

Trust and likeability are two keys of persuasion that are necessary when trying to build a passive income. However, if you don’t have credibility, others will wonder why they should choose your business and products over the others. They won’t trust the company because you haven’t established that you are trustworthy.

But how can you start building credibility online and establish authority? Here are the top 4 ways to establish credibility and show you are an expert.

1. Provide Credibility Markers

Credibility markers are a form of social proof. These don’t even need to be awards necessarily (although if you have any awards let your audience know). They can be anything from the degrees you have earned to the schools you went to, any testimonials or reviews and even badges or endorsements. It shows your audience that others have established your authority and shows you are an expert.

The credibility marketers allow your audience to feel comfortable trusting your business or your product because others have. In Influence Robert Cialdini discusses the importance of social proof as the “tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.”

This is particularly effective when people feel unsure about the path to take or the right mode of behavior. Also, when you provide multiple sources of your credibility, it heightens the effect because people give more credence to your credibility when it is reinforced through multiple sources.

Show you are an expert through blogs

Content marketing can be a great way of building credibility online because it establishes you as an authority on your topic. When you write about the common questions or concerns of your audience and provide solutions for them, the audience is more likely to trust you.

By blogging consistently, you are demonstrating that you have an in-depth knowledge on the subject and that you are the source of the best solutions for your audience.

Matching your Audience

Matching and mirroring are two techniques developed through neuro-linguistic programming that builds rapport with your audience. In essence, it allows you to establish credibility with your audience because you are presenting yourself as being “like” them. This triggers their brain to think that you are one of them, instantly making them feel like they know you and can trust you.

Though NLP techniques focus on in person interactions for matching and mirroring like matching the breathing patterns or body language, you can do similar tricks online in order to establish the effect. By using the same language your audience uses to express their issues and desires, you match them and indicate that you understand them. Tone and pace are also great ways to match your audience.

Show You Are Human

Another great way to establish credibility is by acknowledging you are human. By demonstrating that you have made mistakes or have stumbled a bit throughout life, you indicate to your audience that you are relatable. Because people are more likely to trust those they know, like, and trust, the audience will be more likely to follow your lead

Similar to matching, revealing your mistakes can psychologically trigger your audience into trusting you, especially if your mistakes are similar to your audience’s mistakes. They are also more likely to trust you because humans don’t believe in perfect.

When something appears perfect, people expect something hidden that will come up later. When you are honest about your mistakes and show that you have grown, it will show you are an expert. This shows you had to learn to get to where you are and it will establish authority in the eyes of your audience.

Credibility Formula

Building credibility online doesn’t have to be an arduous process. If you are really listening to your audience by matching them and showing you are human, revealing your authority through blogs and credibility markers, you will establish your credibility much quicker than you think!

Read more: Social Trust Factor: 10 Tips to Establish Social Business Credibility