When you're first starting a business, be it at home, with a small team, or you're gearing up to begin your first marketing and advertising strategy, it can be really challenging to get your first few customers. It's proven that referrals are exceptional ways to get additional customers, and we recommend utilizing testimonials on your site and on social media. But, how do you showcase that earned trust when you don't have a customer yet?
The best way to demonstrate your value and trust is to be explicit about how working with you and your business has your customer's interests in mind. Whether you sell a product, service, or your time - it's important to be cognizant of what your customers want to achieve with you and setting their expectations from the beginning.
Here are 6 ways to build trust when you're starting your own business:
Set yourself up to be found online and in person:
Most customers research products and brands online through social media, or on a search engine like Google. That means, you'll need to set your social media profiles and website. As a business owner, it will be hard to ever feel like everything is "ready to go" so consider a one page website that you can have live while you work on the rest of your site and business infrastructure.
If you're a physical business or specific to a local area, consider signing up for a local directory, and verifying your business so that you begin to show up on Google Maps. Consider yourself as a customer, would you want to work with a business that you couldn't find online? Probably not, in today's consumer world, we like to do our research before purchasing.
Share the human side of your business:
There are two schools of thought when it comes to running your business. One is to seem overly professional and larger than a one-person business. These are businesses that use "we" instead of "I" and take the person behind the scenes out of the narrative. On one hand, this evokes a sense of professionalism and trust, but on the other hand, it can be so impersonal that it might not spark advocacy or repeat customer sales.
The second way to market yourself and evoke trust is by showing the human side of your business. Who are you? Why did you start your business? What do you want to achieve? More and more brands are synonymous with their business owners, where customers are buying into a person as much as the product or service.
Add an About Page and an FAQ
As you work on your site and add more information, add an About Page as well as an FAQ Page. While social media profiles are excellent ways to get a snapshot into your brand and offerings; a website is an evergreen place that interested customers can come to learn about you, your credentials, experience and methodology. Every day social profiles change based on the latest posts, whereas your website is like your resume.
Utilize your website to set expectations. An FAQ is an excellent and easy way to show new customers that you've thought of their worries, anticipated their needs, and have thoughtful answers.
Build relationships through content:
When you're not busy with appointments, classes or fulfilling sales, you can dedicate time to content. Blog posts, long form posts on LinkedIn, email newsletters, writing for an industry blog, are amazing ways to show off your expertise, and garner views from niche groups. It's also a wonderful tool to organically pique interest. Any articles that link back to your website really help with being found through search organically.
Be available for inquiries:
No matter what your business model is, customers expect quick and concise communication. Insure that your website is equip with a contact form, and do your best to respond within minutes or 2 hours. If you specifically don't work on weekends or at night, make that known. Put on your browser notifications and phone notifications so you don't miss those DMs either.
Demonstrate your best intentions:
And finally, why should someone trust to work with you? Whether you have 0 customers or 100 customers, why should the next stranger become your client? Take a moment to think about your mission, values and goals, and be honest with what you love about your work and your business so that others will love it too.