Why We Don’t Believe You

Well – We Don’t Believe You, You Need More People.

Perception is reality. It’s my favorite phrase and the foundation of personal branding.

The human mind is wired to make decisions quickly. We receive so much information and it’s impossible to process everything. So we use association to relate as much information as quickly as possible and arrive at a conclusion. To say first impressions are important is an understatement.

We use social signals to make sense of the world: Are you a friend or a foe? Do you have influence or are you someone to be ignored? Can I trust you or does the truth elude you? Do I like you? Will we get along?

Online or offline, you have seven seconds to make a first impression. You have seven seconds to sell yourself.
Fake It Until You Make It might have worked in the past, but we’re discovering people digitally and information is too easy to come by. Google can find your past, Facebook can reveal your social shortcomings and LinkedIn can let slip your legitimate connections, or lack thereof.

Today, influence comes from credibility and credibility doesn’t come cheap.

Credibility = Competence + Confirmation + Contacts

In every aspect of life, you want to be taken seriously. You want others to recognize your importance, and you want to know that when you speak people will listen. If they’re not buying what you’re selling then it’s for one reason: people don’t believe you.

The key to credibility is trust.

If you put 10,000 hours into something you’ll become a master. At least, that’s what Malcolm Gladwell believes. The culmination of experience and expertise is competence. What we want to know is do you know.

When I have a problem, will you be able to offer a solution? The ability to advise is based on your base of knowledge. You must understand, study and experience OR U.S.E. Use your interest in a topic to become the best in that field.

It’s not enough to say you’re number one. Plenty of people talk because it costs nothing. You must prove your point. Show and tell.

The best way to confirm what you know is to perform. Do. If the proof is in the pudding, then you need to bake. Measurements may vary but it’s part practice, presence and a whole lotta trial by fire.

When you’re ready, show up and show out.

I’m biased, and so are you. Hopefully, you’ll always believe in yourself and never sell YOU short. That’s a good thing, but it also makes it difficult to be objective. So, let others speak for you.

Solicit the recommendations of professional contacts like clients, co-workers and supervisors. Their testimony not only confirms your competence, but it’s the single best evidence of your expertise.

Influence is earned through credibility. Commit to being the best at something and then complete the equation.

Credibility = Competence + Confirmation + Contacts