There’s an old saying about trust that goes something like this, “Trust is earned over years, but lost in seconds.”
This is especially true if you run an online business. If you aren’t consciously avoiding the common traps that many online entrepreneurs fall into, you can ruin your brand’s reputation permanently in a matter of minutes.
My goal is to make sure that this never happens to you. With a few simple tips, you can ensure that your personal or company brand inspires trust.
1. Focus On Your Image
I mean this literally. If you want to inspire trust right off the bat, you have to take the time to build a website that is visually stunning and easy to navigate.
Most people will not take the time to research your brand or delve into your personal history. Instead, they are going to base their perception of you and your company almost entirely off of your site’s first impression.
I cannot tell you how many times I have exited out of a site that might have had amazing content simply because it was poorly designed.
While it is true that you can have a great looking site and a terrible content, if you have a beautiful, trendy design, customers will assume you can be trusted unless you prove them otherwise.
Put the time and effort into your website’s aesthetics and design, and it will pay dividends over time in the form of loyal customers.
2. Utilize the Power of Social Proof through Testimonial
One of the quickest ways to improve the trustworthiness of your brand is to showcase testimonials on your site from satisfied customers.
Even if the customer has never met the person endorsing your product, the simple fact that you have served customers who enjoyed your work enough to give their seal of approval works psychological magic.
This is also a great tactic to use on a sales page if your product has been out for a while or had some beta users who love it.
3. Utilize the Power of Social Proof through Other Well Known Brands
Another easy way to improve the reputation of your site is to use the power of recognized brands as a form of endorsement.
For example, if you have written an article for or been mentioned by the Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Mashable or another big name in the online world, include an “As Featured In” section on your website with these companies’ logos.
Or, if you have worked directly big name clients like Expedia, Yahoo, or Linkedin, make sure that this information is easily visible either on your home or services page.
4. Show Off Your Accolades
If you have been awarded any sort of recognition from another company (preferably a recognizable brand), then including a list of your accomplishments is a fantastic way to gain instant trust.
Who would you be more willing to invest with, a consulting firm with a great website and testimonials, or a consulting firm with a great website, testimonials, and an award from The Huffington Post naming them one of the top 50 consulting startups of 2016?
5. Offer Guaranteed Refunds
Even if you have done everything I have suggested so far, customers may still be a little hesitant the first time they buy a product from you.
An easy way to build trust and show confidence in your product is to offer a no strings attached refund.
This will give the customer peace of mind knowing that they have the option to get their money back if they aren’t 100% thrilled with what you are selling.
6. Offer Free Trials
Think about companies like Spotify, Quick Sprout, and Netflix. What do all of them have in common, apart from their wild success?
They all offer free trials.
One of the quickest ways to gain a customer’s trust is to offer them your services free of charge, having absolute confidence in what you are selling and knowing that once they try your work, they will never want to live without it.
7. Prioritize Your Audience
Whenever you are creating content, whether it is in the form of a blog or a video, always relate things back to your audience, being sure to use the word “you” as much as possible.
You want to always put your focus on your audience as much as possible. It will make things feel more personable, build more trust, and ultimately result in more sales for you.
8. Be Worthy of Their Trust
Without this step, everything else in this article is absolutely useless.
It doesn’t matter if you have recommendations from all of the top names, hundreds of testimonials, and the best looking website out there, if you willingly and knowingly betray your customers trust at any point in your business’s life, it will come back to bite you and haunt you for years.
If you want to build trust, then do what you say you are going to do, always deliver on your promises, and never let the temptation of a short term gain outweigh the need for long term trust and respect.
Gaining trust in a world full of frauds and fakes is not easy, but it is possible. It takes hard work on your part and a commitment to quality and integrity.
But if you’re willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary, you will earn more than money. You will earn thousands and thousands of raving fans who trust, love, and support you and your company.
That’s something money can’t buy.
Got a trustworthy brand? What did you do to make it that way?