Building trust with your audience is a long game. It’s built on strong relationships, delivering value and following through on what you say you’ll do. All of that takes time.
I didn’t mean to trick ya with the headline, but if you ask me, there are no real shortcuts to building trust.
However, there are ways you can prime your audience to create the foundations for trust. Here are seven of ‘em.
1. Highlight heroes
We trust people we know. And what better way for people to get to know you than talking about the people behind your business?
Who are your staff and employees? What are their backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experience? What are their values? What do they do in their day-to-day jobs? Highlight them on your website and social media. Give them a place to shine.
Who are your customers and clients? Who are the members of your community? How are they using your services or products to make a difference? What are their stories? Make them the hero. This works especially well if you're a bit of an introvert and hate the limelight. We all know we need to put a face to our brand to build connection. This is a way to make your story about someone that isn't you.
2. Remove risk
Making guarantees, offering free trials and having generous return/refund policies can take away the risk of working with you and remove a potential barrier to purchase.
But more than that, it sends a message to your audience that you're selling products and services that are so good you can accommodate the very rare occasions when someone isn't satisfied or something goes wrong.
There are a number of ways to structure guarantees depending on your business, here are some examples:
Free trials (bonus points for not needing to give your credit card details to access the free trial)
Money-back guarantees (it works or you get your money back)
Lifetime guarantee (your item will work forever)
Satisfaction guarantees (we'll keep working until you are completely satisfied)
Returns and refunds policies for any reason including change of mind (as long as the item hasn't been worn or used)
No minimum terms or lock-ins (let your members cancel subscriptions at any time)
Price matching (good if your industry is cost-competitive)
3. Work your network
Ask the people and brands you’ve worked with to share your work or endorse you. Make it a standard part of your purchase process or end of project communications.
Make it easy for your network to talk about what you do by creating shareable content (see point 7). Create a unique offering or special deal and ask past customers to share it with their community.
4. Showcase credentials
Put a spotlight on your credentials and partnerships to create a halo effect of trust and credibility. Use brand logos of the organisations you've worked with on your website. Talk about any training or professional development you undertake. And if you're a member of professional associations, use the logos on your website to show your credentials.
5. Prove it
Don't just talk about the results you can achieve show evidence and proof. How? With:
Case studies (videos work well)
Examples of your work
Reviews (respond to negative reviews publicly so others can see you follow-through)
If you’ve received hundreds of five-star reviews, talk about it! If you’re the number one rated in something or the best selling of something, shout it from the rooftops. Use it!
6. Show your past
Have you helped X number of customers/clients to achieve their goals? Have you sold X number of widgets? Have you been in business for a long time? Do you have loads of experience in your industry? Maybe you’re new to the field but you bring years of relevant experience from another field. It’s all material that demonstrates you've done this before, you're capable and you know your stuff.
7. Provide value
Opt-ins aren't just for collecting email addresses and social media isn't just about showing who you are and what you can do. Quality content that provides value is an important part of the mix.
Delivering unique insights and practical tips can position your brand as an authoritative and knowledgable voice in your industry. And it can also create a positive association in your readers' minds.
Over to you
How do you build trust in your brand? Do you use any of these techniques? What works for you? I'd love to know.