Your vision must be compelling, impactful and build legacy. This will attract three kinds of people. Investors, customers and partners to follow you.
I've always found that being able to secure those first few testimonials, or client stories, is key. When potential customers/clients see that others have had success with your business it builds trust naturally.
I always place client testimonials at the top of the list for helping to build trust.
Building trust has two aspects - reliability of your product, honesty of your intentions. So work on both. Even if you falter at the former, you can more than make up for it by conveying the latter. Ensure that you resolve your customer's problems with empathy. This is what they call the Service Recovery Paradox. This applies to any problem.
The secret is to have a GREAT communication strategy and to have an outstanding differentiation point. Your unique selling proposition is what build brands. If you do not offer anything different in some ways you would have big difficulties building trust around your bran. Obviously, your customer service and customer relationship management should be outstanding!
Building trust is critical as our society becomes even more skeptical with products and services of all industries. People want to identify with a brand and be able to connect with it and make it a part of their lives. With that, there has to be a great deal of trust. Understanding your customer and creating a brand that shows strong values and promises what it delivers is critical. And, since you are the face of your brand, following through on your word will help you to gain trust with your future vendors and customers as well.
Best of luck!
Thank you for all of the fantastic input- it sounds like I have a lot to consider!
I can give you an example- When I started in promotions, I offered my Clients double time back at no cost should they be dissatisfied regarding any aspect of the promotion. It did happen that the problem was in Durban and the client chose the double time in Pietersburg - all at extra cost. However, this built my integrity, name and reflected how serious I was in this business. No doubt it worked both ways - for the client and for me - had to keep operation in tip-top performance levels at all times.
Jen there are many ways to build trust as a start-up but I always go for the look through the investors eyes. If you were to invest what would you be looking for or even as a customer.....I always say "Connect with my mind, appeal to my feeling and touch my heart and I will look at your brand. Just this short phrase is what drives most brands today. Go for the simple wins....under promise and over deliver but also remember that your brand is your score card. Live up to the impression you create.
Jen, when you are starting out, YOU are the brand. What you bring to the market are your ethics, integrity and what you stand for: customer service perhaps or a leader in some aspect of what your business does. Maybe you are highly responsive to consumer challenges. What ever it is, be consistent. Every day be consistent about what you offer. That is the essence of your brand as you undertake your new role.
The obvious way to build trust is to be trustworthy. Everybody intuitively knows that. But that can take a long time to develop -- especially if customers never buy from you and give you the opportunity to show your trustworthiness!
But in addition to the above you can also build trust -- and build it much more quickly -- by looking and behaving like a major-league, professional operation -- from Day One. I tell my clients, never look small or small-time. Never look or act like a start-up. From the very start you should always look and behave like a significant player with something unique and special to offer, and then do your best to deliver at that level. That's what leads to respect -- and respect is what leads to trust.
This principle is not necessarily intuitive for a lot of marketers, but it is a very powerful strategy that we've developed out of doing this for many years.
PRIVATE - internal and client-relationship trust is built slowly and consistently.
PUBLIC - displaying that you're trustworthy at the start of a company is more complicated. When I have worked with start-ups I advise to get referrals in order to get your first clients... then reciprocate what they need outside of your service offering (seo links, social media shares etc). Then at the right time ask for a testimonial or quote them from a meeting or email and ask if you can use it publicly.
This public display of a private trust will go a long way.
For more important questions you should be asking about your marketing when starting out, I invite you to have a look at my blog www.charlottecowley.com.
Hi, my name is Hormuz and you and I have the same issue. The way forward is to get some strong referees who can give the tick of approval. Even references from University, school, social contacts will help your case.
hope this helps?
According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association,
nearly two-thirds of all consumers conduct their own research before
making purchases. This means most people who are ready to buy
already know details about what you’re selling. They’ve read the ratings
and reviews. They’ve seen all the articles. They’re educated. But who
creates all this information?
In the last few years, we’ve seen an outpouring of fresh and relevant
content. From stay-at-home moms blogging about childcare products to
multi-billion dollar corporations publishing white papers about the newest
software solutions, our collective vision of marketing is changing. With
the birth and development of content marketing strategies, we've seen
companies move away from the traditional sales pitch in favor of posting
valuable content and information. They want to be seen as thought
leaders, not just salespeople.
Essentially, content marketing places emphasis on providing relevant
information to potential and existing customers. The idea is that as your
consumers begin to see you as a valuable source of information, they
begin to trust you. Trust leads to reader retention and brand loyalty. As
you continue to provide useful information to your now eager audience,
the consumer begins to see you as a thought leader in your industry, not
just someone selling something. And it’s common sense that consumers
like to buy things from companies that are trustworthy and consistently
project leadership in their industry.
From blogs to case studies and from white papers to editorials, the
supply of useful information is almost endless. It seems like everyone
has something to say about pretty much everything. So if everyone else
is influencing buyers with relevant information, shouldn’t you be, too?
You need a perfect combination between Name and Logo. If you have a name that instills trust, we can make a logo that transmit the same feeling.
We can study your business and your competitors and we'll find the solution for your brand.
What you have done up until now that is related becomes your credentials. Specific problem-solutions with the numbers and or the specific related services you provided for former employers and the clients of the companies you worked for is what you use to create your credentials.
That can be how you talk about your value, credentials that can create trust in you and your abilities.
For my consulting clients, I have used that approach with them to create credibility and value and they used it to approach and acquire paying customers. Neil Licht
Hey Jen...good question.
The best answer would require more info on the service or product...but the age old statement about people choosing to do business with people they "know, like & trust" ALWAYS rings true.
