As a business coach, I help many women entrepreneurs create new businesses, new service offerings and new products everyday. I find that entrepreneurs are so passionate about serving the people they want to help and so excited about their ideas for products and services, that they completely forget about a really important part of building a business: building trust.
Building trust sounds boring and unprofitable. Trust doesn’t exactly sound like something you could pay a mortgage with or go on a trip to Fiji with. But I assure you, it is.
As an online entrepreneur, trust is your currency. If you don’t have it, you don’t have a viable business.
The reason why so many entrepreneurs moan and groan at the thought of having to build trust is it’s not fast. Building trust takes time. Lots of it. It also takes showing up consistently, as your true, real self. It means you have to stop hiding and start putting yourself in a vulnerable position in order to be trusted.
If you are not showing up, consistently, as your true self, no one will know you. And if they don’t know you, they don’t trust you. And if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
There are some ways to build trust faster with your ideal clients so that they trust you with their dollars, and more importantly their futures, their secrets, their businesses, their health, their numbers, their problems. Because that’s why they are giving you their money, so that you can solve a very real problem that they are experiencing.
Here are three ways to build trust with your potential customers faster:
- Show them what you got … repeatedly. You have to show your people that you know what the hell you're are talking about and you have to do it all the time, so they don’t forget. Most entrepreneurs already know this, but you probably aren’t doing it. If you want people to buy from you, then show them that you know how to solve their problem and preferably do so every week. You can do this in the form of a newsletter or use other mediums such as: regularly speaking at places where your clients gather, podcasts, blogs, videos on YouTube, webinars, white papers shared with professional associations, etc. Whatever you do, don't wait. Start today. If you want your clients to pay you for solving their problem, first you have to start solving their problem fa free. Every single week. The sooner you solve a small problem for them for free, then the sooner they will trust you to solve even bigger problems for a fee.
- Show them that other people trust you. Here’s how social proof really works: your clients trust certain institutions, businesses and people, those institutions, businesses or people vouch for you, and voila! — you’re trustworthy (mind you, this is the beginning of trust, it must grow from there a la point #1). So how do you acquire social proof? By asking the people who trust you, and who your client’s trust, to vouch for you. That means always asking your clients for testimonials and putting them where your potential clients can see them. Now. The sooner you've got testimonials everywhere, the sooner the cash starts rolling in. Also, ask the institutions, businesses and people that your potential client’s trust to vouch for you — by being published by them, partnering with them, working with them (yes, hire the influencers that you want to vouch for you, once they’ve worked with you, they can), or otherwise serving them so they have an opportunity to know you and vouch for you.
- Be legit. And by be legit, I mean be a real business. Actually commit to your business and commit to your offerings. Have a proper business entity and contracts at the ready when you acquire a new client. Have a professional website with proper disclaimers, terms and conditions and privacy policies posted. Show your potential clients that you are serious about this whole business thing and it’s not a fly by night operation that will be gone tomorrow. Legitimacy builds trust. This is why folks have no problem walking into a brick and mortar business they’ve never been to before to spend money. Because the bricks and mortar show a commitment. As an entrepreneur building trust via the web, being legit is how you can show the same level of commitment.
Busy yourself with building trust among your potential clients and you won’t have a problem selling your products and services when the time comes. You will also seriously separate yourself from the rest of the online entrepreneurs who your potential customers fear will take their money and run.