Credentials Document: What to Consider and What to Include

16 July, 2020 | Branding | 4 min read.

No matter the size, industry or audience of a company, acquiring new leads and business is a vital factor in ensuring growth and success. Unfortunately, achieving this, while also standing out from your competitors, can be difficult. However, creating a credentials document can play a significant part in securing new clients. The document should demonstrate your capabilities, the impact your work can have and why your audience should work with you in a creative and engaging way.

Getting it right and creating an impactful credentials document can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t know where to start. Below, we’ve listed five questions you should ask yourself when creating a credentials document so that you can showcase your business in the best way possible.

What do you want their first impression of your business to be?

When trying to acquire new business, first impressions are crucial. This is why your document needs to be well presented, on brand and relevant to your audience. Consider the overall length and visual impact you want to make, as you want to present the information in an easy-to-digest and engaging way.

The first few pages are vital – they need to pack a punch and feature an impactful design. This design needs to be simple with the content laid out in a way that is easy to read. Make the pages too busy or loud and your audience won’t be able to concentrate on the important information you are providing about your business.

It’s also important to note that when designing your credentials document, you need to consider the size and format. Will you be printing it? Do you want to make it downloadable? You need to design it with the delivery method in mind for optimum success.  

Do you understand your target audience?

Your credentials document should be created with your target audience in mind. How much do you know or understand about the business you are trying to acquire? Once you know the audience you will be delivering the document to, you can make it more personal and make more of a positive impression.

Understanding your audience and their needs also allows you to determine key messages, tone of voice and the style you should take when delivering the document. You can also ensure that you are showing off relevant pieces of work to show exactly how you can make an impact to their business.

Who are you and what do you do?

A credentials document is a valuable tool in highlighting your businesses unique selling points (USPs) to the potential client or customer so that they can truly understand what you are about. Perhaps you can provide a breakdown of your leadership team or illustrate who is in charge of what section of your business?

It’s also important you take this opportunity to show examples of previous work and provide relevant case studies to showcase your abilities and highlight the difference your business can have. For example, if you are trying to get new business from a company in the beauty industry, think about previous work you have already done for that industry and highlight it within your credentials document. This way the client can relate to what you are showing, making it easier for them to understand what difference your business can have.  

What do you want your call-to-action to be?

At the end of your presentation or document, you need to include a clear and concise call-to-action which highlights how exactly how you want the potential customer or client to respond. Use this last page of the credentials document and give them a reason to pick up the phone or send an email.

Don’t have a generic call-to-action. If possible, give a clear contact for the potential client to pick up the phone and call. Not only does this show that you value them as a business, but that you are serious about working together.

How important is a bespoke credentials document?

Depending on the aims of your credentials document, you will need to decide whether you will send out a generic piece or something that is targeted specifically at the business you are trying to work with. A bespoke document will make more of an impact. This way you can include targeted wording and case studies that are extra relevant. If possible, add statistics or information about how you would approach specific business challenges. This approach can resonate well and can ensure that your audience feels catered for.

This type of approach, however, means that the document cannot be shared with anyone else. Therefore, if you don’t acquire the new business, it could mean that the document has been created for no reason. A more generic-style credentials document can be sent to multiple clients at the same time, saving you time and energy, however it may make less of an impact.

It all comes down to your business, budgets and how you want to approach potential clients. Perhaps you may consider creating a generic credentials document that can be changed easily or adapted to add specific information when you approach a new potential client.

EDGE Creative

Whatever you need, we can help. We provide an integrated marketing service, offering a free initial consultation to discuss what would work best for you. Our credentials document service includes creating on-brand design, copywriting and personalisation to create a unique piece just for your business.

If you would like to speak to us about starting your credentials document, please call us on 0121 355 8092 or email our Client Services Director at karen@edge-creative.com.