Strategies and tactics to elevate your personal brand - get in the brand elevator, we're going up!
I help start ups, bootstrapping entrepreneurs & small biz owners get more visible online with DIY professional branding photos.
Would you let a total stranger you met on the street borrow your car? How about asking them to babysit your kids or keep an eye on your laptop while you nip away to powder your nose?
Chances are, that’s a hard no. We don’t automatically trust people we meet for the first time without knowing anything about them, even if they come across as good sorts.
Trust has to be built, whether it’s with someone you’re dating, working with, or doing business with.
While you may not be proposing marriage to your customers, you are hoping for a prosperous and happy long-term relationship with them, right?
To do that, you need to build brand trust and encourage them to have faith in your business.
In this article, we’ll look at the top ways to build brand trust. But let’s start by taking a closer look at why this is so important.
Let’s start with some juicy stats! Data from the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special gives us plenty of motivation to build brand trust, revealing that 53% of consumers make decisions based on price first and trust second.
A whopping 70% agree that it’s more important to trust a brand today than it has been in the past, and 46% say they trust most of the brands they buy and use (a 12% increase in 2019).
Why is brand trust more important now than ever? The pandemic has a lot to do with it. People are struggling, they are vulnerable, and our world feels quite fragile.
Consumers care about the world around them, and therefore pay attention to how the brands they support impact society.
There’s a lot to be gained from making an effort to build brand trust.
The first benefit is loyalty.
If your customers and clients trust you, they are more likely to buy from you (even if you’re not the cheapest). They are also more open to buying exclusively from you and trying out your new products or services.
The second benefit is engagement.
According to the research from Edelman, 60% of people with high brand trust are happy to share personal information with that brand. They are also more likely to engage with your advertising and marketing efforts.
The third benefit is a big one – advocacy.
When customers trust your business, they are much more likely to share or repost your content and write positive reviews about your brand. Hello, free advertising! They will happily recommend your business to others, and they’ll even stick up for you if they hear others criticising your brand.
Just as with any relationship, there’s no fast way to build brand trust. It takes consistency, authenticity, and commitment.
Here are the top ways to build brand trust for your business:
There’s no excuse for being out of touch with your customers. If they have questions, make it easy for them to get answers quickly. Doing so reinforces that there is someone “behind the curtain” that cares about their experience.
This one should go without saying. But, if your customer purchases something from you that turns out to be falsely represented, shoddy, or doesn’t do what you promised it would, the trust will go out the window.
Test your offerings, make sure they do what they say, and ensure you are reaching the correct audience to match the right products to the right people.
If you’re not practising what you preach, it won’t be long before the internet names and shames your business.
Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Be honest and authentic in everything you do.
If you don’t think your business is the right fit for someone, be upfront and say so.
Even though you may miss out on a sale, you will leave a lasting positive impression that may come back to benefit you via other avenues.
Your customers will soon figure out if they are just another number in your database.
Make sure you value each one by listening to them, personalising your communications, and offering products that truly enrich their lives in some way.
Building trust doesn’t happen overnight. You need to show up for your customers consistently.
This means being consistent in your visual branding to build brand awareness, consistent with your messaging and tone to develop your brand voice, and consistent with your products and customer service to create brand trust.
Show your audience that you genuinely care about their opinion and their experience of buying from you by talking to them even after a purchase. A simple email requesting feedback ensures they feel valued.
The more you get to know your customers – and vice versa – the more their trust in your business will deepen.
Consumers trust other consumers, and most people will research your brand or products before making a purchase. Social proof in the form of customer reviews, testimonials or case studies is highly valuable.
Encourage buyers to review you on your website, social media platforms, or third party sites like Trustpilot or Yelp.
Obviously, you are great at what you do – an expert in your industry with loads of experience. But just because you claim to be a pro doesn’t mean your audience know it yet. Help them build trust in your business by showing them how great you are.
You can do this via informative blogs, how-to videos, white papers, Instagram Reels featuring tips… the options are vast.
Make an effort to network with others in your industry, feature on relevant podcasts, write guest posts, answer questions on Reddit or Quora, anything to build your reputation and add value to your customers.
You have heard me mention before that people, like doing business with people.
So, putting a human face against your business will do wonders for building trust. And the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on professional headshots or branding sessions. You can actually take your own photos with just a smartphone!
Find out how to do that (and more) in my Pro Selfies Masterclass. In this class you will learn how to refresh your brand headshots in a day.