When you build trust online, you’re also building new opportunities for your brand to connect with folks who are eager to do business with you. Certainly, those who might want to purchase your products and services, but don’t forget those who would want to subscribe to your email list, follow you on social media, or spread the word about you among their own friends.
Whether you’re a growing business, an online entrepreneur, or a working professional, there is no doubt that in order to achieve any degree of long-term success, you must take the time to build trust with your customers– your target audience.
Once you’ve positioned yourself as a trustworthy authority in your marketplace, you will be amazed at just how easy your business grows (and how fast your profits increase).
How do you build trust online for your own brand?
For the most part, trust is built online by establishing a sincere and personal connection with your target audience. This can be done in many different ways such as through email marketing, instant messaging, social networking, and so on. When it comes to building your own online trust there are a few basic areas that you should focus your attention on:
- Creating excellent first impressions.
- Nurturing long-term connections.
- Establishing social proof.
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3 Keys To Building Trust Online
Building trust online doesn’t come easy– it does take a great deal of effort and mindfulness. As a business owner, building trust can easily be seen as an investment towards the growth of the business. Here are three keys to building your brand’s online trust:
Creating excellent first impressions
When doing business online it is extremely important that you make a strong first impression on your potential customers. Most of the time this is done from your website or blog. When they first hit your website you have to make sure that they are presented with a page that looks
professional and is easy to navigate.
Be sure to provide your new visitors with timely and relevant information that will catch their attention immediately. It is also very important that you include multiple ways for them to contact and interact with you. With the multitude of social media tools available today it is extremely easy to open a line of communication with your visitors. Allowing you to connect with them in a way that makes them feel at ease.
Nurturing long-term connections
In today’s crowded marketplace it is more important than ever to focus your attention on building long-term connections with your customers and clients.
While making quick sales is always a nice boost to your bank account the key to long-term success is repeat business.
Repeat business equals stability and the key to getting repeat business is to establish a lasting connection with your customers. when it comes to keeping your customers coming back for more it is important to remember that people buy from people not from companies.
So make sure you let them know that there are real people behind the curtain, so to speak. You can do this by creating an “About Us” page and providing them with the story behind your company, including a proper mission statement and some appropriate business-related photos.
Establishing social proof
Another important factor to consider when building online trust is social proof. Social proof is a great tool for building online credibility and can be a very effective way to develop your company brand, which also helps build trust.
The best way to establish social proof is by using endorsements, testimonials and case studies. They are a great way to verify and demonstrate to your potential customers that your product does what you say it does and that it has helped other people.
A quote from Warren Buffett, investor and business tycoon.
While there are many other ways that you can build trust with your online visitors, if you take the time to focus on making a good first impression, establishing long- term connections and providing social proof you will be sure that you’re building trust and laying a solid foundation for your business to grow on.
How Do I Connect With My Online Visitors?
Building trust online allows you to form a more personal connection with your online visitors.
It’s one thing to make a personal connection with the client or potential customer when you meet them face-to-face. However, it is a completely different thing when you are trying to make that connection online.
Did you know that forming a personal connection with your reader is just as important as the actual content that you provide on your website?
So the big question is; how do you personally connect with them online?
Share Your Brand Story
Don’t be afraid to share personal stories with your website visitors.
Stories can be a powerful tool of persuasion because they automatically create involvement and attract attention from your audience. Let them know about your successes and your failures. Talk about your humble beginnings and your plans for the future of your business.
The key to achieving success by sharing personal stories and experiences is to make sure that the stories you tell are relevant to your business and inspire your reader to take action.
Make sure that your stories are truthful, engaging and straightforward, as not to confuse your readers.
A good brand story makes you more relatable and likeable, winning over new fans and followers for your brand.
You should use hard facts and figures to back up your efforts at storytelling and social proof.
Back Up Your Claims
Do studies and statistics help build trust? Yes, they do!
You can use studies and statistics to increase your credibility and build more trust. Just like social proof and storytelling, studies and statistics can help you build trust and credibility for yourself, your product or your service online.
People like facts and they will be more apt to trust you if you can provide them with statistical data that backs up the claims that your product or service works as well as you say it does.
Using statistics on your website is a great way to reassure your visitors that your product or service will meet their needs and effectively solve their problems. Don’t be afraid to use screenshots, graphs or tables when appropriate to help illustrate the effectiveness of your product or service.
Outside statistics are another great way to help boost the credibility of your own product. Simply do a search online for your industry and you should be able to quickly compile a list of existing statistics and studies to help back up your claims.
