Occasionally, I like to crowdsource on Instagram to help me plan out my content for the coming week or month. So, I created some polls on Instagram Stories to ask what you would rather see FIRST: How to Build a Loyal Audience That Trusts You OR How to Land Partnerships With Your Favorite Brands.
69% voted for the FIRST, so that’s what we’re going to chat about today! You can subscribe in the black box below this blog post to be notified when the SECOND blog post goes live!
So, if you want to build trust with your social media audience, I think it’s most important to FIRST clearly establish your influence. Is your influence in fitness, fashion, business, health, home, technology, or something else? Clearly define that, and then share your purpose for doing so. Why are you qualified to be a leader in this industry? Why are you passionate about it? Share your story and SHOW why you’re credible.
Be clear on what you want to *influence* your audience to do, and start consistently sharing loads of FREE INFO around that topic. Do this before you ever, ever expect to sell anything. Sharing consistent VALUE and advice with your audience will build trust over time, but you can’t expect this to happen overnight.
Once you establish that you’re a thought leader in your specific industry, start recommending your favorite resources, products, and services around that topic and several sub-topics that go along with it. Share why you love and use these resources and genuinely talk about why your audience might love them too. You should share your favorites with ZERO expectation for commission (affiliate links or brand partnerships) for a good amount of time before you expect your audience to “buy into” products or services that will earn you some extra cash.
In a blog post about trust and consistency, I can’t go without mentioning that you have to be personal and relatable. That means getting on camera. Sharing bright, clear photos of yourself and hopping on video will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in building trust. I promise you that. There are hundreds of MILLIONS of people consuming Instagram Stories every single day. Short-form video content is king, and if you’re not utilizing that free tool for your business, you need to start TODAY! 🙂
If you’re nervous about what people will think of you, or if you’re scared that your small-town neighbor will make fun of you, go back to your purpose. Think about your WHY. If your WHY is strong enough, people that might think it’s “lame” just simply aren’t your people. Instead, give your energy and focus to the people who NEED the value and the information that you will share.
Integrity. You can build integrity by developing your own voice. Chances are, there are hundreds of other people in the world who may offer the same thing as you. So, develop your own voice and your own unique proposition. It will help set you apart from the rest. Think about what makes you different. Think about what you want to be known for. This can seriously be as simple as sharing one of your personality traits that makes you YOU. Do you love the color purple? Disperse purple throughout your content, your branding, your outfits, your text, your GIFS on Instagram Stories… everywhere. Just capitalize on something that will make you memorable.
Build a relationship with your audience by asking them what they want to see next, what they like, what they dislike, what they need help with, etc. Answer their questions and just simply listen to them. If you consistently get questions about a given topic, capitalize on that and make it a regular topic in your content! At the end of the day, your business or brand is about your customer… not about you! When you find out what they need, and you provide them with the tools that will help them, you’ll build trust in no-time. They’ll start to consider you as their go-to, and that should ALWAYS be your goal in a busy, crowded online space.
Give more than you receive. People have asked me how I got new clients early on in my business. And I usually have the same answer: I just consistently shared free value for my ideal customer, and new clients came to me organically. I have a blog post on that HERE, and it may not have the super sexy answers for how to grow your business, but it really is simple at the end of the day. I think it’s funny because most people probably expect that I had this major sales/marketing funnel, or an ad, or I “pitched myself” to companies… but in reality, all I did was consistently show up for my ideal customer. That’s what grew my business into what it is today. So, give, give, give! You’ll reap the benefits later.
Share the results you’re helping people achieve. Share success stories. Share the “culture” behind your brand. Share your employees. Share the questions you get (and your answers to them!) Share funny things your audience tags you in. Acknowledge the people who are interacting with you. This will be a major ripple effect, because once people see that you’re building a true culture behind your products/services, others will want to be a part of it, too. We need human connection, so talk to your audience like they’re all your best friends.
This is a topic that I could ramble on about FOR DAYS… and it must be something I’m super passionate about because as I was writing this, I realized I already have an older blog post about building trust HERE. That was my advice over a year ago, and it contains many of the same points I made above. That’s how you know it’s real and it works!
I have so many other ideas flying around in this creative brain of mine. So, subscribe in the black box at the bottom of this blog post so you don’t miss some of the upcoming projects I’m working on for you!
Thank you for reading, my friend! Until next time… 🙂
*You can pin the graphic below so you can easily come back to it later!