I had this friend in college who would constantly humble brag. He would casually bring up details like how he beat the average on the last exam. How he scored 40 points higher than his whole class on the last paper. How the professor who couldn’t understand why her students kept failing her exams, gave him ‘A’s.
Most of us know people like this and we don’t like them. There’s no disputing their intelligence but do you really trust them? Even though my friend was smart, would you approach someone like him if you needed help? I never did. I knew he could help me but it would be more out of pride than genuine care.
How Companies Try (and Fail) to Build Trust
A lot of businesses tend to operate the same way my friend did. I know because it’s all over their website. If the headline says something like “Years of experience,” “Making the world better,” “The most innovative in our industry,” I go right back to my Google search and click the next link.
Think about it this way. Whose expertise are you more inclined to trust? Someone who tells you all about their education and experience, or someone who proves they’re trustworthy through empathy and results.
Now yes, experience and innovation help businesses build credibility. I can understand how your company’s expertise would be an asset to my own. But how, I don’t know.
And I get it, it’s a quick and easy way to let us know that your company is capable, but you want more than that. You want trust.
When your ideal client trusts you, they promote your brand for you. They bug their friends and followers by constantly raving about you on social media. They buy your latest product the day it comes out. They help your business earn the revenue it deserves. They don’t need to be convinced. Matter of fact, they convince people for you.
You and me, we’re a part of this trust building exercise. Say you’re looking for sheets and you come across Brooklinen’s website. Your thought process is probably something like this: “How many reviews do you have? 56,000? Okay. But, how many of them are five star reviews? Almost all of them?? And you guys have half a million customers?? Lemme get these sheets.”
How to Actually Build Trust
So rather than doing the easy thing and talk about your past results, talk about your prospect’s future with your company instead. Empathize with people. Talk about the benefits of your company’s services instead of how good they are. And show social proof. People care more about what their peers say about your company than what you say. In my next post I’ll talk about how to convert visitors through empathy and copy that connects. If you’re looking for new ways to build buyer trust for your business, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org , I’d love to help.