If you’ve done any research into how to build a business, you’ve probably heard a lot about building up the “Know, Like, and Trust” factor to help increase sales, build a community around your brand, and just generally as the best aid to grow your business.
While many pieces of the Know, Like, and Trust factor can take time to build, I’m here to tell you that there are some shortcuts to help you build up that Trust factor quickly, even if you’re just starting out. Let’s break them down.
1. Buy a Domain and Have a Domain Email for Yourself
One of the quickest ways you can build trust in your brand? Not giving out an email that’s @gmail.com
A domain itself can cost as little as $10/year at places like GoDaddy or Namecheap (though I’d always recommend adding privacy protection, which is about $10/year more). That small investment goes a long way in showing your ideal client that you mean actual, literal business. You’ve invested $20 in yourself! For at least a year! So you plan on sticking around. Whether or not they know the cost of what you’ve spent on your domain is irrelevant; just having your own .com makes a huge difference.
The trickier part where I’ve seen a lot of small business owners get stuck is having an email account that matches their new .com.
The easiest solution is using Google Workspace (or GSuite) as a place for your email to live. Starting at only $6/month and working on a month to month basis, you can have a new email for your .com email quickly, plus get all the benefits of having a Google-managed email. Their setup even walks you through and can change your domain settings for you, so it’s easy, too!
The reason a .com email means so much to your target client? It shows that you’re not going to disappear tomorrow. If you’re investing in your business as much as a few dollars each month, they’ll know that you’ll be around if they have any issues.
Seriously, of anything on this list, this is the quickest and least-costly item that adds a huge amount of trust to your business.
2. Be Consistent Across Your Marketing Channels
When you’re Nike, everyone knows you’re Nike. Because Nike does a great job of being consistent in their brand messaging, commercials, social media ads, and even with their influencers. But how do you have that same consistency and recognition when you’re a smaller business?
Consistency is one of the best ways to get people to recognize your business, no matter where they meet you. That means simple things like using the same colors (your brand colors, preferably), talking about the same things in the same brand voice, and even being consistent with showing you.
It doesn’t mean that you have to post the same things to every marketing channel (in fact, you should change it up), but it does mean that you need to post things that all work and flow together. If you’re sharing wildly different content on Facebook to what you’re sharing on LinkedIn and Instagram, someone might not realize you’re the same business.
This also means getting similar usernames/handles on all these platforms is key, too. Then people know exactly where to find you when they’re looking for you on a different platform.
3. Show Your Face
This one requires a little work upfront (and for many of us, stepping out of our comfort zones) but is so beneficial to showcasing the human in your business.
Show your face!
If you’re the leader of your business, then people on your marketing channels should be getting to know who you are. Do that by getting pictures taken of you, working, out and about, with clients, at a coffee shop, whatever makes the most sense for your business and customers.
I talked about this a little more in depth in my recent blog about authenticity, but here’s the thing – authenticity builds trust because people know it’s real. Pictures build trust because they’re putting a face to the name and feel better like they know you.
4. Share Testimonials
There is no better way to show how you help your clients by letting your other clients sing your praises! Those testimonials that you get might get put on Facebook, on Google My Business, or sent directly to you, but however you can make sure you ask for them!
Amy Porterfield had a great podcast episode recently about the how-tos of collecting testimonials. While it does require you reaching out and actually asking for feedback, those testimonials and reviews are so powerful!
Use them throughout your website, social media posts, email marketing, and more to let your main characters (your customers!) tell your brand story and how you help.
5. Have a Website
I know, you’ve probably seen a lot of people lately talking about how you can build a six-figure business without a website, but really, can you?
Think about the people you work with on a regular basis. Even local contractors, do you feel better knowing the person you’re investing money into has invested into their own business with a website? Probably! It shows that they’re sticking around for the long-haul and that they’re not going to just take your money and run.
If a decision comes down to picking two different lawn guys, I’m going to go with the guy who has a website (bad or not!) vs the one without because I know I can count on him to come back every week throughout the summer.
The other part of this? Your website is 100% the foundation, the hub of your marketing! Every single piece of marketing that you put out there has to lead back somewhere. If you’re sending customers to a wide range of landing pages you’ve built through Click Funnels and other services, you’re losing out on that consistent, seamless experience. And you’re losing out on the ability for them to find more about you later.
Having a simple, single page website even can go a long ways to showcasing who you are and that you’re a real, viable business.
Yes, it’s the biggest investment on this list, but it’ll also jump that Trust factor up like 150%. (My stats are totally legit, just FYI).