If you want to be trusted, you need to meet customers where they are, and you need to speak their language. Talking about ME ME ME won’t get you there – you need to be focused on your customers and clients.
How do we do that? Let’s break it down!
What sets you apart? Why should I choose to go to your business over your competitors? What do you do that you are the most proud of? Once you can answer those questions, you have the base of your message.
Who is your audience? Without an unlimited budget, you can’t pick “Everyone” because each audience segment needs special attention. You have to figure out exactly who you’re talking to before you start talking…and especially before you spend money amplifying your message.
Determine demographics of up to three client “avatars” – make up pretend people, give them names, make it fun! Then decide where you’re most likely to find those people online.
Once you know where your people are and what you want to tell them, it’s time for tactics. Your audience measures trust in the digital marketplace by three main tokens:
1 Reviews and Recommendations: Negative reviews can benefit you if they’er handled well. They’re the first stop for just about every potential customer, so how you reply/respond will often be the only thing they need to decide whether to work with you or not. Reply promptly, professionally, and completely – and remember it’s not about saving that sale, it’s about the impact on every other person who hits your site. (And remember you can’t fix unreasonable people, and that’s ok.)
2 Human Connection: Show your face! We respond to people much more quickly and positively than we do faceless brands. Be the people behind the brand and watch your sales increase (without changing anything else.) Take lots of behind the scenes pics, do weekly videos, and let us into your world.
3 Power of Personality: We are all online looking for “our people” and we all want to know that we connect on a deep level with the people we give money to – even if that connection is simply a shared sense of humour. So be real, be yourself (even if that’s not everyone’s cup of tea) and let those who are aligned with you find you.
Once your website and social media are running smoothly, you’re ready to jump into other areas. How else does the public measure trust?
Email marketing is a great resource, but can be way too easily abused. To stay on the right side of your potential customers, always, always, always lead with value. Give before you get. Always give us a reason to smile when we open your emails, and make sure there’s extra surprises in there for those that open them. Special offers, ways to save money, ways to avoid paying money by DIY’ing stuff – those are all great!
Loyalty programs are another fantastic way to get and keep our attention. If your service or product is great, we will be hooked…and rewarding us for that is the best and easiest way to make sure our loyalty never wavers. Figure out what you’re willing to pay to keep a client, and run with it!
What doesn’t work?
If you feel like you’ve tried everything, even the stuff on this list and you’re still not getting anywhere, the problem likely arises from what you should be stopping rather than something new to start.
So what doesn’t work?
Trying to sell to everyone. No matter what you think, your market is not every person ever, so be specific about those you are trying to impress an attain and be ready to turn down everyone that doesn’t fit the bill.
SALE! SALE! SALE! No one likes being yelled at on social media (or anywhere) and no one wants to feel like a walking wallet. If all you’re doing is selling, you will find yourself talking to no one…or competing on price alone. Not great for growing and scaling businesses.
Inconsistency in either timing or message. If your website is formal and brand-heavy and you’re all up on Facebook Lives cracking jokes and being silly, well, that’s a disconnect and that’s a hard thing to overcome. Be yourself everywhere. And be good with being you, exactly as you are.