One of the deciding factors that can jumpstart a launch, sustain a down turn in the market or make you more sought out for information is trust. Building trust online can be a tricky situation due to the fact that many times you won’t ever meet your customers in person. Without it, however, you can bet there will always be a barrier to entry that you’re going to have to work to overcome. So how do go about building trust online?
First you have to determine what you want to be trusted for. Is it the quality of your products? The information that you present on a blog? Your no nonsense opinion and how you give people straight answers no matter if there’s a chance they may not like it? Or maybe it’s all of those and more! The question is how do you gain people’s trust when you’re likely to never see them face to face?
Word of mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement that you can get. If you have other people talking about you, the people listening tend to put more faith in what they say versus what you have to say. This is only in the beginning, however, because once you’ve proven you are indeed someone who can be trusted and other people have confirmed that is indeed the case, then it’s on you to not mess it up. This leads to the bigger question: “How do you get people to talk about you?”
Put out great products and have even better support. Nothing will kill a reputation faster than putting out a product that is subpar. By that we mean products that don’t work, constantly require software fixes or contain outdated information. These are quick reputation killers, BUT how you handle the support of them may be even more important. If your support desk takes days to get a response or worse answers customers’ questions with no real workable responses, people will talk……just not the way you’re going to want them to. Putting out great products and having even better support is something that will get people talking about you.
Going the extra step or two to help a customer will also go a long way in building good will. If you take a few extra minutes to maybe shoot a customer a personal video showing them something or jumping on Skype to help walk them through something, that goes a LONG way in building good will. You can bet they will go and tell a few of their friends how you took your own time out of what you were doing to help them. Obviously you don’t need to do this with everyone, but once in a while does nothing but help your cause.
Ask people to make a post on social media about your product or support and offer them something in return for it. There is nothing wrong with asking for people to post their honest opinion publicly and you’d be surprised how many people will in fact do it for you, you just have to ask.
Stay active on social media! Nothing promotes trust more than people answering questions in public. It shows that you’re not trying to “hide” behind a computer even though everyone is indeed behind one. Someone who has nothing to hide won’t shy away from answering direct questions in public. This can definitely be uncomfortable and you will not please everyone all the time, but people watch how you react to things. If you have put out a quality product, handled your support the proper way, most people can see through the random person complaining for no other reason than to just complain.
These are just a few examples of how you can start to build some trust online. The more you build the more you’ll have an easier time recruiting affiliates, selling products and being looked at as a leader within the industry.