Do you ever have one of those days when you sit down to write a blog post and nothing comes? You have a great topic. You know what you want to say. It’s just that you can’t get the words to start flowing.
I’m having one of those days. But we’re all friends here, right? So, in the name of friendship, let’s just pretend that I wrote an intriguing opening that snagged your interest and made you eager to read more.
After that opening, I was going to write about how to build trust in your readers/customers. I was going to talk about how, being on the Internet, we bloggers and marketers have something extra to prove to our audience. We could quite literally be anyone. I could be a 50 year old male truck driver who used truck stop WiFi to do my blogging. I’m not, but I could be.
The Internet gives us a chance to be remarkably open and vulnerable with people while at the same time allowing us to hide ourselves away.
As bloggers and marketers, we’re asking people to trust us. To believe what we’re selling, regardless of whether it’s an idea or a product. How do we earn that trust?
Well, the same way we earn trust in offline life, really. If you’re going to trust me, I have to be genuine and authentic. I have to have values that guide me into making ethical decisions. I have to care about others and show it. I have to do what I say I’m going do or have a very good reason why not. I have to be consistent in my actions and the way I present myself.
Being authentic is one of the fastest ways to build trust. When you’re honestly yourself for all the world to see, you’re giving your readers some trust to start off with. You’re giving them the chance to know you without judging you or thinking less of you. When you take that chance, you find that your readers will pay you back by taking a chance on you.
Like this post, for example. This is not my best ever blog post. It’s not polished and well thought out. It doesn’t even have any images or lists or subheadings. But everything else I wrote came out sounding trite or condescending. This, at least, is genuine. And I am totally trusting y’all not to run screaming when you read it.
I started thinking about this topic after reading a post in Rachel Flower’s blog about not being afraid to let your readers see the real you, warts and all. As she points out in the post, we’re subjected to so much information on the Internet that figuring out how to sort the good info from the bad is a daunting task.
As bloggers and marketers, we’re in the business of getting people to buy our information. The currency may be actual money or it may be belief, but we’re still selling. If we want people to buy from us, they have to know that they can trust us. They have to know that we’re real people who understand where they’re coming from. We tripped over the same rocks they did on the way here. But we’ve figured out a way around the rocks ahead, and we’re going to teach them how to get around them, too.
What do you think? Do you show your readers and customers the real you, or do you prefer a more professional distance? Let me know in the comments.
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