If you have kids who are of primary school age or older you have probably had the ‘stranger danger’ conversation. We warn them of the pitfalls of being sucked in by someone offering them goodies and teach them how to recognise how and who to trust. As business owners, we should consider these teachings and ensure that we are building brands that are seen as trustworthy. But what is the best way to build trust online?
Prove you are the right choice by producing valuable content
I had a row in a pub recently. I suggested to a business owner that if they felt they were the solution of choice amongst their competitors it should be possible for them to point me to at least one web page that proved that to be true. One piece of content that proved they were an expert in their field.
I work hard to share my knowledge and opinion using the Green Umbrella Marketing Blog as a vehicle to do just that. In reading these articles my hope is that you understand the breadth of knowledge we have and therefore build trust that we know what we’re doing, ready for when you might need our services! Obviously, there are other benefits from a Google ranking perspective too, but the more you can give value the more enquiries you will receive!
Build trust online by responding to your audience
Conversation goes two ways. As brands, we should be listening and responding to our audiences. Monitoring trends and answering the questions being raised through your blog and video content is one way of doing this, but also consider using your social media presence to maximise this by joining discussion threads and offering your opinion.
Use Live Video to put yourself on the spot and unscripted to respond to a question that has been posed to you, or a breaking story that will affect your audience.
Prove you are trustworthy – Have your clients say it for you!
This one is obvious, right? Client testimonials that can be linked back to the source are ideal. Whether you collect these via your recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, Google Reviews, Facebook ratings or something like Trustpilot.
The current trends show that the general public trust the opinion of the guy at the end of the bar on a Friday night over what brands are saying about themselves online. This is a product of the privacy issues and scandals such as Cambridge Analytica that have come to light over the last few years.
So many businesses brag that their growth is directly linked to word of mouth referrals – but I challenge them to build trust online by leveraging this, capturing what is being said and getting it published in a format that is both transparent and authentic.
Show that your opinion is respected and trusted by market leaders and influencers
How many guest ‘spots’ have you fulfilled in the last year? Whether it’s providing a guest blog, appearing as a guest on a podcast, webinar, or live show. These are all opportunities to be seen as an expert who is trusted by a third party. Usually, a third party who is serving the same audience as you or whose recommendation is highly respected – think of this person as being the person in the pub EVERYONE knows and listens too!
It’s not always easy to secure these opportunities. You need to be aware of who’s who from the perspective of your clients and customers. You need to make sure they become aware of you and then, you need to make sure you are securely on their radar. This is often where personal branding comes into its own. Implemented correctly, you can position yourself as a voice of authority in the sector you serve – an ultimate position of trust.
So, to wrap this up… Trust is personal
Following on from my previous point, if your brand is faceless and you are trying to build trust you are going to struggle. It will take considerably longer because Trust is a human, emotional response. We trust each other over entities and your clients and prospects, therefore, need to be able to feel a connection to you and the people within your business.
Don’t just be an entity!