5 Essentials for Brand Trust & Credibility
As anyone who has ever started up a business will tell you, trust and credibility don’t happen overnight. You need to define your goals and services and consistently deliver results to your audience to gain credibility. This can be a long process, but with the following 5 things set up, you can speed it up and build solid brand trust and credibility much quicker.
1. User Generated Content
One of the first things people will look for when deciding whether or not to trust your business is praise from other customers. This can come in the form of written testimonials, video case studies or even links to Trustpilot. Testimonials show prospective buyers that you are the real deal and are actually capable of delivering on your promises.
A few things to note to ensure your testimonials look real and authentic (because let’s face it, we’ve all seen some suspicious 5 star reviews in our time) so no one takes you for a scammer.
- Try and use photos and links to customers websites wherever possible. This shows prospective clients that this is a real person and not just made up hype. It’s also great for SEO - win/win!
- Truncate, but don’t edit. It’s absolutely fine to use snippets of reviews rather than full paragraphs, but don’t manipulate the reviews to sound better or more flattering. People can sniff out a fabrication a mile off, and if there’s any doubts about the validity of your reviews your reputation will suffer.
- Consider third party. Trustpilot reviews can work well for a lot of businesses, as can Google reviews. They allow less room for editing or fabricating, so if you have consistently high reviews on one of these platforms, this can be a fabulous indication of your credibility.
2. Multiple Touchpoints
The vast majority of credible businesses aren’t running solely on Instagram. In order to come across as legitimate and trustworthy you’ll need your own website and a couple of social media profiles as a minimum. Facebook and Instagram profiles can cross-post, so if you don’t have time to manage multiple accounts this could be a great option for easy content creation.
As well as an online presence, why not try some local networking events? Plenty of successful businesses run perfectly well without much in-person interaction, so introverts need not panic! But face-to-face networking can be a brilliant way of getting your name into the local community quickly without any question of your authenticity.
3. Respectable Contact Options
We’re children of the 90’s, so we understand the cringe-factor of being stuck with an email address like Xx-saucy-chick-xX@hotmail.com but your business is absolutely not the place to use it! In an ideal world, you’ll have your own domain and an email address linked to that domain (like email@example.com which is ours) but if you’re just starting out and this isn’t an option, firstname.lastname@example.org will work just fine too. Just make sure it’s professional and relevant to the business!
While the days of needing a landline are long gone, consider how you use the phone to contact clients. Texting and Whatsapp are a great option for friendly chats, but are they the best way to conduct a sales conversation?
4. Clear & Intentional Brand Voice
It’s hard to know exactly what to post online when you’re just getting started and this can lead to temptations to share any/all content available to you. This can lead to an online presence that feels higgledy-piggledy at best and spammy at worst. You don’t want anyone to mistake your brand for a meme account!
Instead, think about your audience and what value you want to provide them with. From here, define your main content pillars and tone of voice so you can deliver consistent high quality content. Sharing other people’s content and memes are absolutely fine when part of a wider content strategy (humour can be a fantastic way to connect with your audience) but it shouldn’t be your only source of content.
5. A Consistent Sales Strategy
In order for customers to trust you and believe in what you do, they need to really understand exactly what it is you offer. Think about the problems you solve and the value you bring to your audience and craft a solid offer suite around this. If you find yourself constantly pivoting your target market or changing up what your business offers, it may be time to sit down and have a think about your strategy. No one is going to feel comfortable buying from you if you don’t appear organised, intentional and consistent, so try and focus on these things.
This isn’t to say it’s not ok to adapt the way your business works as you go - particularly in the early days - but your business model shouldn’t be constantly chopping and changing. Changing your market focus from restaurant owners to online service providers? Fine. Changing your business from a copywriting agency to a social media agency and back again in the space of a month? Not so much.
If you’re ready to take your business from self-made to brand-famous,
to see how our brand and web design packages can help. We work with colourful young businesses to build online spaces that attract dream clients consistently and leave them buzzing to work with you!