It’s Blogworld coming up in a few days. Another big conference with busy halls, packed sessions, and loud parties.
That might sound like heaven or hell to you, and believe me I understand both perspectives.
I am doing up to six sessions this year. Around six more than my nerves are built to take. You can see my schedule here. That nifty calendar shows where I will be as far as talks and panels are concerned, either on stage or heckling from the audience 🙂
When people hear that I have my name down for these kinds of things, they tend toward incredulity. “You??“. Yes. Me.
You might already know I am shy and introverted, and I don’t actually see that as a bad thing. For a while I was lead to believe it was a “fault” that needed “fixing”. After thought (and trying to “cure” myself with no success), I came to realize it is just a difference of personality and style. It’s part of who I am, and clearly it doesn’t hold me back that much.
As well as developing my Shy Networking approaches that help me mix and connect effectively without losing my sanity, I decided to embrace my quirks, constraints and all.
The fact is, if you need to be known, and establish credibility, there is a lot that can be done from your desk. I wrote a whole course about growing your audience, boosting your authority, and offering products and services around that. But even though you can have a big list and thousands of people know, like and trust you, even then there are limits. Even with the best online system, things are accelerated when they can hear and see you in person.
Essentially, uncomfortable as it is, if I want to do the things I want to do, I have to be seen on stage and I need to network at these events.
In my view there has been a big shift in how credibility is perceived over the last ten or so years. The era of the internet has changed society to the extent the old rules do not apply with as much persuasive force as before.
Old school credibility could be gained from things like …
- Professional organisations
- Qualifications and Certifications
- Society membership
- Management positions
- Traditional PR mentions
Don’t get me wrong, all of these things do help, especially appearing in traditional press.
But we are becoming increasingly cynical about these kinds of things. We no longer trust the media, the old boys club, or even professional accreditation to provide enough credibility to work with.
There are three main ways we can generate more credibility with an audience once we have a spotlight:
- Expertise proof.
- Results proof.
- Social proof.
Look back over the old-school credibility builders. Notice anything?
None of those old ways of achieving credibility offer evidence of real value. There is no “What’s in it for me?”.
Even qualifications and certifications are no longer evidence that a person has relevant and demonstrable expertise because the pool has been tainted by unscrupulous certificate factories and fraudsters. You can be a doctor or a Lord now just by paying enough.
More and more we are turning to people who have something useful to share, who our friends trust, and who can prove they get results. If you want credibility that is what you need to start doing. Share your best tips, your case studies, and interact with people in a live setting.
Of course do not wait for an annual conference, be visible online and locally too. But when you have a platform where you can really deliver, swallow the fear and do it.
Bottom line: Shy as I am, this is how appearing at Blogworld helps me towards my goals and I recommend you consider something like it for your own.
Do you see people in your niche turning away from traditional credibility indicators? How are you growing your credibility? Attending Blogworld? Please share in the comments …