What is a Digital Badge? Credentials & Certifications for Your Brand

BY Kathy Crosett
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If you’re a sales professional, you know credibility matters. With so many buyers and prospects checking you out online, your credibility must shine in comparison to your competitors. To stand apart, you need to improve your brand. You can do this by showing off your digital badges on your social sites, including LinkedIn. In our Voice of the Buyer survey, 26% of prospects reported reviewing a salesperson’s academic credentials and background before they meet with them. And 20% say certifications are important. These days, certifications are likely to come in the form of a digital badge. What is a digital badge and how can you use it to increase your credibility? Let’s take a look.

What is a Digital Badge?

BadgeCert defines a digital badge as “a dynamic portable icon that is embedded with qualifying information such as who issued the credential, where and how it was earned and a detailed description of the competencies met.” One important detail to remember is that a third party can verify what the badge represents.

A college degree indicates you studied and took courses in a specific field such as computer programming. But this credential doesn’t speak to a specific competency such as mastering a programming language. Through micro-​credentials and badging, you can show completion of an educational or another institution’s course on Python, for example. In general, these badges display that you’ve “completed a skill-​based learning experience.” To obtain your badge you may have completed a micro-​course that required 10 to 15 hours of study.

Educational institutions don’t own the digital badge market. Many employers and professional organizations also offer similar programs. These programs can help employees develop skills and prepare to advance in their careers.

What are the benefits of a badge?

Representing your skills with a digital badge allows you to share your abilities online in a way that is simple, trusted and can be easily verified in real time. Badges provide prospects and potential employers with evidence of what you had to do to earn your credentials and what you’re capable of.

Why would you use a digital badge?

Our Voice of the Buyer research tells us that prospects are checking out sales reps long before they reach out via email or social media. When buyers are seeking sellers with specific skills, digital badges speak to the verified credentials an individual possesses. They don’t have to rely solely on a seller’s boasts about their ability.

In addition to increasing your credibility, your digital badges get noticed. BadgeCert analysts report that a digital badge shared on social media receives significant attention such as over 500 impressions, 25 interactions and up to four comments.

Prospects who are looking for expertise in a specific competency, such as digital marketing, may start their search online. If they discover you’re certified as a digital marketing expert, they’ll dig deeper to understand what you studied to obtain your digital badge.

Your digital badges serve as one data point for a prospect. Once you have their attention, they’ll search online for the number of years you’ve worked in the industry, articles you’ve written and awards you’ve won.

How to Use Your Badge

Unless you’re actively looking for a new job, your LinkedIn profile, says SalesFuel CEO C. Lee Smith, should be designed to impress your next client. Take time to create quality content and show off your badges and credentials. As the old saying goes, you never have a second chance to make a great first impression. 

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