Your Business Credibility

One of the best things about advertising and working online is that if something isn’t working, you can change it pretty easily. Testing can take some time, but it’s less expensive than printing $10,000 worth of material, mailing it out to thousands of people, getting nothing in return and having to do it all again.

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One of the worst things about advertising and working online is when you get things so screwed up that you lose any business credibility you might have had. Sure, many times you’ll get another shot at making a go of things, but you’ll probably never get any of those people back that stopped by, disapproved of what you did, left and talked about it later on.

One Sunday last year I did a Google Hangout with my Hot Blog Tips crew on the topic of writing paid posts and blogging credibility, which I’m sharing below. It’s my position that if people do things that are unethical just to make money that eventually it will kill them and their business prospects. There are a lot of bloggers who write paid posts, or put up posts with someone else’s words, and say a lot of glowing stuff about something they’re not familiar with. Some will be promoting a product using an affiliate link that they know nothing about and writing something overly positive without knowing if it is or not.

When it comes to your business and advertising it online, I feel that what you don’t want to do is say you can do things that you can’t do. At the same time, overstating your capabilities doesn’t do you many favors either. I remember having a conversation with someone a couple of years ago where he said that if you’re asked if you can do something or provide something you always answer “yes”, then you go out and find the person who can really do it. To me, it might be true that you can find someone who can do the work, but if you don’t know that person and they do the work badly, you’re the one who’s going to suffer.

There’s nothing wrong with self promotion. There’s really nothing wrong with a bit of hyperbole, although if you say you’re the #1 whatever in your market I tend to believe you’d better be ready to prove it by showing me something, since I might not even allow you to work with me unless I get testimonials. These days people are more savvy than ever, and they can check everything online. Try to fool someone and it will come back at you eventually. Nothing disappears online; remember that.

By the way, you need to know that if you happen to use words that aren’t your own, sent to you by a marketer that they believe will help you sell their product, that it’s a violation of FCC rules and it could result in both fines and losing your domain; just thought I’d mention that.

Check out the video below, as it addresses this topic with a few more ideas on the subject than just mine:


6 thoughts on “Your Business Credibility”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    As you know I have done and still accept paid posts. I don’t think I’ve ever said that a product or service was good unless I had personal experience of it.

    I think you will ruin your credibility when you state untruths or if you paid posts far exceed your actual posts. My paid posts are usually so infrequent most people don’t even realise they are a paid post.

    Having said that it’s always easy to see when they are as it’s all explained in my disclosure policy.

    1. Peter, I do know you’ve written paid posts, and I kind of worried about you because of it but you’ve weathered things quite well. There is just the one time, one of your more recent posts, where I kind of challenged what you wrote, only because it was something I knew quite a bit about. You were somewhat innocuous about it overall but I’d have never written about it in any way that someone might have seen it as a positive thing. Still, there are enough people writing about it in positive ways that it probably meant little in the long run. Also, your not a business specifically so no worries there.

  2. I know the post you’re referring to and I didn’t actually write that one. I wouldn’t have posted it except that it was speaking generally about the subject involved. While I understand there are probably a lot of dodgy companies out there I would say there are also a lot that do well by their customers.

  3. I totally agree with this post. Credibility is important when it comes to handling your own business. There are maybe easy ways to shift when a certain online advertising strategy is not working, but it’s still better to consider your business credibility if you do so. Make sure that the next step you are taking for your business will not end up being screwed. If you are planning to hire people, make sure that they will be knowledgeable about your business line.

    1. People absolutely need to understand what the business is all about if they’re working there. As for advertising, I think we’ve seen a lot of hits and misses over the last few years, and some of them have been critical enough to make the news. If you’re a large company you’ll survive, but so many small companies have had to shut down because of a major mishap.

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