Remember: people like proof. So make sure that any outside studies that you include on your webpage or in your email correspondence are relevant to what you are trying to sell. Make sure that you include the source of the original data as well because this will help add even more credibility to your claims.
It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that many people make their decisions based on facts than emotional reactions. Hence, they take their cues from the external information that you provide for them. It’s vital that you have the ability to back up every claim you make on your website and in your email promotions.
Never try to pull the wool over their eyes or provide them with misinformation, because they will find out eventually and even though you might make the initial sale but you will lose the opportunity to obtain a lifetime customer.
Note that the ultimate goal here is to gain trust and build a long-term connection with your online visitors, so present the facts, provide the statistics, keep it honest and you should have no problem making that connection.
Along with telling stories you also have to make sure that you are emotionally engaging your reader. Especially if you want your webpage to do its job and attract more leads for your business. To achieve this you have to appeal to the emotional needs of your visitor.
This can be easier when you are doing business off-line. When you meet a potential client or customer face to face your conversational tone, body language and facial expressions do the job of conveying your emotions to the other person.
The same holds true when you are speaking with a potential client or customer on the phone the variations in the tone of your voice let people know how you’re feeling even when they can’t see your face.
But, did you know that you can also convey emotion in your writing that can just as effectively engage your reader online?
While written communication may not convey emotion as well as face-to-face meetings you can still use it to effectively make a connection with your online visitors.
Remember: while many people make their decisions based on facts, others respond better to a more emotional connection when doing business with you.
Writing to emotionally connect with your readers can be a bit tricky. It takes more time and energy, but it will pay off in more ways than one. Not only will it help you develop a strong connection with your online visitors it will help build trust and loyalty as well.
Don’t panic, writing to connect with your reader emotionally is really just about sharing your passion about the subject with them. This goes back to storytelling. It’s a learned skill that you can master with practice.
Just remember people can tell when you aren’t being truthful and honest, whether you’re speaking with them face-to-face or writing to them on the Internet.
Building Trust Online Brings In New Business
Keep in mind that people only do business with brands that they know, like, and trust.
Why should you invest all this time and all these resources in building online trust? Because people do business with brands that they know, like, and trust.
Building trust can help you create avenues for engaging with folks who would want to do business with you– such as allowing you to collect an email database full of eager, potential customers.
These days it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to collect email addresses from your website visitors. People are more resistant and less willing to share their personal information as they were a few years ago. This is mostly because they are afraid they are going to be bombarded with email advertisements.
So the big question is, how do you overcome this fear?
The answer is simple. You have to prove to them that you are worthy of their trust.
Note building trust online is a vital part of achieving success and when it comes to getting your site visitors to trust you enough to share their email address with you there are a few essential things you should keep in mind.
What’s in it for them?
First and foremost, people want to know what’s in it for them. What do they have to gain by giving you their email address? This is probably the most important question of all when it comes to filling your database with the contact information of potential customers.
If you do a good job of explaining what they will receive in return for giving you their email address you will be ten times more likely to get them to hand over their contact information to if you don’t. Along with explaining what’s in it for them you also have to convey enough
information to convince them of your credibility.
This can be a tricky situation especially when you take into consideration that they don’t know you and it takes time to build a trusting relationship.
The temporary solution to this problem is to make sure that you let them know from the beginning that they will be getting something of value in return. Make sure that you provide it to them as quickly as possible.
Then once you have them in your database you can start building the long-lasting connection with them that we’ve just discussed.
Why should they listen to you?
With so many people claiming to be experts online, it’s no big surprise that people are so skeptical. It’s hard for them to know who to trust, so why should they believe what you say and that you know what you’re talking about? What sets you apart from the million other people selling their wares online?
To overcome this obstacle you can use social proof. As we discussed in your last lesson you can use endorsements, testimonials and case studies. You can also use your story. Don’t be afraid to share your experiences, qualifications and most importantly your results.
What will you do with their email address?
This is another big question. They want to know exactly what their email address will be used for. Make sure you are very clear about this on your webpage. Ensure them that you won’t share it with or sell it to anyone without their permission.
It’s also a good idea to let them know what to expect in terms of how often you will email them. For instance; do you send out updates weekly, biweekly or monthly?
These are just a few simple things that you can do to help alleviate their fear and help them trust you enough to give you their email address.
A Final Word on Building Trust Online
Building trust is such an important part of your online business that it can have a huge impact on your overall and continued success as a brand.
Different folks may have different nuggets of wisdom to offer when it comes to building trust online. But the key takeaway is this: always keep it real.
Building online trust goes hand in hand with building your online presence. Talk to our team at LOJO Marketing today, and let’s discuss your business goals and how LOJO can help you achieve those goals.