Trust is the New Oxygen

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Our lives depend on taking in oxygen day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, second to second. It is part of who we are, for without it we cannot exist at all.

In the business world, trust is the new oxygen. Maybe it used to be pricing, or quality, or even technology — but not anymore. Now, more than all else, consumers want to do business with brands that they can fully and completely rely on. 

Don’t believe me? One study found that 62% of consumers stay loyal to brands they can trust, 53% will buy from them first, and 51% will actively advocate for them. 

Those are huge numbers, and they tell a clear story: trust is essential for a brand’s growth and sustainability.

Now the question becomes: How can you build trust within your consumer base? Here are 4 suggestions that can help:

trust

Consistent Engagement

Part of building trust is staying visible. Once you have a following, you need to be present, to stay in front of them. Not only will this keep your brand top of mind, but it will also, gradually, increase your consumers’ trust level.

Regularly post on your social media accounts. Take questions, and follow up promptly. Encourage feedback from your current and previous customers. 

Stay engaged with your audience, and they will be more likely to stay engaged with you.

Take Ownership

Confucius once said: “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.” The point is that individuals and organizations alike will often make a mistake, but then try to pretend that it never happened. 

They may take their turn in the “Blame Game,” and point their fingers at anyone and anything besides themselves.

Building trust? Not even close.

The truth is, your average customer is willing to forgive just about any mistake you make — provided, of course, that you own up to it. It may take courage. It may take humility. But imagine the respect you’ll gain by freely admitting your mistakes, explaining how you plan to do better, and moving on!

 

Trust in Transparency

Perhaps more than anything else, consumers are wary of faceless corporations that try to hide their true intent behind impenetrable “Terms of Use” policies or contracts that are dozens of pages long. Language should be used to enlighten, but many sales reps have twisted it for the purpose of obscuring the truth. 

Communication should be clear, but many organizations have used jargon to mask the true nature of a product or service.

What’s the point? Whichever industry you are in, be transparent above all else. In fact, honesty, transparency, and authenticity are the key factors that will set your personal brand apart from the competition as a trustworthy, reliable source. 

What does transparency mean in specific terms? It means that when you make a strong assertion in a blog post or podcast, you’ll back it up with some hard data. 

It means that you won’t play around when a customer asks for your price, but you’ll give a clear and concise explanation of what it is, and why it is. 

It means you’ll walk the customer through your process, step by step — and if your services are not a good fit, you’ll gracefully bow out.

That is transparency, and it lies at the very heart of trust.

Share Your Story

Finally, don’t be afraid to share your story with your audience. For example, an “About Us” page can do wonders for your brand’s credibility. 

People want to know where you’re coming from, and what drove you to create this product/service. People love a good story; frankly, it’s irresistible.

Leverage the power of storytelling. Take full control of your narrative. Give your audience an emotional “touchpoint” that can really help them to relate. 

Upload posts on Instagram that give glimpses of your backstory. Give a talk. Make a video. It will all contribute to a higher level of trust between you and your customers.

If You Take Away Just One Thing

It’s true that building trust may take some time, but it’s never too late to start. 

So breathe in, and breathe out. Stay grounded. Stay focused. 

Use the 4 suggestions above to increase trust as you develop your personal brand. As you do, your business will thrive.