Ever wonder why you’re not getting the sales and conversions you want from your sales funnel? Maybe it’s because your audience doesn’t trust you yet. It sounds ominous, I know, but it happens to the best of us, even me. Take, for example, the conversation I had with one of my college best friends back in the day.
“I didn’t know you grew up on a farm!” she exclaimed. “Really? You’re a farm girl?”
“Um, yeah,” I replied. “I’ve lived on a farm my whole life.”
“But you don’t LOOK like you grew up on a farm,” she protested. I looked down at my clothes, confused.
“What is somebody who grew up on a farm supposed to look like?” I asked.
“Oh, you know … they wear overalls and stuff, right?” she asked.
“I mean, they can … but they don’t have to,” I laughed. “Thanks, I think?”
My friend and I had known each other for months. We ate lunch and dinner together with our group of friends every day. Our dorm rooms were just two doors apart, for goodness’ sakes. And yet somehow, I’d never mentioned where I was from.
Now it’s been a few years since then, but I’ll never forget how surprised I was that we’d known each other for almost a year and she’d never once picked up on the fact that I lived on a farm. And yet, whose fault was it? Whose fault was it that she didn’t trust me when I said I grew up on a farm?
It was mine.
I wasn’t trying to hide my upbringing. I’m convinced growing up on a farm is the BEST – and it’s where my husband and I have chosen to raise our kids too. I just wasn’t very good at connecting with people and sharing my story. I hadn’t yet learned how important sharing my story was in order to build trust.
Sharing Builds Trust
Personal friendships aren’t the only types of relationships that are positively impacted by connection and sharing about your life. One of the most impactful ways a person builds trust and uses connection and sharing is with their ideal clients and customers.
Yet so often I see business owners and entrepreneurs holding back and keeping things “strictly professional”, assuming it’s best to play it safe and keep the personal stuff for friends and family. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s so important to nurture trust between you and those you serve in your business. Not only does it make a big difference in the quality of your professional relationships, it can make a big difference in terms of your bottom line, too.
In this article, I’m going to give you four ways to build trust with your target audience: by showing up, being open, telling your story, and mirroring their pain. Putting these four trust strategies into your business will help you stand out from the competition and reach the people you want to serve.
Show Up Where Your Audience Is
“I don’t understand why it’s not working,” said the client. “I’m running ads. I have a funnel. But people aren’t buying!”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this in a Facebook group or community, I’d have a lot of dollars. It’s nice to think you can make an offer, throw some money at it, and people will automatically be blown away by it and buy.
It’s rarely, if ever, that quick and easy. You know what one of the first questions I ask them is? Are you showing up for your audience?
The truth is, people won’t buy something they don’t know about from someone they’ve never heard of. If you’re not doing the work to get visible and show up where your audience is to build trust with them and offer them value, your conversions will be fewer and much more expensive.
The solution? Show up! Email them, go Live on Facebook, make sure your social profiles and website is optimized with lots of ways they can learn from and engage with you. If you’re not showing up for them, why should you expect them to show up for you?
Now I’m not saying you should start oversharing all over the place and letting it all hang out. But you can still be personal while being professional and growing trust. This is a lesson I learned during my time in an MLM.
I used to sell Jamberry Nail Wraps, and I was good at it. Want to know why? I got excited about it and told my friends and family members I was selling them. People who had never heard about or considered vinyl nail wraps bought multiple sets just because I was willing to talk about what I was doing.
I get it. Selling can be awkward. It’s not easy at first for everyone, but guess what? It gets easier as you go. All you have to do to get started is just be willing to be open and share about what’s going on in your business.
I promise you, it’s effective. Hands down, people buy from people – but they won’t buy if they don’t even know what you sell.
Tell Your Story
One of the most caring things you can do for your target audience is share your story with them. This is especially important when it comes to warming up people who are less familiar with you and what you do. Nothing creates connection and trust like a relatable story.
It can be funny, serious, sad, or entertaining. Each piece of your story is important and can be the difference between you and your products and services standing out or fading into the background. If telling your story doesn’t come easy to you, start small by sharing something you did today. Here are some more ideas to help you get started:
- Why you decided to start your business
- What you love most about your business
- Your favorite vacation
- The biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your business
- How your life has changed because of your business
- A mistake you’ve made and how you learned from it
- A childhood lesson that made an impression on you
- Your favorite day of the week
Seriously, anything can be turned into a story. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started!
Mirror Their Pain
There’s something so powerful about feeling heard and understood. Have you ever met someone and it was like everything they said could have come directly out of your mouth? That’s the effect this final strategy has on your target audience.
One of the biggest ways to build trust with your target audience is to come alongside them and let them know you understand their pain and are here to help.
On the other hand, one of the biggest ways to alienate people and make them feel like commodities is pretend like you’ve got it all together and they’re the only ones with a problem. We all know somebody like that, right? It doesn’t really engender trust, and you sure don’t feel like buying from them, do you?
Perfection is, well, TOO perfect. Your audience doesn’t need perfection from you. They just want to feel heard and understood. Don’t be afraid to come alongside them and let them know, “Hey, I’ve been where you are. I know what you’re going through. It really hurts when you can’t do xyz – I know, because that’s what I’ve been through too. I discovered something really awesome though that has allowed me to leave that all behind and start making progress towards my dreams and goals. Would you like me to tell you about what I discovered?”
Nine times out of 10, the answer will be yes!
More from Christa Nichols
Audience is everything, and all these four strategies require to strengthen and build trust with yours is a little bit of time. Which one are you going to try first?
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