As small and medium business owners who majorly rely on the Internet as our medium for conversation, we have many tools to enhance trust with our prospects, even on a small budget. During catastrophes like the pandemic of COVID_19, which have no timelines of when they will end and its far- ending effects, one may not rush to go for advertisements on television, billboards, or celebrity endorsements. We just need to be ourselves and help people, our teams in the company and our customers.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite methods for building trust online –
- By far the best way for us as a company has been Facebook and Linked in. Ever since we opened these platforms we have built trust which has proved to be helpful. If you provide valuable information, answer questions and consistently demonstrate you know what you know over a long period of time, your reputation alone can be enough to convince people to buy from you.
- Content is important, but how you deliver content is critical as well. While it’s great to provide helpful information, if it’s wrapped in a boring or impersonal style, or people can’t easily find it, or you use mediums that aren’t popular, you’re not helping your cause.
- Make mistakes. Humans make mistakes, and if you show people what you did wrong and then how you fixed it, this helps create more trust. Okay, this might seem silly, and I don’t want you to deliberately go out there and make mistakes, but understand through the course of business you are bound to make some mistakes. Rather than hide them, you should highlight them. It’s much worse if you never admit to mistakes, or try and place the blame elsewhere, or even lie about what you did – this will reduce trust. Sometimes a comment to address this from someone may come and a polite response back is advisable.
- Serve your customers really well, so much so that they feel challenged whenever someone challenges you. Defending yourself when someone attacks you online is okay, but when your army of loyal followers come to your defense, that’s much more credible.
The central themes are transparency and a genuine desire to help people. If you follow these two very basic principles as your ethos, and use tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other mediums where your people congregate (use the language and media that your people currently use), it’s difficult to go wrong.
The only way you can fail at this is by not taking action (failing to have any voice at all), or creating a false voice, because people can smell a scam, even when it’s not there, so you need to prove your legitimacy proactively.
In the end not everyone is going to trust you, but if you do this right, for every one person who is suspicious of your actions, another ten are loving what you do and trusting you more each day.