Every entrepreneur has heard about developing the “Know/Like/Trust" factor in their business –meaning it’s essential for your audience to know and like you in order to trust you – but how do you get to that point? How do you actually build trust?
It’s not as hard or as complicated as you might think. I’ve simplified the process of building trust by breaking it down into three areas:
A) Create AWESOME, AUTHORITATIVE content;
B) BUILD genuine relationships with your audience; and
C) CREATE a professional website.
Keep reading to learn more!
A) Create Awesome, AUTHORITATIVE content
Teach, don’t sell
Your potential clients are far less likely to be interested in your services until you’ve taught them something. They typically want to see proof that you know what you’re talking about first.
Teaching them new concepts or skills is a great way to prove your expertise, which is why I’m including it on this list of how to build trust with your audience.
And speaking of teaching…
Give away free content
Be generous! People love freebies.
Use your expertise to create highly-specific free content to help your ideal clients solve a highly-specific problem. You want to genuinely help them out with a problem they’re having, something that can be solved relatively quickly by following your (brief) instructions.
This doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, simplicity is key. Try creating freebies like worksheets, cheat sheets, quizzes (with results!), or short step-by-step instructions. Use these freebies as lead magnets (AKA opt-ins) to build your email list while you’re at it!
Guest blog and/or be a guest expert on podcasts
Expand your audience by getting out into the world. That’s right – it’s not enough to develop content on your own platform.
Got a biz buddy with a blog? Offer to write a guest post about something her clients would find valuable.
Obsessively listen to podcasts (like I do)? Pitch yourself to your favorites – think of something that’s in your zone of genius and offer to speak to their audience about it.
Remember: To grow, you need to become visible! By stepping outside your own platform(s), you reach new audiences and potentially new clients.
B) Build genuine relationships with your audience
C’mon, let your personality out to play! You want to find “your people,” and you won’t be able to do that if you keep your true self all covered up in some misguided attempt to seem more professional.
While you do need to present a professional image (insomuch that you want your audience to view you as an authority in your wheelhouse), your personality is what will separate you from the others who do what you do.
A big part of showcasing your authentic self? Having opinions! Don’t be afraid to take a strong stance on issues within your area of expertise. By doing this, you will solidify yourself as a leader in your industry, rather than someone who seems to avoid taking potentially-controversial positions in an effort to appeal to everyone.
Remember: You don’t WANT to appeal to everyone. You want to actually REPEL some people – the people who are not your ideal clients. By repelling those who aren’t your people, you’ll simultaneously attract those who ARE your people.
Show up on social media
No matter who your ideal client is, they’re probably hanging out on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or some other social media outlet. Find out where your ideal clients are and spend some time creating content there.
There are tons of resources about social media marketing out there – find some strategies that appeal to you and implement them. Regularly showing up on social media will eventually get you noticed by the people you’re trying to attract.
Have an email list that you use to engage your audience
Contrary to some “expert” opinions out there, email marketing is not dead. And it doesn’t have to be solely about selling, either. (See “Teach, Don’t Sell”.)
Instead, use your email list to build relationships with your audience. Let them get to know you. (See “Be Yourself”.) Offer them freebies that are exclusively for people on your list. (See “Give Away Free Content”.)
Tap into the reason(s) why you’re doing what you’re doing – chances are excellent that one reason is your internal desire to help others. View your email list as an opportunity to do exactly that.
C) Create a professional website
Use your ideal client’s language
It’s crucially important to break down your copy into language that your ideal client would use herself. Don’t get into the weeds about your strategy or process – just talk about your services in the way your ideal client would do it.
Not sure how your ideal client talks about the problems she faces? That’s a fantastic opportunity to schedule some “coffee chats” (in-person or virtual) to discuss what their issues are – not ALL their issues, just the ones you can solve. ;-)
Take copious notes and/or record the meeting (if you’re meeting online) so you can find out exactly how she’s speaking about her pain points and ideal solutions. Then take those words and phrases and stick them all over your copy!
An alternative to coffee chats (or something to use in addition to them): create a survey for people in your target market.
By having some real-life ideal clients fill out your survey about the problems they face that you can solve, you’ll get some great copy written in their own words. Find the similarities among the responses, and once again, plaster them all over your site.
Have testimonials on your site
Testimonials are gold, my friend. People really do respond to them. They’re called “social proof” for a reason: testimonials are proof that you have actually done the things you claim you can do, showing the world that your clients have seen real results.
To see how critical testimonials are to businesses, just look at Yelp, Google, and Amazon. Ever check out a business’s (or product’s) reviews before spending your money? Yeah, I thought so. I do it all the time myself.
If you don’t have testimonials yet, ask people you’ve worked with in the past to write one for you. If you are brand-new to your business, work with a few people for free in exchange for a testimonial. (They’re THAT important!) Either way, get a few on your site ASAP – they’re worth the time it takes to get them!
EDIT & PROOFREAD your copy!
OMG, this one is so important! Nothing says “IDGAF” more than a website riddled with typos and sloppy copy.
And we all know you do GAF, so make sure you edit and proofread all the text on your site. Make sure it’s flawless.
It could be the most well-written copy on the planet, but if it’s full of misspellings and grammar mistakes and typos, people will make a assumption: Since you obviously didn’t take the time to clean up your copy, you probably wouldn’t be all that detail-oriented on their project, either, and they’ll leave your site in a hurry.
See how you could miss out on potential clients just by having some pesky typos? No one wants that – so clean up your copy!
Talking about making your website look professional…
I’ve got a FREE cheat sheet of 5 things you can do TODAY to make your website look pro-level.
If you’re interested, click here to get it.
There you have it, folks – the 3 key parts to build trust with your audience.
(I just had to use that GIF. It’s too cute.)
Once you implement these guidelines, I guarantee it’ll make a difference in the relationship you have with your audience.
Have you done any of these things already? Or is there something I left off this list? Comment below and let me know – I’d love to hear what has worked for you!