Online business still feels like the wild west in some ways. 🤠 A lot of people and programs in the online space aren’t “certified.” Or guaranteed. Or regulated.
Really, anyone can start an online business. There’s a pretty low barrier to entry. (And we love that, right? So much possibility!)
The other side of that coin, though, is this:
Trust and authority can be hard to build in this environment.
And to truly be seen as a leader in your space… to build real brand trust among your ideal audience… to make sales happen faster… (because that’s the bottom line… so to speak 😉 💰) …
… you’re going to need that trust. Some clout. Some street cred.
👉🏼 Some serious brand authority.
When people invest in your services or products, they are taking you at your word. So they
R-E-A-L-L-Y have to *trust* you to pull out their wallets – or even to commit time to listen to you.
So, in this week’s article, I’m sharing three powerful ways to increase your brand authority online – so that people trust you more, see you as a leader in your space, and buy from you faster!
(As usual, you can read on for the full article, or press play on the 🎥 video version, if that’s more your speed!)
Ready to amp up that trust factor? Great. Let’s do it…
1. Build brand authority by building your body of work.
One of the best ways to increase trust – and by extension, brand authority – is to build your body of work.
When you commit to creating some kind of regular, long form content (like Youtube videos, blog posts, a podcast, or even regular Clubhouse rooms), you’re essentially demonstrating your expertise through free content.
At its core, this is a way that people can “try you out” before handing you their hard earned cash to deliver whatever outcome you deliver. So your body of work, which is readily available 24/7 (even when you’re not working) essentially serves the purpose of countering people’s objections to buying…
- Are they concerned about whether you really know your stuff – and are an expert?
- Do they need to understand *exactly* what results your offers promise?
- Are they wondering if those results are actually possible for them?
If they aren’t confident about the answers to these questions – and able to trust you and your process – then they won’t invest. Your body of work is there to address those concerns and reassure them.
It also bears mentioning here that repetition in your body of work builds trust, too. A lot of entrepreneurs who create (and repurpose!) content worry about repeating themselves. This comes up when we want to tell the same impactful stories, use the same concepts, and even re-use the same pieces of content in different places.
But, Genius, please know this… Repetition is actually reassuring to people. IF they even notice that you’ve repeated yourself in multiple places (and it’s a big IF; because most people do not see everything you create), this is only a positive. It helps people see that you are consistent and steadfast – and actually reinforces your messages. (Not quite convinced? 😉 To read more about the psychological facts that back this up, hop over to this post!)
The impact of your content is massive – and it snowballs over time. So don’t wait. Start now! Like, today! (Well, right after you finish this article…🤣) Start producing content so that you can show people what you know – so they will trust and buy from you faster.
2. Build brand authority by curating and showcasing results.
A second way to build your brand authority online is to capture and share the results that you are getting with your paid clients.
If you’re in a numbers-driven field, screenshots of metrics work really well. For example, if you’re a Facebook Ad Manager, or help to increase website traffic with SEO, show the numbers when you have them! All of that triggers trust in your ideal client’s minds.
You can also use more qualitative results – like testimonials, reviews, and clients talking about the results they have experienced with you – in their own words.
In the biz, we often call this “social proof.” It’s super-powerful because as humans, we are very social animals. And it’s not just because we enjoy the company of other humans… It’s actually hard-wired into us to seek the safety of numbers. And that’s because our ancestors were literally safer from prey, the elements… everything… when they were in packs.
(Think about the restaurant that has all the positive reviews on Yelp. If your mother-in-law-to-be is in town and you’d like to take her to a restaurant that will be reliably good, that one feels safer, right?)
So we’re looking to see if other people – particularly people that look and sound and seem like us – have gotten good results with something, before we buy. If we see evidence of that, we automatically feel like it’s a safer bet. We automatically are more trusting of that thing – or that person we are buying from.
To create that “social safety” people crave, regularly gather and showcase your results – via numbers, stories, testimonials, reviews, screenshots of positive results your clients experience…
One of the ways to do this is simply to get in the habit of asking your clients for testimonials – and to share those directly. But even if we haven’t had a client in our own online business yet, you can still leverage this strategy. We’ve all done things that have proven some kind of result.
Maybe you’re a new web designer, and you haven’t been responsible for building a site yet – soup to nuts. But, you can draw on client experiences from when you were a graphic designer and designed ads for the agency you worked for, right?
Or maybe you’re a life coach, and you’re currently seeking your first clients for your 1:1 coaching offer. Here you could highlight testimonials from employees whom you hired, supervised, and mentored (ahem… coached! 👈🏻) in your corporate career.
And that Facebook ads specialist? What if she’s brand new and has no numbers to showcase yet? She could point to the dramatic increases in sales she helped clients achieve with direct mail – in her previous career. (She knows how to get people to take action on ads!)
So be creative, and draw on your past successes and past results, too. Then, as you begin to work with more people in your current chosen container, you can also highlight those results.
(Psssst… for some inspiration about how to incorporate client results into your content, you may want to check out the series I have here on my blog – Brand New Brand Success Stories!)
3. Build brand authority by borrowing some from a third party!
The third way that you can build brand authority online? It’s a little bit more involved, but it’s powerful! You can essentially “borrow” some authority from a third party.
So testimonials kind of are gray in between showing results and then this borrowed authority, because somebody else is speaking up on your behalf. But there’s other ways to do this too even before you have testimonials or in addition to your testimonials or reviews.
Here are several, diverse examples of this strategy.
You could showcase the different press outlets where you or your brand have been featured. You’ll often see more advanced entrepreneurs have a “media bar” with logos of all of their best PR placements. It’s a common practice, because it really works. If you’ve appeared in Forbes – or a trusted niche pub that I pay attention to, I consider you a bit more legit, right?
You could cite research that’s been done about your industry or your particular method of doing things. I did this in this article above. I stated that humans are wired to trust consistency and repetition. In case you weren’t sure you trusted me yet, I linked you to some science on it!
You could quote celebrities if they’ve talked about the type of thing that you sell. If you’re selling green juice and you include a quote from Gwyneth Paltrow about how she starts every morning with her green juice, this creates some borrowed authority. (Note: Gwynnie didn’t say she drinks *your* juice. So it’s not a testimonial, but rather an association you are inviting your audience to make.)
You could also mention the places where you went to school, got certified or trained, or learned from an expert in your industry. Again, here you highlight your own qualifications, and align your reputation with that of the institutions that trained you. Amy Porterfield often mentions that she worked for and learned from Tony Robbins – and that adds to her cred on these streets big time!
You could post those selfies you took with Gary Vee! This one’s a little bit cheesy, but you could also show yourself simply in association with famous people in your industry…. so photos of you at conferences, or with your more famous clients… It is a little bit eyeball-roll-worthy, but it shows that you’re in the “in crowd,” right? And it does have a psychological effect on people.
Lastly, whenever you’re interviewed or being featured in front of somebody else’s audience, it has an authority building effect, too. So always, always, (always!!!) share that interview with your audience. It shows that you are an in-demand expert, that people value your opinion, and that you are trusted by others to be a resource.
So there you have it… three wildly effective ways to increase your brand authority online!
Did you find this article helpful? Did you get an idea that you’re going to implement? If yes, please share it in the comments! I’d love to know which one of these three strategies you plan to use next in your brand….
Will you continue to build your body of work?
Are you going to show your results more often?
Are you going to leverage some borrowed authority to demonstrate your role as trusted expert?
These efforts will help position you as the leader that you are, build that powerful brand trust among your ideal audience, and help you make sales happen faster.
Trust me. 😉
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