Case for Credibility

Are you the real deal?

How do you know if someone is credible and to be trusted by what they post online?

My sister told me about an iPhone app boasting easy-to-make healthy recipes and gorgeous images. It was the number one health food app on Apple. It had a hugely popular Instagram account, and you could even buy a cookbook; which was soaring up the Amazon charts.

I read more about the Founder, and I was shocked to read that she was a young mum who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

She’d followed the traditional medical methods without success. She’d uncovered the miraculous healing that came from healthy eating and clean living. From this sad story, she created a business empire and was helping to motivate and equip hundreds of other people.

So what’s wrong this story?

This would be a brilliant and successful case study for business and marketing…

If only it was true.

Fake Wellness blogger Belle Gibson was famous for creating a global empire for The Whole Pantry in 2013, and was just as famous for being found out a fraud with false cancer claims two years later; with the application and cookbook withdrawn from sale and fined for making false and misleading statements.

Credible or not credible?

Article featuring Belle Gibson from Elle Magazine

Couresy of

So here’s a question for you — would you rate Belle, and her business The Whole Pantry, as credible, or not credible?

Would you be quick to say —not credible?

It was based on a deceptive lie, after all. And yet, wasn’t there quality in the content and services she shared? Wasn’t their value in the community she cultivated? Inspiration in the images and content that she created?

So what then, determines the credibility of a person or brand in this age of online influence?

It’s just like when there is a car accident, there is never only one factor for causing the crash. Likewise, when it comes to building a case for credibility online – there are a number of factors that work together to create an overall perception of credibility.

Why do you want to build credibility online?

Is it really that important to be credible? Is it a factor worth striving for?

Zig Ziglar said “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”

Thanks Zig. It’s really about trust. That’s why you want to show you’re trustworthy. So they’ll do business with you, and refer you to others.

Now I’m in the business of helping brands and influencers to build credibility through their online presence. It’s not about being up with the latest technology and tweeting about every meal and moment you’ve ever had.

It’s just simply about using another platform – to take what you do in the real world – and translate that credibility and experience into an online profile.

It can amplify your message and your reputation. This will attract new clients, build your existing clients and you’ll become known as the go-to expert in your industry and beyond.

How can you start?

A phone held up in front of a laptop, both with a picture of the Linkedin sign on page

How would you demonstrate the proof of what you’ve done?

Why not consider your social media profile as a good place to start?

Let’s take LinkedIn. Have you set out the evidence in your LinkedIn narrative of who you are, what you do and how you’ve been recognised? Do you have awards, key pieces of work or achievements that could be included in the media attachment section? Your profile, your content and your endorsements are a sure place to start. Let me know how you go. Drop a comment or line on my social.




About Kirryn Zerna

Kirryn Zerna is an award-winning speaker, facilitator and advisor. Her passion is to help businesses and leaders to stand out in this age of online influence. Known for her work in brand communication, strategy and future trends, what’s unique about Kirryn is her broad experience across sectors. She draws on over 15 years experience working with businesses of all sizes – from corporate, government, consulting agencies, small business and high profile individuals.