If you really want to rise above your competition and stand-out, you are going to have to rocket launch the level of trust people have in you.
People buy services based on their confidence in your ability to deliver what you say you can do, and they need evidence.
Trust is a funny thing though.
Arthur Ashe, triple Grand Slam Title winner once said, “Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time”.
But what if you don’t have time?
Building trust in your brand is vital if you want to charge what you are worth, open doors to new opportunities and get the momentum you need for your business.
But what if you are relatively new in business, just rebranded or have only started launched your personal brand?
Not everyone has the luxury of building a brand with inherited confidence like those age-old 'trusted brands' that have been around forever.
There is however, a way to build trust to boost your brand quickly without first being a 'household name'.
Simple trust building activities can add to your credibility and instil a certain level of faith without having to make stuff up, reinvent yourself or resort to hard sell.
And they certainly help convince the prospects brain that you are worth considering.
Here are the top 4 proven personal brand boosters to propel your brand into the stratosphere as the trusted expert:
Booster #1 - Your Best Selling Authority
Writing a book is great for your brand, but becoming a best selling author adds a gold coat to your trust currency.
To land quality speaking gigs, convention organisers and events managers like that, not only have you written a book about your industry (which tells them you must know a thing or two), you are also a best seller in that category.
Best selling status truly demonstrates that you know your stuff
Best selling status truly demonstrates that not only do you know your industry, it also indicates that people like the content you have to share.
Events organisers and promoters want their audiences to be happy, to walk away with valuable information, which a best selling author is more likely to achieve for them.
As a best selling author you are a safer bet as a speaker and it's a win-win for you and the organiser.
One of the simplest ways to become a best seller is on Amazon with an e-book of around 10,000 words - short enough to read in one sitting.
Set it to 99c and get half a dozen reviews, then give it away for a period of 2-3 days - make sure you promote when it will be available for free - Then watch your best selling status appear!
TIP: Amazon give authors promotional days if you go exclusive with them.
Booster #2 - Read All About It
If it’s in the paper (or on-line), it must be true!
Having your face and your story published in the press or in respected on-line media gives huge credibility to your brand.
Even today, when the reputation of the media is at an all time low, the saying goes “There is no such thing as bad publicity”.
Publishing your story in the press or in on-line media gives huge credibility to your brand
The best part of course is that you reach way more people than you already know and it’s free brand credibility - a journalist trusts you enough to put you in print!
So how do you do it?
I’ve worked with a number of excellent media trainers in Australia such as Tanya Target, Annette Densham of Publicity Genie and Linda Reed-Enever of Media Connections, who have amazing systems and services, and suggest you get quality media training if you wish to create publicity yourself.
Here are the tops tip I've learned from them:
Find your angle (or angles) and write a newsworthy press release, find the right publication your ideal audience is already absorbing and create a relationship with journalists you want to create great content for.
Do not make your publicity about you. Start by writing a list of all the top tips, how to's and even the "what not to do" bullet points that your audience might find valuable.
Create press releases that use case studies and focus on seasonal or event based needs - i.e. Summer, Mother's Day, Back To School, Christmas...think about what happens in your ideal clients life at these times and write articles that are meaningful for them.
Most importantly, be prepared. Media work to deadlines that can be days, weeks or months ahead of publication dates.
You can always get onto the free resource Sourcebottle and respond to media requests.
Booster #3 - Winners Never Lose
Calling yourself an Award Winner is one of the fastest ways to boost your brand profile
Being able to call yourself an Award Winner is one of the fastest ways to boost your brand profile and gain respect.
It’s easy to self proclaim you are the ‘World Leading’ or ‘# 1’, but to be really authentic, promoting the fact that you have won awards in your industry and for your expertise is totally legitimate and far more valuable.
Most awards allow you to use their logos, images and even provide press releases as well as listing you in a winners directory and on awards websites to give you even more leverage.
Adding Award Winning to your profile can be one of the most satisfying things you can do to boost your brand - because you’ve earned it!
There are so many awards you can enter, my suggestion is to look for those that really fit with your niche, are focused on your specialist area and are the most useful for you to leverage.
Entering awards can be time consuming, and it’s worth investing in some guidance to ensure you give the judges very good reason to include you in their short-list.
Often it's difficult to even consider you are award worthy, but if you find a new way of looking at what you do, read through your case studies and work on fact based evidence, results and outcomes, you are onto a winner.
If you are in Australia, The Award Winning Lunch on Feb 8th in Brisbane is a great way to discover how to enter awards, what to do to increase your chances of winning and how to leverage awards to boost your brand.
Booster #4 - We Love You!
Jeff Bezos of Amazon once said "Your personal brand is what others say about you when you're not in the room".
Testimonials are real credibility boosters, as long as they are real. Even better than written testimonials is an image and full name or a video testimonial.
Not only is this 3rd party endorsement (your clients telling others how great you are) but you can also get key opinion leaders to provide testimonials for you, leaders in your field elevating your brand and all you have to do is ask them and offer to reciprocate.
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room
There are a couple of online tools to use for referrals, including Linked-In - the best way to get an endorsement is by giving one to someone else. They will feel obliged to return the favour.
You can also create a free survey on SurveyMonkey and ask your clients to rate you, giving them plenty of space to add a testimonial.
Remember to use testimonials in as many places as you can, on your website, blog, speaker bio, on your book cover, about us area on social media and on your marketing collateral.
Above all, the fastest and best way to build a trusted brand is to be 100% authentic in everything you do.
Don't try to create a persona and don't be tempted to "fake it till you make it". Instead embrace your uniqueness and package your many skills with your own flavour of marketing content.
And remember to be consistent.
Trusted brands are those we have known for years. The human brain doesn’t like new, it likes what it knows, so once you have packaged your brand, make sure all your messaging, images, content and language is congruent.
To really build trust, don't just be you…be the best you!!!
Lauren Clemett is the Best Selling Author of the “SELLING YOU” series of practical guidebooks Know Me, Like Me & Trust Me. She is a personal branding specialist and award winning Neurobrander, helping service providers and consultants generate more income from their expertise. For more information Click Here.