What are Digital Badges? Strong Credentials & Certifications

BY Kathy Crosett
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If you’re a professional sales representative, you know credibility matters. With so many buyers and prospects checking you out online, your credibility must shine compared 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 meeting them. And 20% say certifications are vital. These days, these 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 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 significant 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 particular competency, such as mastering a programming language. 

Through micro-​credentials and digital badging, you can show completion of an educational or another institution’s course on Python, for example. Generally, these badges display that you’ve “completed a skill-​based learning experience.” You may have completed a micro-​course that required 10 to 15 hours of study to obtain your badge.

Educational institutions don’t own the digital badge market. However, many employers and professional organizations also offer similar programs. These programs can help employees develop skills and prepare them 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 simple, trusted way and can be easily verified in real time.  In addition, 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 check out sales representatives long before they reach out via email or social media. In addition, when buyers seek sellers with specific skills, digital badges speak to an individual's verified credentials. As a result, 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 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 digital badges and credentials. As the old saying goes, you never have a second chance to make a great first impression. 

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