Credo is an online marketplace founded in 2013 that matches small businesses with qualified digital marketing professionals, to provide search engine optimization, content marketing, social media and other services.
According to Credo founder and CEO John Doherty, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, the company was started to meet a particular need:
“Small businesses were being taken advantage of by disreputable consultants while qualified experts didn’t have enough work,” he said. “I wanted to change that.”
The term “Credo” is a play on the word credibility — and that’s just what it wants to create in the industry.
Credo is not a marketplace in the same sense as Upwork and Freelancer but more of a concierge-level matchmaking service where Doherty personally vets each applicant to ensure that only the best make the cut. Currently, there are 55 service providers (Credo refers to them as “Pros”) on the platform.
Credo’s Business Principles
Credo is built on three principles: reputation, transparency and quality.
“First, we seek to match deserving businesses with reputable and vetted consultants who deliver value from their work,” Doherty said. “All of our consultants have to meet minimum requirements for quality in their field, and all have been personally vetted by me.”
Doherty believes that there should be transparency in the transaction and that includes the price.
“Many people think that organic traffic is ‘free’ and, thus, consulting should be inexpensive,” he said. “We believe that quality consulting will make you an ROI beyond any low-cost provider, and that does not come cheap.”
Doherty’s emphasis on quality translates into how he matches Pros with businesses.
“Online marketing packages don’t work if they are not aligned with company goals, so each consultant has told Credo their specialties,” he said. “Thus, any business seeking services will only be matched with an expert who specializes in the skills needed.”
How Credo Matches You With the Best SEO Companies for Small Businesses
Up front, Doherty has a conversation with freelancers, consultants and agencies that apply, to learn about them and the work they’ve done. He makes a judgment at that point about whether to move forward with the application process.
Those that receive approval create a profile on the website, which includes a list of current or past clients along with a description of projects they’ve worked on, with results. Doherty then uses tools such as SEMRush and OpenSiteExplorer to verify the applicant’s claims. Those who pass muster are entered into the database and begin to receive leads.
The company utilizes a subscription model with costs varying from $100 per month for freelancers to $375 per month for agencies.
Pros are guaranteed a certain number of leads per month, based on their plan. There is no additional cost to get leads and no cost to activate an account.
Personal Service Plus Platform Automation
Credo is not just a personalized matchmaking service but also an automated platform that utilizes an algorithm to match Pros with businesses that need them.
Credo has an eight-step process for project submission. When a company submits a project, the algorithm works in the background matching agencies that meet the requirements.
The platform then sends the lead to no more than four Pros, to ensure that businesses requesting services aren’t overrun with proposals.
Businesses can also contact Pros through their profile or the “Inquiry” page on the website and expect to receive replies within 24 hours. Once a project wraps up, they can also leave reviews, to describe their experience using the Pro’s services.
Credo primarily lists agencies and consultants working in the $1,000 to $5,000 range per month or project. According to Doherty, companies with budgets of more than $5,000 typically have no problem finding qualified agencies.
“It’s the small businesses with limited resources that often fall victim to scams,” he said.
For businesses, there is a minimum investment of $1000 per month or project.
“We are purposefully upmarket from Upwork and Freelancer,” Doherty said. “Many using those sites offer their services for a few hundred per month. We don’t feel that’s sufficient to achieve the results small businesses need.”
At present, Credo takes all comers regarding the types of business that apply, but those that fall within its sweet spot include realtors, attorneys, online businesses and SaaS-based platform providers.
To learn more about Credo, apply to become a Pro or submit a request for service, go to GetCredo.com.