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, your direction and perhaps eventually even want to purchase your products or services? Especially when you’re first starting out and don’t have a lot of testimonials from lead players in the industry backing you up? How can you show your audience 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.
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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.
This holds true in all niches whether you’re a life-coach, personal consultant, yoga instructor, CPA, financial advisor, or bonsai tree expert.
You’re a professional blogger and you want to share your blogging wisdom? Why should they follow your advice and not the advice of 2,500 other ‘experts’ out there?
How can you truly connect with your readers in the midst of so much competition?
There’s a lot of noise out there. We’re in the age of videos, webinars, infographics, podcasts, articles and social media overfloweth from every angle.
And a whole heck of a lot of amazing info AND OVER $7,000 WORTH OF INFORMATION is offered online now in THE HIVE.
Nonetheless, people (your audience) still want and need to be heard. They seek you out with a specific problem to be resolved.
How are you able to go about doing this in age when anyone can just ‘google’ the answer to anything?
Forums like Quora and others exist because people are still looking for an answer that is dedicated solely for them. Not just a run in the mill generic response.
In a personal relationship we want to be heard, ‘seen’ and understood by our partners, yes? Not just superficially. And the same is true in business relationships.
The trust component in the business relationship is where so many are lacking. And this is where we can fall short.
The only way to ever get a true following is if you build a true connection with your readers and your customers.
And there are several ways to do this. The first and foremost is to listen. Then ask questions, listen to the answers that come your way and listen some more.
Introduction to Building Trust ONLINE
- 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 purchase””. – This can be very confusing and disheartening.
- The reason you are not making money or conversions is because you have fundamentally misunderstood how making money online works.
- I am going to teach you what that misunderstanding and disconnect is, and tell you what tools and ideas you can use to fix it.
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.
Once you have a solid understand of your audience’s pain points and their intents you can build appropriate content to address that.
Build Trust with Readers through High Quality Emails
- Millionaire affiliates recommend the idea from Wealthy Affiliate that the way to double your income is by getting rid of banners and replacing them with opt-in forms.
- Email marketing builds trust because people read your emails. Hopefully. That is if you have catchy headlines that generate an interest, a want and a need that they have. When your audience receives regular, high-quality emails that are useful, they will eventually grow to trust you. On the contrary, send out many spammy type emails watch your subscription rate go down fast.
- Replace banners with email newsletter opt-in forms. Use opt-in freebies to encourage people to sign up.
- EXAMPLE: In Wealthy Affiliate, which is an online platform designed for affiliate marketers the owner, 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. They offer this advice for FREE which builds up faith and confidence in their members.
- At SBH we offer a Mega Library of opt ins – 13 FREE PDF resources to help educate you with blogging tips, copywriting strategies, SEO guides, social media resources, email marketing templates and other ways to build your online business.
- 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? Again by listening and by asking questions. You can send quizzes in emails, short fun surveys, promote contests to see what peaks their interests. Tagging readers is an option and this way you can view what peaked certain readers the most and which emails bombed.
- 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
Always include your full contact details in your email. Don’t just mention your email address. Also include your business’s address, phone number and social media accounts.
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.
Include Testimonials to Gain Trust
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 Head Shot
Don’t use a photo from your camera phone. A professional image goes a long way. Sorry! I’m guilty of this – I will get there soon!
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 a 5-9 seconds before your reader makes a decision about yours.
Your website should not only be appealing to look at but it should contain elements of functionality that steer them in a certain direction.
A poorly designed website is a reflection on you and your business. It’s like walking into a messy shop. What do you do? Head right back out!
Include calls to action, testimonials, authoritative statements that make it clear that you are the one they need to do the job!
A well designed website can practically do the selling for you!
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.
Providing quality content that your target audience desires is the number one way to building trust and getting them to reference you time and again for the answers they’re looking for.
Following up on questions posed to you on social media accounts is another crucial 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.
This is another key way to find out what your readers are actually interested in therefore providing you with more essential content ideas.
The bottom line is be human and treat people as you would like to be treated.
Don’t forget to ask questions of your audience and your readership and listen, listen, listen to the feedback they give you.
There within will lie all of the answers to which you are seeking:)
If you’re not seeking the traffic you need a blog audit can help reveal the gaps in your website/blog and provide you with actionable steps for moving forward – join the HIVE for more information.