A key consideration for many brands in this fast-paced industry is how to attract new business. In the quest to stand out from the rest, credentials can play a significant role in helping to secure potential new clients, by communicating a brand’s experience, expertise and services in a manner that is targeted, creative and engaging. Outlined below are the things a business should consider when creating a credentials document.
First impressions and format
First impressions are vital, so the overall length and visual impact of your credentials should be a key consideration as well as presenting the information in a succinct manner. The first few pages of a credentials document should really pack a punch and should be no longer than ten pages, featuring an impactful design. Where design capabilities are limited, keep it as simple as possible rather than venturing into an area where skills may be lacking. It is also important to provide the file in PDF format and consider the final size for sharing purposes and whether it can be printed using a standard printer.
Target audience and communication strategy
Understanding the target audience is crucial, and profiling the perfect client or customer is a worthwhile exercise. This also helps to determine key messages, tone of voice and visual style. By having a clearly defined audience in mind, brands can develop a document that will resonate with the right people, and will help ensure that the relevant products or services are effectively showcased. These activities are a key starting point for any introductory document.
‘About’ section and client examples
This is the section in which a brand can really shout about its USPs to a potential client or customer. The proof is always in the pudding, so brands must be sure to feature a good selection of relevant work examples and testimonials in the document. Where possible, the case studies included should reflect the target business so the potential client can immediately relate to the work and more importantly, the results.
Call to action
Every good creds document will feature a call to action, usually at the end, as this helps to secure a response from the potential client. This page or section should give people a reason to pick up the phone or send that all-important email enquiry. Remember to keep the call to action clear and concise with the relevant signposts included, as this tends to be the most effective. This tactic can be measured by client response and can be helpful when driving conversations for new business.
Bespoke vs generic credential formats
Using bespoke and generic formats within a credentials document can be beneficial in both cases, yet both come with their pros and cons and are there to serve different purposes. The most obvious format is generic, and this type of document might include a wide range of offerings and case studies in order to appeal to a broader audience. Generic creds can work in a brand’s favour, but can also be a disadvantage when approaching clients that appear outside of the target audience.
In other situations, it might be more appropriate to distribute credentials as a tailor-made, targeted document, with a particular audience in mind. Customised creds usually include targeted wording and case studies that are relevant to the potential client or customer. This approach can resonate well as the information provided can ensure the reader feels catered for, however this type of approach means the document cannot be shared with anyone else.
Whilst it is challenging to engage potential clients in a world where many have become desensitised to traditional marketing techniques, the advice in this blog can help during that all-important stage of introducing a business and getting a foot in the door. If you require further advice on how to create a credentials document for your business, or would like to see our credentials click here, or get in touch via our contact form.