The Pillar of Trust

Trust. It sounds basic and simple yet it is a pillar of any good business especially a startup.  A company that builds trust within the business and then extends that to customers is headed in the right direction. In fact, according to international keynote speaker, Marcus Sheridan, trust is the foundation for 7 ways content can drastically move the sales and marketing needle.

Talk about the negative.

Go ahead, do it! Bring your elephant to the front of the room so that you can expose it before someone else does first. Bringing up an issue or weakness not only shows ownership and integrity, but it also allows for an explanation.  Be the one to talk about the thing. The credibility and potential empathy you gain will change the way you interact with customers.  The key is trust, remember?

Share your not so secret sauce.

Less than 1% of companies share their mojo. It sounds counterintuitive to share secrets but what it will really do is build trust. Try using this tactic in building content. The power of teaching your product or software while sharing secrets will do a whole lot more than you think. Also, just to keep it real, 99% of the time everyone knows your secrets anyway but may not understand them. Ownership and teaching will help you champion trust!

Embrace the review obsessed society.

In the past two years, mobile searches for product reviews have increased by 35%.  In the past two years, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone. Reviews are HUGE. If someone is reading your blog about the best technology startups in Atlanta and you list yourself as number one, that may lose you some credibility. However, if your list includes competitors and reasons why they are great, YOU ARE GAINING TRUST! Customers will always know who your competitors are and if they are learning about them, let it be on your website.

Worried about directing customers to competitors? Don’t be. You are the subject matter expert, as it shows on your website, and honestly, they will find your competition anyway.  How will your competitors react? Well, copy and paste the information from their website to make sure it is accurate and then smile when you own the competition. Consumer ignorance is no longer a viable sales and marketing strategy so, be honest, treat customers like they are smart and real people who have knowledge. Build that trust.

Make it personalized.

Personalize your content! When is the last time you received a cold email catered to who you are and what you need? Never, sound familiar? Instead of sending a canned email, learn your client, personalize the email subject line: “Hi, Joe. I made this video for you!”, and truly make a personalized video. If you take the time to send sales emails, do it right and do it well.

Unleash the power of self-selection and self-preservation.

According to Sheridan, there are two phrases that have become very popular in Google searches: “Should I…” and “…for me”. Create content on your website that answers both of those questions to potential and returning customers. If you can give Googlers what they want via a search, you will most likely be the one that walks away with the sale.

Focus on the money.

Put your pricing on your website. So many times companies don’t list pricing out of fear of being found out by competitors or fear of being overpriced. Guess what? Your competitors already know your pricing (don’t you know theirs?) and by listing your pricing for customers, you are building trust by shedding any doubt they may have in your ability to be honest and own your product.

Show it, don’t say it.

Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year and achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. So the dollar bills say…start rolling out that footage. Customers are people and people love stories, they love reality, and they love seeing behind the scenes of what they are buying. Invite them into your story.

These 7 pointers came from a man who turned a mom and pop swimming pool company into the most visited swimming pool website in the world. If you were concerned about how these strategies would actually work for your startup, the answer is in the experience.

Give trust a try, it is probably worth it.