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When we talk about marketing your business, it really comes down to building trust and credibility with your customers. If potential customers trust you more and believe you’re credible in your industry, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
However, we don’t always have the opportunity to sit down and build a strong relationship with our customers.
These days they’re flying through your website and skimming your marketing messages to get to answer one question.
“Can this business help me solve my problems?”
In this blog post, I’ll talk about ways you can use social proof online to become one of the most trusted businesses in your industry.
All by using these online strategies…
No matter where you go these days online, there is usually a review system in place to help busy people like ourselves to quickly determine what’s good and what isn’t.
From leaving a review on Google to rating your Uber 5 stars to even responding to customer surveys in your inbox, there’s no escaping reviews.
However, this is great news for your business.
Reviews work because they’re a simple way to convey how great a business or brand is, and allows us to easily determine who falls into our list of potential companies to buy from.
To most of us, more positive reviews equals a better business.
This makes sense though, because in our minds if other people have had a great experience with a restaurant, or plumber, or whatever business, then we likely will too.
However, reviews are highly undervalued by most business owners. Why? Because most of them have a passive strategy for getting them.
This shouldn’t be you. Don’t sit around hoping a customer will be kind enough to leave you a positive review.
Get proactive and start following up with customers or clients you know you’ve gone above and beyond for.
If you know you wowed a customer or gave them the very best customer experience possible, follow up with them afterwards to ask for a review.
One of the simplest strategies I’ve helped business owners start using is to send a follow up email to customers. I always make sure it includes:An outline of how the business and customer solved the problem together.
The important thing is to remind them about the great experience they had with your business, tell them how much a review would mean, and a direct link to make it as simple as possible for them to review.
You can even reduce the barriers for them further.
Give them a quick step-by-step guide on how to leave a review, or even share some example reviews so they don’t get stuck on how to write one.
I promise you if you are proactive and send follow up messages to customers who you are sure have had great experiences with you, you’ll start building up your portfolio of positive reviews and trust.
The next step to building more trust and credibility in your industry is to find potential customers who would work with you to build a case study.
Simply put, a case study is a detailed guide about how your company went about helping deliver incredible results to a client or customer.
It might share the strategies you used, the different methods or tools applied, and it really can be as detailed or broad as you like.
Either way, they’re usually great ways to showcase the work you’ve done for a client and position your business as an authority in your industry.
Case studies work because it provides a key document that other potential customers can put themselves in the shoes of your previous customers.
They can see what journey they’re likely to go through with your business and what the possible results will be.
That being said, case studies are a step above a review or testimonial because you’re truly sharing the emotional journey of working with you and the actual results achieved.
Your first step is to find customers to partner with.
You may already have some in mind, or you might be on the lookout in the future for any new customers that work with you and could fit as a case study partner.
Typically, if you can think back to any customers you’ve helped achieve great results for, that’s a good place to start.
However, using previous customers as case studies may be hard because you may not have captured all the information to share.
Whichever way you go, whether it’s using a previous customer or finding a new customer, think about their journey.
Capture what problems they were facing before working with you.
Think about what their pain points were, what they were stuck on, and things other future customers will relate to.
Then, document the journey. How did you and the customer work together. What actions did you take, or strategies did you implement, or insights you provided.
Finally, show the transformation. What was the end result, and how did it level up their business.
Share how through working with you and your business, this customer got unbelievable results.
Have you ever visited a company website and noticed all the logos or badges they have displayed across their site.
It may be partner logos from companies they’ve worked for, or trust badges that share their certifications.
Each of these different icons and badges help to build trust because you’re leveraging the credibility of other people or things.
For example, if you share the logos of well known businesses you’ve worked for – that makes you look good in the eyes of other potential customers.
Why? Because customers tell themselves that if bigger companies have trusted you enough to work with you, then you must be worth working with.
So, if you’ve got some pretty big name clients you’ve worked with – ask their permission and share their logo on your website.
Piggyback off their reputation and show that even the big players, whether that’s locally or nationally, trust you!
The same goes for partner logos, where a company may share logos from the media channels they’ve been featured on. They might say, “As featured on Channel 7 or in the New York Times”.
That builds credibility again through leveraging the reputation of those news and media sources.
Customers will say, “If they’re big enough to be featured in a media company such as that, they must be pretty well known or get great results.” You get where I’m coming from with this? If your company or even yourself as the business owner has been featured in different magazines, or papers, or on TV – share that!
Finally is trust badges. These are any sort of icons or badges that help to show that you really know what you’re doing and are worth trusting.
If you’ve got a certain certification that’s valued in your industry, why not share a trust badge for it on your site. Or, if you’re part of a prestigious industry group, share that also.
Trust and credibility are fundamental to strong customer relationships, and it’s important for you to take the time to build that up online.
If you can start adding more of these strategies into your digital marketing, you’ll begin to see a shift in the perceived credibility of your business in your industry.