Your credibility and the credibility of your business is all that you have. Credibility is your brand.
When we talk about marketing, we are actually talking about building your credibility. The more opportunities that you have to get your work in front of people, the more chances you have to build credibility in their eyes.
It takes time for people to warm up to you. They will start from not knowing you, to being wary of you, to liking you, to the telling other people about you. You need to show them over time that you care, that you do good work, and that you do not take your relationship with them for granted.
The irony is that credibility takes such time and effort to build, yet it can be lost in an instant. One wrong move can ruin years of building credibility, so be careful. Do not let this fact keep you from promoting yourself. Promote yourself proudly, but be careful about abusing your relationships.
When we talk about credibility and promoting in the right way, it comes down to one idea, do you respect your customers or do you just see them as a way to make money?
If you respect and care about your customers, you will take pains to assist them and treat them well. What gives you the time to do this is the fact that you have products and services that they want, and so they will ultimately support you, but it is a mutually beneficial relationship.
If you think about your customer as a statistic and someone to just pay your bills, then ultimately you will lose them at some point. People are intuitive, and they can read between the lines. If you care about helping them, they will know it. If you do not care about them, they will sense it. Always think in terms of benefiting your customer or client, and you will be rewarded for that.
Be genuine. You can be yourself and sell yourself at the same time. You do not need to try and be someone else. People will want to purchase your products and services because of three reasons: want, need, and the fact that they like you and can relate to you.
That last point is important. Trust and relatability as a factor in your success cannot be overstated, especially when doing business over the internet where people do not have the opportunity to meet you in person. Show pictures of yourself, tell stories, and do not hide behind a veneer of what you think you should look like or be like.
People want to see the real you, and that will make them excited to want to work with you.