“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar
Trust is key to the success of your business. It’s the number one factor in determining whether or not someone buys from you.
So how do you build trust in your business? Especially when you run the majority of your business online?
It’s not as hard as you think! Here are six ways you can start building trust in your business right away...
1) Do Business With Integrity
This one should be a given, but it’s worth mentioning!
Doing business with integrity means that you are in fact trustworthy; you do what you say you’re going to do and conduct business fairly. If you make a mistake, you fix it. If you have a return policy, you honor it. You get the idea.
If people are happy with the way you do business, they’ll likely refer you. And people are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. (Source)
Action Step: Create a referral program. For example, you could offer former clients a discount or credit for any referral that becomes a client.
2) Share Social Proof
People are more likely to trust you if they see that others know, like, and trust you. It’s called Social Proof.
You can show Social Proof a number of ways:
- Including prominent client logos on your website
- Sharing client testimonials/customer reviews
- Showing your social media followers
- Including blog comments and encouraging engagement
- Encouraging social media sharing
Action Step: Contact former clients or customers and ask them for a testimonial or review. If they were happy with the service or product you provided, they will be more than happy to sing your praises!
3) Be Yourself
People want to know that you’re a real, live human. They’re more likely to trust you if you’re genuine, relatable, and honest.
One way to do that is by showing behind-the-scenes peeks at you and your business. People love to get a peek behind the curtain! Here are a few ways to do that:
- Include high-quality (read: good lighting, clear) photos of you and your workspace
- Share a behind-the-scenes look at a project you did for a client, or how you created a product
- Use video! Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Periscope are all great ways to connect with your audience
- Write conversationally, like you’re talking to your audience one-on-one
Action Step: Hire a photographer or ask a talented friend to take some photos of you and add them to your website and social media profiles.
4) Present Your Brand Consistently
A consistent brand establishes trust with your audience because it provides them with a consistent, recognizable experience at every touchpoint.
Think about Starbucks – if you’re on a road trip and craving caffeine, you’re more likely to stop in a Starbucks versus a generic coffee shop simply because you know what to expect. They provide a consistent brand experience regardless of the city – or country – you’re visiting in.
On the flip side, imagine if you went into a Starbucks and the logo looked different... their brand color wasn’t the right shade of green... the store was bright white and industrial instead of cozy feeling with dark hues and wood accents...
You’d probably be a little weirded out, am I right?
The same is true for your own brand. Every piece of your brand – your website, business cards, social media graphics, etc. should all look and feel like your brand.
Action Step: Create a visual brand identity system (e.g. fonts, colors, graphics) for your brand and use it consistently.
5) NEVER Underestimate Good Design
As one of my clients + Biz BFFs, Katie Theuer of Wedding Belles Events puts it “your website is your business card times a million!” The design of your brand and website is instrumental to the perception of you and your business.
In fact, a recent study found that 94% of people determine if they trust a company based on the design of their website. (Source)
Good design influences your business’s reputation because:
- People assume if you invest in your website, then you must put that much care into your products or services
- Poor design can make you look like an illegitimate business
Action Step: Incorporate design best practices, such as white space (the empty space or “breathing room” around images and text that’s key for a “clean” design) and text hierarchy (a way to organize text by order of importance, which helps your reader navigate the content).
6) Share Helpful + Relevant Content
A quick way to build trust with potential clients is by sharing knowledge about your topic. You are an expert in your field – even if you feel like you’re still learning! To help people know and trust that about you, you have to share some of your insight.
The good news is that you don’t have to always create your own content. In fact, entrepreneur extraordinaire Melyssa Griffin says that 70% of the content you share on social media should be from others, and only 30% should be your own content. (Source)
Just by sharing content from others that relates to your field and your target market, you’re showing them that you know what you’re talking about and you’re here to help.
Action Step: Follow thought-leaders in your industry and start re-tweeting/sharing their content to your audience. Chances are you’ll spark some ideas for your own content, too! :)
What are you going to start doing to build trust in your brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!