It is so energizing to me to go to a meeting and walk out afterwards with a plethora of thoughts and ideas. Each week, at our Out-&-Out Marketing Forum, it inevitably happens. This burst of creativity is a direct result of my participation in a group discussion with the other attendees at the Forum.
Today’s discussion focused initially on the ‘why’ of what we do. This, in turn, led to an exploration of how we build credibility within our professions. The word validity came up in the conversation as it relates to building your credibility. Are we working on building both?
Credibility is defined as:
“the quality of being trusted and believed in.”
Validity on the other hand is defined as:
“the quality of being correct or true.”
Notice the difference? One is a belief, the other is a fact.
One of the attendees was with a local non-profit. It was observed that there seems to be an inherent credibility factor that is associated with the non-profit sector. For-profit organizations, on the other hand, need to be more deliberate in building their credibility with consistent, quality engagement. However, validity is something every organization and business professional needs to actually earn with their target market. Earning validity can mean:
- a proven track record
- reputable testimonials and references
- consistent value
- award recognition and certification
- strong affiliations
- ethical employees
Once you have proven yourself credible within your circles of influence, validity comes shortly thereafter. Trying to flip it in order to seek validity first will be like trying to get someone’s attention in the dark. You may be heard, but it is nothing more than sound. You will not be seen the way you want to be seen, and will inevitably find yourself back at the drawing board, taking the steps necessary to systematically build the foundation of credibility.
Know who your target market is. Build credibility with them. Then seek validity.
Keep it disciplined.