Yesterday, I referred to something called a Sphere of Credibility.
It’s a fancy-sounding thingie I made up. What is it? It’s basically a way for an anti-social business to become social.
Do you like to tell stories?
Do you like talking about the things you do?
Google and search engines love fresh, regularly updated websites stuffed with relevant content.
You’ve got credibility, right? There are few better, less expensive places to demonstrate that credibility than on your blog and website.
But what the heck do you talk about?
Well … if you strictly talk about your business category, you’ll quickly not only exhaust your material but also bore the tears out of and repel those you wish to attract.
Thing is – you can obviously talk about anything, but some choices are better than others.
I call it your Sphere of Credibility. I capitalize it to make it sound important.
I made it up one day when I needed something to call it for a talk I was giving.
I got the idea from a guy much smarter than me.
In 1959, Theodore Leavitt introduced the idea of a better business reality at Harvard Business School. Leavitt said essentially that, for example, a mattress store wasn’t in the mattress business, but rather the better reality was that they were in the business of providing customers a better night’s sleep and more energy during the day. Thus, a tire store didn’t sell tires. They sold safety.
Remember the Michelin ad with baby surrounded by the tire? That’s a perfect example of what Leavitt understood.
Your sphere of credibility is similar.
If you’re a heating and air conditioning company, you’ll bore the pants off people talking about A Coils and compressors, but … you can find ways to talk about the better reality of your business: providing comfort in the home.
But wait – there’s more.
A reader will give you the benefit of the doubt to talk with credibility and authority about comfort in general.
If you shared a link, for example, about mattresses that’d be interesting to me, I’d give you the benefit of the doubt that you know something about which you share. You’ve just built your HVAC credibility a tiny bit with me by sharing something that has nothing to do with HVAC.
You could do the same with comfortable vacation spots. Or comfort foods. No, they’re not HVAC-related, but who cares?!?
Continue to do this – share interesting stuff within your sphere of credibility, and you’ll slowly and steadily build a strong association between your business and your larger reality. I swear it’s true. I’ve seen it happen. I’m not making this up.
(Now, if I could just figure out a way to get vintage arcade games inside my sphere. If you have any suggestions, I’d be grateful.)