To build a personal brand of trust and authority in any niche requires that you do something that you may feel uncomfortable with: Get to a point where your visitors feel as though they know you intimately and personally.
When you are developing a friendship with someone, you share personal information with that person. You treat them as a confidant. Your customers and clients need to be treated the same way. By developing this relationship, you are putting yourself into a position of trust where they will listen to you.
When you give a recommendation, they feel more confident that you are offering them a bonafide solution to a problem they are having. I mean Think about it: who would you be more likely to listen to in regards to buying a product – a friend or an advert?
The answer is the friend and that’s because we feel as though we know them and thus can trust their judgement. If you can be seen in the same way, then your suggestions will carry much more clout and you will seem much more persuasive.
For myself, I found this to be extremely difficult because I am a private person. Also, because I am very much aware of my weaknesses and fallacies. Negative self-talk is something that goes through my head a lot of times.
In fact, the reason why I have not moved my business forward further than I have is because I feared having people get to know me. I was afraid that if people were to get to know me then they would not want to learn from me because I make a lot of mistakes in my life.
These and many more questions and concerns go through my head constantly but I have learned a lot of valuable lessons in regards to building trust and authority with my clients and customers.
So how do you go about establishing this sense of trust and of knowing? Here are a few options…
Write in the First Person
The first tip is to occasionally write in the first person. Conventional business dictates that you write and talk in the third person in all your correspondence and trainings. It is supposed to give you an air of professionalism and authority.
The problem with this, that I have found, is that people want to feel like they are cared about and want to know that you have their interests in mind, ahead of your own in most cases. Use ‘I’s and ‘Me’s and generally write as though you’re talking to that person. By doing this, you are INVESTING emotionally into that person, even though you have never met them.
You may or may not remember this movie, “You’ve Got Mail”, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starring. The movie is about the two main characters getting to know each other via email when dial-up internet was just becoming a big thing. The two characters end up falling in love because they emotionally invested in each other through email.
Now, I am not saying that you need to fall in love with your customers and clients but becoming emotionally involved in their lives and allowing them to become involved in your life will develop an atmosphere of trust and authority. This is exactly what you want.
So simply be you. Be open and talk about yourself in your content and about your experiences.
And don’t just write in first person, make sure you’re being honest too. If you have concerns about a product, then say it. Not only does this fill in your personality but it also shows that you’re willing to ‘tell it how it is’. The same goes for talking about issues in your personal life which is a bonus of making you more relatable.
When I discuss this aspect of being relatable, the marketer that comes to my mind, that embodies relatable, is Tiffany Lambert. Tiffany is a wonderful woman because she is so open about who she is and how she works in her business.
She talks about her kids and her challenges and what she plans for dinner that day. She is relatable to people because they see that she is a real person and has struggles but still has a very successful online business. It is easier for her to teach and promote to her list of subscribers/customers/clients; in fact, she has one of the highest conversion rates when she promotes something.
It all stems from her honesty and her willingness to be open about her business and herself.
Including images of yourself is a great way to help people feel as though they’re getting to know you. If you’re writing about the benefits of a certain exercise, then why not include an image of you performing that exercise? This is also a good way to get graphics for your site without paying for stock images.
How does that make you feel, knowing that you should put pictures of yourself in your content or products?
The first thing that always came to MY mind when I was told to do that was “I am not that egotistical!” My second thought was “Why would someone want to see a picture of me?”
I have had to think about this quite a bit and I had concluded that I was full of myself already. I was already egotistical because I was only thinking about myself. I was not thinking about what it would do for other people. It was always about myself and not about helping the other people.
The whole point of being an entrepreneur is to bring value to the marketplace. If you only think of yourself, then you will be hampered in providing value to the marketplace. Be a real person to those you are trying to provide value to, be someone to whom they can relate.
Go on Camera
Better yet is to put yourself on the camera. If you are confident enough, then going on YouTube is a great way to reach a larger audience in a way that will leave a more lasting impression.
People want to see your struggle. They want to know that they are not alone and if you are only putting forth a perfect persona, then they will not want to learn from you because they won’t believe that they were capable to do what you do.
I am hoping that you see the central theme to getting your customers/visitors to know you. Being open and honest about yourself and your journey is the surest way to get visitors and customers to truly know you. Putting images and video inside your content and posts helps to put a name to a face and gives a physical manifestation to who they are learning from.
People do want to trust you. They do want to believe everything that you are teaching them. BUT they want to know that you are a real person. They want to know that the trials and difficulties, that they are going through, can be overcome and they can succeed.
Your personal brand will always depend on the amount of openness and honesty that you give to those that follow you. Do you want a strong brand? Then be more accessible and relatable to your visitors and customers and you will achieve your goal.
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