How to Build Trust With Your Online Audience
Building any type of relationship takes time, effort, diligence and sacrifice. This holds true whether of a personal or professional nature. But how do you win the trust with your skeptical online audience? What are some ways you can get your audience to believe in you, follow your advice and direction and perhaps eventually want to purchase your products or services? Especially when you’re first starting out? How can you show them that you are to be trusted online? After all, trust cannot, nor should not, be automatically established.
“Knowledge is great. Competence is great. But the combination of both encourages people to trust you and increases your powers of enchantment”.
~ Guy Kawasaki
The harsh reason why you’re not making the money you want online yet, is quite simple. The reason is that you have not built yourself up enough to be a qualified authority and a known expert in your niche. Yet.
This post contains some affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more details. If you decide to purchase anything you will incur no additional costs.
You will not make an impact on your readers and cause them to immediately convert and go to you time and time again as the expert of choice unless you prove yourself in your realm of expertise.
After all, you have to pay your dues.
Whether you’re a lifecoach, personal consultant, weight loss expert, CPA, financial advisor, etc.
You’re an expert blogger and you want to teach others to blog? Why should they follow your advice and not the advice of 500 other ‘experts’ out there?
How can you truly connect with your readers in the midst of so much competition?
There’s so much noise out there. Videos, podcasts, articles and social media overflowing.
People still want and need to be heard. They want their problems to be resolved, their issues understood. How are you able to go about doing this in age when anyone can just ‘google’ the answer to anything?
Yet forums like Quora and others exist because people still are looking for an answer that is dedicated solely to them.
In a personal relationship you want to be heard by your partner. And ‘seen’ and understood, hopefully by the other. Not just superficially. And the same is true in business.
The only way you’ll ever get a true following is if you build a true connection with your readers and your customers. And the way to do this is to listen. Ask questions, listen to the answers that come your way and listen some more.
- In this blog post, I am going to answer the questions on your mind: “Why am I not making money online” and “Why isn’t my website converting?”
- Occasionally, someone will take action but make no money. This can be very confusing and disheartening.
- The reason they are not making money or conversions is because they have fundamentally misunderstood how making money online works.
- I am going to teach you what that misunderstanding is, and tell you what tools you should use to fix it.
You Need to Build a Real Relationship with your Readership
- The biggest mistake wannabe Internet marketers make is that they do not build a relationship with their readership.
- They mistakenly think that creating a niche blog with random blog posts related to the subject will make them money.
- They put banners on the website, hoping visitors will click on them.
- Even if people click on banners, the traffic won’t convert because the traffic is cold.
- To make money, the website needs to build a relationship with the reader so they will ultimately trust your recommendations.
The Easiest Way to Build Trust with Readers is through High Quality Emails
- Millionaire affiliates recommend in Wealthy Affiliate that the way to double your income was by getting rid of banners and replacing them with opt-in forms.
- Email marketing builds trust because people read their emails. When they receive regular, high-quality emails that are useful, they will grow to trust you.
- Replace banners with email newsletter opt-in forms. Use opt-in freebies to encourage people to sign up.
- EXAMPLE: In Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle provides personalized one on one advice as well as an entire community of internet marketers with various levels of skills —to help with the journey to develop a successful internet marketing career.
- We offer 4 special opt ins – one is a SEO checklist of multiple ways to enhance your SEO for your website, 300 popular Pinterest groups, 40 recommended FB groups and a checklist of resources to promote your blog and website that are out of the ‘normal’ areas of typical recommendation.
- When readers get more than they expected, their trust will grow.
- Always give more than what is expected.
“You cannot buy trust at any price. But slowly, over time, you can build it for free”.
~ Jeffrey Gitomer
How to Write Emails that Build Trust
- To build trust, readers need to feel like you care about them. They want to know that you hear and understand their problems. How can you do this? By asking questions. By listening. Truly.
- If you send too many hard-sell emails, readers will feel used. Hard-sell emails are written to promote a product—and do not provide high-quality content that they can use.
- For every 1–2 hard-sell emails, send 3–4 soft-sell emails first. This builds a relationship.
- Soft-sell emails are basically high-quality articles emailed directly to them, with a brief product recommendation put at the start and end.
- PROOF/EXAMPLE: in Wealthy Affiliate, the year-long email autoresponder sequences have 3–4 soft-sell emails for each 1–2 hard-sell emails he sends.
- If readers receive quality emails before they are directly marketed too, then they will be less skeptical, as you have proved you know about the niche.
Here are more ways to build trust among your readership:
Include Full Contact Details
Just seeing your contact information listed in the email will provide a sense of confidence to subscribers. I hate when I go to look at the contact info of a website and see nothing there.
Feels completely sketchy to me!
Use a Recognizable Sender Name
Another helpful tip for establishing greater trust with your subscribers is to use the same recognizable sender name throughout all of your marketing emails.
If you constantly switch between different sender names, it can lead to confusion among your subscribers, at which point they may view your brand as being less trustworthy.
The bottom line is that you should stick with a single, recognizable sender name with all your emails. Wisestamp is very helpful for this. And it’s free.
Include Brand Elements
A good marketing email should include all of the key brand elements, such as your name, tagline, logo, color scheme, etc.
While there’s no rule stating that you must include brand elements in your marketing emails, doing so will instill greater trust and confidence in your subscribers. In other words, it’s better if your company colors, font, logo and style all have a cohesive look across your marketing channels.
Have you received any positive comments from past customers or clients? If so, you should consider using them in your emails as testimonials (note: ask the customer for permission beforehand).
Studies have shown that consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, attesting to the power of testimonials.
Send Mobile-Friendly Emails
When crafting your marketing emails, make sure they are compatible on both desktop computers AND mobile devices.
Nearly half of all emails are opened on a smart phone, tablet or another mobile device. To boost conversions and instill greater trust in your readers, always make sure your emails are mobile friendly.
Provide a Money Back Guarantee
This shows confidence in your product or service.
Use a Professional Headshot
Don’t use a photo from your camera phone. A professional image goes a long way.
Use Symbols of Trust
Seals of approval and authorized badges from reputable sources and other brands or businesses show credibility.
Have a Professional Website
Online businesses are judged immediately by their website. You have about an 1/8th of a second before your reader makes a decision about yours.
If you need to update your website go here.
Improve all Grammar and Spelling Errors
A website with typos looks really terrible. With apps like Grammarly available, there’s no excuse.
These are just some of the ways to build trust with your readers. Naturally, bloggers and online business owners can always improve upon this.
Following up on questions posed to you on social media accounts is another really important thing to do. Nobody likes or ever wants to feel ignored. A good response rate is vital as your readers are actively waiting for your answers.
Read my review of Affilorama vs Wealthy Affiliate the two behemoths in the Affiliate Marketing boxing ring to see which one works best for your style if you’re interested in learning about Affiliate Marketing.
They both offer legitimate ways to earn money through affiliate marketing.
I’ve tried both and honestly, they’re both quite different so it really depends upon the individual’s style of learning.
They both offer a free trial this will give you a chance to decide without making a commitment.
The model feels like it could use some updating in style alone, (She has done this since this post was written) but the basic formula and techniques still hold true and strong and teach you how to make a good income online through affiliate marketing.
Don’t forget to ask questions of your audience and your readership and listen, listen to the feedback they give you. There within will lie all of the answers to which you are seeking:)
Send me your biggest frustrations having to do with or blog or website and I’ll respond with my personal advice!