There is a common saying about branding: people need to know, like and trust you to work with you. Each of these three elements is important to any relationship you want to build. When it comes to your business, how much attention are you paying to them? Are you actively working to encourage each one to happen?
Knowing is all about visibility – if people can’t find you then they don’t even have a chance to get to know you.
Liking is all about building relationships – be yourself and engage with your audience regularly, and you will attract those that are aligned with who you are and what you do.
Trust is the crucial element, because it’s only when people trust you that they will want to do business with you. And that’s what I wanted to focus on in this week’s blog.
- Positive relationships
- Good judgement/expertise
The article is targeting leaders who want to build trust with people in their organisation, but it equally applies to business owners who want to build trust with their audience.
Here are 4 ways you can build trust in these key areas:
Building positive relationships doesn’t just happen – it is the outcome of investing energy in creating mutually beneficial outcomes and allowing people to see who you are. To support this, you can:
- Share what’s going on BTS in your business and life. Years ago I heard the phrase ‘candid but curated’ applied to sharing your life online and what that means is, you don’t want to spray your whole life online, but you want to be real and let people into your whole experience, not just what it looks like when you’re ‘on’.
- Share your opinion on different issues relevant to your industry and what’s going on in the world.
- Share your values – let people know what you care about, and let them see you living those values. This might look like supporting particular people or businesses, or speaking out when you see those values being violated.
- Be authentic and honest, wherever you show up online and in person.
People want to feel reassured that you know what you’re talking about and you have the necessary experience and expertise to help them. Demonstrate your expertise by:
- Sharing valuable, helpful content with your followers.
- Sharing your qualifications in relevant places (like your website, bios, and social media profiles).
- Sharing reviews and testimonials from clients and customers. You want potential customers to understand exactly how you help people like them and the results they can expect from working with you or using your product.
- Searching out speaking opportunities like presenting at conferences or being interviewed by other experts. This has the added benefit of allowing people to see and hear you to see if your style clicks with them. The analogy I like here is audiobooks – sometimes I just don’t like how the narrator sounds so I won’t get the book!
People want to know that you walk the talk and that they can rely on you to keep showing up for them. Demonstrating consistency might look like:
- Practicing what you preach – show up in real life as you are online. Nothing undermines trust more than meeting someone IRL after following them online and realising they’re totally different to who you thought they were.
- When delivering content (like social media, newsletters, and blogging), create a schedule and stick to it.
- Define your brand’s visual style (logo, colours, fonts) and don’t stray from it. This also boosts brand recognition when people see your posts in their feeds.
- Have systems and processes in place that ensure a seamless, positive experience for anyone who works with you.
The say ‘trust the process’, but I like to say ‘trust IS the process’. Because it’s only when our audience feel like they trust us that they are willing to engage with our brands in any way, whether it be to give us their email address, recommend us to a friend, or hand over cash for a product or service. It’s one of the most crucial elements to a successful business.
So this year, make sure you are focussing on building relationships, sharing your expertise, and being consistent in how you show up, and you can’t fail.