Latest posts by Steven J Wilson
When you’re searching for a product or service online, do you often make a purchase from a company you’re unfamiliar with? Like most shoppers, you probably don’t do so very often.
Trust is a crucial element of every successful business, as a reported 81% of consumers buy based on trust.
However, it can be challenging for an entrepreneur to establish trust when a business is brand new to the market. If you’re looking to develop credibility and trustworthiness around your business and its products or services, it’s time you start building your personal brand first.
In this post, let’s find out how you can effectively brand yourself to win consumers’ trust.
How personal branding wins builds credibility and trust
It’s no surprise that consumers are more open to trusting individuals than they are company brands. This gives you an advantage as a startup founder—you have a great story, and now is the time to share it through your subject matter expertise with your potential customers! In strategizing your personal brand, you communicate your value to your audience based on your skills, knowledge, experiences and beliefs.
Having a personal brand is crucial for entrepreneurs because it allows you to control your narrative and helps you to be seen as the go-to expert in your field. Sharing your expertise in turn builds credibility and can help earn trust.
Getting started with personal branding
Turning yourself and your employees into brand advocates could see your content getting 8x more engagement, with a better likelihood of converting sales than posts shared by a company brand.
So, when it comes to branding your business, you want to engage your personal brand and turn any employees you have into brand advocates, too. When people look to learn more about you, they get to ultimately learn about your business. This awareness on a personal level helps build trust with your company and eventually, can boost your company’s sales.
Here are five areas you need to consider when building your personal brand:
Determine your goals
Personal branding starts with goal setting. You have to set a clear path for where you want to be in the next two, three or even five years from now. Identify what you want to achieve with your personal branding efforts. Is it brand awareness? Authority and trust? A loyal following?
Think about both your short- and long-term goals when putting together the elements of your personal brand.
Unique value proposition
What does your business offer offer? What problems do you solve that you’re most passionate about?
Your unique value proposition tells potential customers why they should consider doing business with you. It’s what you want to be known for and what you aim to clearly communicate with your personal brand. Determine how you can clearly convey how you help your audience in a way that makes you “you.” When you can clearly communicate the value you provide, you will start winning your consumers’ trust.
Everything you do to build your personal brand should revolve around your company’s target audience. They are the ones who will ultimately buy your product or service.
When it comes to your company’s products or services, whom are you trying to help? What are their most pressing concerns and problems?
Identify what types of people are most relevant to the products and services you offer. How will they benefit? Analyze your offer, any current customer data you may have, and your competition to determine who falls within your target audience.
Once you have identified this group, you can start working to earn the trust of this customer segment. Be genuine in addressing their pain points, and then create content that will be of value to them. This is a great way to overcome any skepticism about your new business and establish trust.
A brand statement is often one of the first things that your audience will see about you, so make it impactful. For instance, if you run an e-commerce shop selling baby products, your brand statement can look something like this:
“As the leader of (company name), I am dedicated to helping new moms and dads to ease their stress and overcome common obstacles new parents face with helpful baby content catered to parents with children ages 24 months and under.”
When creating a brand statement, be sure to communicate your unique value to your target audience. Keep it concise, about one to two sentences long, and be authentic.
Social media platforms
Now it’s time to determine where your target market is when it comes to various social media platforms.
Research which social media platforms your audience is using. Generally speaking, B2B marketers tend to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to distribute their content. Meanwhile, B2C marketers often use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Once you have identified relevant platforms, build your online presence there, sharing relevant content related to your subject matter expertise, which we’ll get to in the next step.
Also, be sure to create or upgrade your personal website. Yes, even if you have your company site, you should still create a separate one for your personal brand. Remember that the goal is to make people trust you as the founder, which eventually carries over to your company brand.
Once you have set up your platforms, you can now distribute your content.
The content you create will help your customers decide whether or not they will trust you. So, be sure to spend some time crafting relevant, useful and informative content.
A compelling blog post or insightful social media comment demonstrates your expertise in the field. It engages the audience and is actionable, all the while communicating your value. Most importantly, your content should provide solutions to your audience’s problems.
That’s why it’s essential that you deeply understand your core offerings and your target audience. When you do, you can be genuinely helpful to your followers, thus, enabling you to win their trust.
Without establishing trust, you may struggle to convince people to buy your product or service. That’s why you should focus on building trust through your personal brand.
As Seth Godin puts it, “Earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.”
If you want to win your customer’s trust, it’s time you tell your story, become an expert, and leverage your personal brand. The guide above should help you get started in your personal branding journey.