The first 2 parts, "know me & like me" can be accomplished with photos and a bio full of warm, fuzzy, interesting facts about you and your accomplishments. The trust part for a new endeavor is a little trickier but can be dealt with by having a number of referrals from people that you have done business with in the past that are willing to comment on your work ethics, dependability and what you accomplished for them.
Also, when I am doing business with someone I really don't know and there is a substantial amount of money or a critical service needed, I will ask for 3 business referrals. So, you might what to get a few people on board that will be willing to take a call and say some nice things about you (pay them well. ;-)
That's as much of a brain dump I will subject you to in one day. Hope it helps.
Enthusiastically & Sincerely,
bruceluvinlyfe at gmail.com
It is certainly a conundrum and without knowing the industry it would be hard to be specific, but that's where my Ebooks and Ecourses (http://wp.me/p38NGW-7R) come into their own.
Extract from the Course.
Something important has changed in business...
It’s no longer “enough” to have a brand that you build. You now need to know how branding works, so you can do it at all levels of your business. This key factor will help differentiate you from your competition. The secret is not to have just one brand either. Yes, we can all name one off brands like Marmite, Marks & Spencer, Weetabix, Ryvita and many more. Yes these “brands” may all have been stand alone brands at one time, but the product based ones have needed to diversify and “associate” their brand onto new flavours and variations, such as Activia Yoghurts, Kellogg’s Special K cereal, Kellogg’s Special K cereal snack bars, Kellogg’s Special K cereal online diet planner (yes that’s a brand on its own) and other merchandise. Many brands diversify into t-shirts, mugs and even Easter Eggs.
Today you’ will probably need at least 10 brands or sub brands in your arsenal to build a highly successful business; each of them will need to relate to your overall strategy. Failure to get them to follow the main strategic brand will cause confusion within the minds of your audience and will serve to deflect or water down any real meaning in their minds.
Your brand is not a brand unless it is credible.
In my Ebook on Amazon "5 Golden Secrets to Running a Fee Based Consultancy " ref B00AP8F75K I explain how to build credibility, which then engenders trust. I reproduce the explanation for you below.
Do you know anybody who is so charismatic and convincing they seem to naturally have the ability to persuade whoever they're talking to? Why do they seem to have automatic credibility? Have you ever been in the position of competitive sales, where you seem to work long hours and sweat buckets in practising your craft and a colleague just wanders into every award or honour ceremony with commensurate ease? What really irks you is you know he has every weekend off as well as plays golf at least once a week and takes three foreign holidays a year.
When you speak, do people believe you? Unless they do, there is no possibility that you can persuade them to do what you want them to do. People will often listen to you, but they won't act unless you are credible in what you say, or in other words, until they believe you. Let me stress that one more time. People will not take action unless they believe you.
As a salesperson trying to get an order, you should always be thinking, "Do they believe me?' If you are struggling in sales, you probably haven't built enough credibility and they just won't place an order. You wouldn’t either, so look at it from their perspective.
It's important to understand the way most people view the difference between credibility and trust. Credibility is intellectual. Trust is visceral. In this document I will just deal with what makes the buyer believe you on an intellectual level. I could take you on a complete training program on all the other elements from dressing correctly through to consistency and handshaking skills. Contact me through my website if you want to know more.
To demonstrate the difference further, a buyer can believe you and still not trust you. Therefore credibility may be served in one form, but the other is lacking. You can show him study, survey, independent analysis and government safety results on your product, which he would believe, but if he doesn’t trust you will get them there on time, or that the right colour green is available, he doesn’t trust you and will not place an order.
Credibility is intellectual. Trust is visceral. You will need to know how to build both with your buyers, but for now let's concentrate on credibility.
You may well have heard of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. In 330 BC he made the distinction of credibility by describing persuasion as requiring three parts. What Aristotle declared so long ago has become the basis for most Western thinking.
He stated that for a salesperson to be persuasive, they must be good at three things. They must have credibility with the buyer, called 'ethos'. Second, they must know how to project their feelings about the product or service, called ‘pathos’ now called emotional appeal. Third, they must know how to explain the benefits of her product or service, called ‘logos’" or some may call it logic. Then you return to ethos to stamp the process with credibility and wrap it all up.
Although logos is perhaps the least important of the three, it is the most significant, because if you fail to present the benefits of your product or service logically, you leave the buyer thinking that he has no need for your product or service.
This is their order of importance: ethos, pathos, and logos; credibility, emotional appeal, and logical appeal. Credibility is first because without that, nothing happens. It's the foundation of persuasion.
How do you build credibility? You must appear to be of good character. You need to be honest and tell the truth. Furthermore you must make an effort to understand all of this from the buyer's point view, and not your own.
Fortunately, you can build credibility with a few simple techniques.
Let me teach you 11 Golden Keys to raise your level of credibility with other people.
The mediums you use are also important an more are explained in the email course I run.
Persistence and following up. It seems customer service and care are lacking. I find by keeping in contact I develop a trusting relationship.
Do some basic brand exercises to help you determine:
> What your brand stands for
> Your brand voice
> Your brand personality
> Your brand vision
Then be sure that everything you do maps back to these brand pillars.
Be authentic in all you communication. That requires positioning your brand along Three T's
Tangible Benefit-Be very clear and focused about what "is in it" for your customer
Truth-The tangible benefit is like a promise. Make sure that you back it up with no more than three features of your brand, product or service. Don't get feature happy. It comes across as over selling
That's me-Identify the insight you are working against. Insight work this way..A belief, followed by a behavior that connects to your brand benefit. Most insights are universal...start there.
Once you able to articulate these three T's you'll be in a position to build your brand narrative and it will authentic and will engender trust.
Sounds easy but it is extraordinarily hard, because getting to simple is hard.
That's my two cents worth. I used this approach to launch about 200 brands.