How to build trust and credibility in your brand
Almost every business owner I talk to wants to be seen as trustworthy within their business. Rightfully so, since you want customers to view you as the expert, trust your expertise, pay you what you’re worth, and trust that you’re going to deliver what you say you will.
It usually takes time to build that trust with a potential customer. On average, it takes a customer seven touchpoints before making a purchase. Meaning, they need to see, hear, and read about a product or service seven times before making an investment. Trust doesn’t just happen overnight, and it takes time to build that trust over the seven touchpoints.
In a service-based business, clients want to trust that you’re the expert. That you know, understand, and can deliver on a service that they don’t really understand, and don’t want to spend the time learning. By hiring you for this service, whether that’s photography, copywriting, social media, event planning, interior design services, etc., they likely know little to nothing about it, and want you to educate them and walk them through every step.
What does this have to do with your brand? Well, we know that branding is a huge piece of your business and it touches on things like your client experience, how you talk about yourself, your services, and your visuals like your logo, social media etc. You can have everything set up perfectly within your brand, with a logo and visual style that attracts your ideal clients, you could have your service packages figured out, your Instagram game on point. But none of that means anything if your clients don’t trust you. Because at the end of the day, if they don’t trust that you know what you’re doing, and are going to deliver on your promises, they aren’t going to hire you.
How do you get customers to see you as the expert, and trust that you know what you’re doing? As a service-based business, there are four easy steps to build that trust and be seen as an expert.
How to build trust + credibility in your brand
Creating a blog on your website is by far the best way to showcase your knowledge in your industry. It’s a place to showcase your expertise by writing about the very topic your client is about to hire you for. One of the biggest myths is believing that if you give away all your knowledge, no one will actually hire you for it. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When your potential clients see how much you actually know on the topic, they instantly put you on a higher pedestal, and instead think, if they’re giving away this much information for free, what do they give away when you actually hire them.
If a blog isn’t feasible for your business, you can display this content in another way instead. Think about how you can share this kind of high quality content on your social media platforms. Creating an email newsletter is another great option. Give away your best content for your email subscribers and entice people to sign up for your newsletters, knowing that’s where they’re going to get the best information.
Anticipate their every need
This also ties into the content piece, but I’ve separated it because I think it’s a very important step in the process of being seen as trustworthy. As the expert in your industry, you need to show your potential clients that you know every aspect of your process and can answer any question they may have. If you anticipate their every need before they even know they have it, you’ve gained their trust.
Think about eating at a restaurant, the mark of a good server is that they anticipate your needs before you even have to ask. Your drinks are topped off or refilled without even asking, you’re given extra napkins when you make a spill because they’ve noticed from across the room. If you’ve ever had amazing service, they’ve likely done a few of these things.
It’s very similar in your business. When you answer your potential clients' questions without them having to ask, you increase your credibility and trust. This can be done in the form of an FAQ section on your website, or on a pricing page. It can be through those first few inquiry emails where they are asking for details of working with you. It can be done in a welcome package where you are walking them through every step of working with you. Think about the questions you get over and over again about your industry or process, and start building content from it, or creating a document that can be sent to new clients outlining everything.
What is social proof exactly? The easiest way to implement this is through testimonials. Ask your past clients for feedback from working with you, or for a candid testimonial in their own words. This is something that should be done with every single client! I cannot stress this enough, it should be built into your process and system. Automatically after every project, a form should be sent where someone can leave you a review, either on a platform like google or facebook, or just written where you can copy onto your website.
Once you have a few collected, you should be adding these to your website, social media etc. On your website, it can go anywhere where it’s going to get the most visibility like your homepage, services page, about page etc. You can use it as social media content as well to boost your credibility!
Social proof is important because it builds that trust and credibility that you are a professional business owner who knows their craft, and will deliver what’s promised. It shows potential clients that you’ve not only been hired by other business owners, but that you’ve done an amazing job and made your client very happy.
This one is last on the list because it is likely the last step someone would take before officially hiring you. The other three trust-building techniques all help you actually get that inquiry, while this last one happens right after you get the inquiry.
Overall, it should be easy and streamlined to work with you. Your client should never have to ask: okay, what’s next? You should be anticipating every single question, and next step in working with you, and informing or communicating with your client before they have to ask about it.
Streamlining your process also means having a simple on-boarding system. Something that can easily send contracts, invoices, process payments and inform your client of what happens next once all of that happens. Luckily, there are so many great resources out there to help you like Dubsado (the one I use and love), Honeybook, 17 Hats, etc.
When your process is streamlined and easy to follow, your client is able to trust you. They know that you’re going to take care of them, make it easy to work with you, and deliver on your project.
Building trust and credibility will ensure that potential clients see you as the professional, as the expert who is going to take care of them, deliver what they are expecting, and walk them through the entire process. It is one of the most important pieces for ensuring that you are actually getting hired.