Haven’t booked your first client or made that first sale yet? Is something amiss, but your unsure what? Before your customers or clients decided to invest with you, they must have some level of trust to precede. Remember your customers and clients are people, just like you and me, and let’s face it we know when we’re being taken for a drive. It’s natural that we are far more likely to trust a family member or friend when they recommend something than a piece of marketing.
This is why positive reviews and testimonial about a product or service, is highly effective. Brands build credibility easy this way because we are naturally more likely to be persuade through a previous customers opinions and experiences of your brand/product. If these testimonials hold up to our exceptions of you and re-firms what you promise, we see you as honest and therefore a trustworthy brand.
However, you might feel frustrated because you’re just starting out and thinking that’s great and all but what do you do if you don’t have any testimonials or lack of? You my friends are stuck in a catch 22 – you’re not booking clients or sales because you can’t build trust and you can’t build trust because you have no previous sale or clients. So what is the answer to your problem…how do you build trust without testimonials? And yes it is possible, I’ll be revealing three effective ways you can build trust online, relieve yourself of this frustration so you can confidently book your first sale or booked client without testimonials. We all have to start somewhere, right?
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Why are testimonials so effective?
The real reason why we see testimonials being highly effective is because it reassures your customers. There indisputable statements from previous people who have already gone before your potential customers. This is tricky to beat, but not impossible! The best alternative for you is to talk about your process. Show them how you intent to help them through your services or product. You can present how you’ll intent to work with new clients in a series of blog posts and or offer a free consultation call. Holding a consultation call is a great soft open invitation to a unsure customer. It’s an opportunity for them to meet you through zoom. It also shows them that you can hold an informative call, this reinforces to them that you know your stuff.
Sharing what you know
Another way to reassuring your potential clients and customers that you know what you talking about is through share your knowledge, not just surface level information but in-depth knowledge within your field. This helps prove you’re worth the investment. The best way to share your knowledge is by knowing exactly what your ideal audience pain points are and ease them with each blog post. When your top tips, advice and solutions work and provide your ideal readers positive outcomes, they’ll know your reliable and your brand is trustworthy.
Action speak louder than words
We need to remember that words can only do so much, when really it’s our actions that speak louder. So to build trust within your brand make sure your actively backing up your promises and purpose. A mission statement isn’t just words it’s something you do and living by through your actions. For example if your mission is for everyone to live a healthy happy life. But your not providing anything healthier than this is a problem. Brand statements need to be in alignment with what your intend to do. Building brand trust with your ideal audience is fragile, a misunderstanding or misleading mission that doesn’t relate to your actions can be damming. So make sure your purpose and mission statements are appropriate with your services and product and that you really are backing up through your actions.
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Seeking different ways for external credibility
As previously mentioned, we are far more likely to trust someone else recommends your service or product than the brand itself. In order to do this without testimonials, we to find other external options for credibility. The first idea is joining online competition to achieve some awards. If you win this can provide you with a formal sign of recognition. You can also do the same with certificates, completing online courses that provide formal certifications. Presenting these shows your ideal audience that you can and have achieved a high level of knowledge and understanding in your specific field and been assed and verified by other experts.
Stamp Of Approval
However, I understand that you might not have time to do an online course or the fund to enter into competitions. Therefore here are two other ways to form external credibility, collaborations and character references. When I say collaborations I mean teaming up with another solopreneur who appropriately aligns and compliments your service or product. A collaboration could be a joint podcast episode, youtube video, reel or blog post. Wondering how a collaboration helps you build trust with your audience? Firstly make sure the business owner you work with is a little more established online, with an audience who trust them. This is so when you team up together, your showing potential client that you are getting their stamp of approval, raising your credibility.
Last way to seek external credibility is through character reference. Because let’s face it faking testimonials is a big no no. However, character references is a honest replacement. A character reference is a statement written by someone who know you and can attest to your personal qualities and knowledge. Stay clear of asking your mum and dad for one, that will make you look amateur hour. But, you could ask anyone you’ve had a more professional business like relationship with, like your a previous boss or close colleague you worked with. If that not an option for your previous educators, such as you university course lead or mentor. Character references can provide your ideal customer a deeper understand about who you are and what you value as a person.
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Building trust through visuals
Let’s discuss some visual elements that you can implement straight away to build trust with your clients an customers. The highly effective visuals is showing your face. The reason why we must show our faces is because no one likes to do business within someone if they can’t see their face. If you think about it, when purchasing something in a physical shop we are greeted with people and faces. When we are at the cashier with someone where interacting with someone. But if they were wearing a biker helmet so we could see there face this can make us feel unsettled! The same goes for online businesses, specially for service based businesses we want to know who we are getting into business with, who we are investing in. So make sure on your website there is a picture of you, you don’t have to be central focus of your website if you don’t want to be. But a image of you to show that you really are can really do wonders. You might be social media channels as a far more chilled way to show up online.
Build trust through video
An even faster way to build trust is through video, video is the closes thing online we can get to real life interactions. It’s become overly popular on IG with reels and TickTok etc. Video can be highly engaging so do take advantage of that! It’s worth included a video of you taking about your process. Placed on your website so people can see you talking intellectually about the area of your field.
Let’s talk about brand consistency for a moment, because this can affect trust. The reason why brand designers provide you with guidelines is so you can stay consistent with the visual look and strategy. The issue when you keep changing what you look like your audience think you’re possibly a little scatty or flaky. I’m tell you this because I’ve hurt my own brand growth and trust with potential client because I kept re-branding. So make sure you are stay true to your brand and showing up consistently so your ideal audience can start to recognise you, like you and eventually trust you.
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Start building trust without testimonials!
We have come to an end, it’s now time for you to put what you’ve learnt into action. You can leave here feeling confident knowing that you don’t need testimonials. And from today a lack of them isn’t going to hold you back any longer. You’ve now got three great ways to build trust effectively online! Either implement everything you heard today, or select a few different methods that work best for you and start building trust with your ideal audience online today. So you can book that first client or make that first sale! If your unsure how to uphold your brand strategy and stick to the right brand visuals? I’ve got you covered tune into episode 22 on The BrandMade Podcast and learn how to stick to your brand identity.