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Your On-Line Credibility Depends On Who You Hang Out With

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social_bookmarkingEstablishing a credibility as an internet marketer depends on many components.

I’ve previously spoken about how your credibility starts with your name and your expertise levels.

Another area is your presence in the social media space. It is vitally important who you hang out with and how you interact with people.

As a very simple example: imagine yourself at a conference you are attending as a delegate. You see the list of speakers and you notice that predominantly they are together. There is a kind of aura of expert knowledge attached to them. Then there are some people that are not speakers but also socialise with them.

What do you think of the people that are friends with speakers but are not speakers themselves? You tend to think of them as having similar expert status. In the same way, you as a delegate meet up with other delegates and people who did not attend the conference will automatically think of themselves as not as knowledgeable as you.

Why do people fight to get to study at Harvard rather than the University down the road? It is because the association with this name provides you with un-quantifiable extra points. It gives you a momentum that you would not get from the learning institute near you.

The same applies in the online community. In fact probably slightly more so. It is so much more difficult to acquire credibility online. You are not a physical presence, people cannot look you in the eyes and have an opinion of you as a person. They depend on a whole lot of other clues to evaluate your credibility.

One of these vital clues is who you are associated with and who associates with you. With other words who is following you on Twitter could be as important as who you follow on Twitter.  Who your StumbeUpon buddies are could be vital to whether you are considered credible or not. What about your activities on Digg?

It’s important to see what material you bookmark and comment on. What bloggers do you read and support? Where do you leave comments? What kind of comments do you leave? Who do you praise? In fact how do you comment? Are you one of those people who only finds things to criticise or do you encourage and support?

How do you behave on forums? Do you ask relevant questions? Do you answer and help other forum members if they have a query? Do you come across as a credible person or as an arrogant know-all? All of these different activities add to your online presence and determine your credibility over all.

When you look at this picture it becomes obvious that whatever you do online has to be based on a consistent view point, a moral code so to speak. An image of what you wish to be seen as. If that image does not fit into your internet marketing strategy you will need to change the image.

Above all else, you need to remember that the internet has a very long memory. What you say and do online stays around for a very long time. So be careful. Be sure that the presence you have online is good for your business, whether online or offline.

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3 Responses to Your On-Line Credibility Depends On Who You Hang Out With

  1. Daniel Rose September 10, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Nice post, some good thoughts. With regards to your online presence existing indefinitely, a great book is “Me and My Web Shadow” by Antony Mayfield. Full of practical ideas to control your web presence.

    • Andrew September 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks, Daniel. I shall check the book out.


  2. Dr. Robert Doebler August 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I totally agree that your credibility depends on your backlinks. I just want to add that internet marketers should check sites PR and how good the site structure is when it comes to directory submission. There are good and bad sites out there and if you want to build your credibility, stay away from bad directory sites.

    Thanks for sharing!

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