It’s not enough today to merely be trustworthy in your digital business, you have to prove it.
Whether you sell products or services, customers have to trust you before they’ll want to do business with you, and building trust online can be a challenge.
People are much more sceptical and cynical these days about the promises made to them. Unscrupulous organizations have eroded consumer trust, so people are much more wary when believing the claims made by a business. Especially if that business is actually trying to sell them something.
So when you have something valuable to offer, it’s important that customers feel comfortable enough to listen to you, engage with your content and even do business with you. There are a number of details, facts and information that you can use in your online content to bolster the confidence of your audience and make them more receptive to what you have to offer. I call these things “Trust Medals”.
Listen to this episode of Hit Publish to discover:
- What makes a Trust Medal and why do they help you tell a different, more compelling story about your business?
- How to do a personal audit of the Trust Medals you already have, and what you should be doing with them
- Where to find even more Trust Medals for your online business to build a powerful, persuasive reputation
Listen to Hit Publish below ...
The Show Notes
- 6 Questions to Ask for Powerful Testimonials
- How to Collect Tons of Testimonials with the Secret “SPURF” System
- 49 Ways to Gain the Trust and Loyalty of Your Audience
A Simple Way to Boost the Credibility of Your Website
Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.
Amy Harrison: Hello. This is Amy Harrison, and you’re listening to Hit Publish, where I cover simple ways to get better results with your online business.
In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about trust. Whether you sell products or services, customers have to trust you before they want to do business with you. These days, it’s not enough to be trustworthy or even say that you’re trustworthy. You also have to prove it. That’s where your ‘trust medals’ come in.
You’re going to hear what trust medals are and how they help you stand out from the crowd and tell a different, more compelling story about your business. You’ll also learn how to do a personal audit of the trust medals you have now and what you should be doing with them. Finally, you’ll learn where to find even more trust medals for your online business to build a powerful, persuasive reputation.
I want to thank you for downloading this podcast, and I want to thank Rainmaker.FM for hosting it.
Are you ready to create some rock-solid trust and win over your audience? Let’s Hit Publish.
What Makes a Trust Medal and Why Do They Help You Tell a Different, More Compelling Story about Your Business?
Okay. Today, we’re going to be talking about trust medals. Wait, hang on. First things first. What is a trust medal? Let’s think about the medal part. Medals are often awarded to people who have achieved a certain level of distinction. Common examples are medals awarded to soldiers or to athletes.
In fact, I still have my two silver and one bronze medals for competing in a local swimming competition when I was about 10 years old. I know, you’re impressed, and that’s the point of a medal.
Whenever I go out on a Friday night or if I’m grocery shopping, when I’m wearing those medals, I can tell that the glances coming my way are in admiration of my ability to place second in a 25-meter front crawl race.
Perhaps not, but the point is this: a medal is a public symbol of distinction. A trust medal is simply a kind of symbol that shows you and your business have credibility within your field and that your audience can trust you.
Now we’re going to look into more detail about some common types of trust medals, but to give you a few examples, it could be a customer testimonial. It might be an award that your business has won or simply that you’ve had experience in your field for a number of years.
When thinking about trust medals, they tend to fall into one of two categories. They’re either some kind of an award, rating, review, or statement issued by someone external to the business. You can’t just give yourself a five-star rating. It doesn’t quite work like that. Or it might be a personal skill, qualification, or experience that helps you provide a valuable service.
Now, why are trust medals important? Building trust online can be a challenge. People are much more skeptical and cynical these days about the promises that are made to them. Unfortunately, in the past, unscrupulous organizations have eroded trust.
Here’s the thing, being trustworthy and credible, as you are, isn’t enough anymore. You might be thinking, “But I’m good at what I do. I’m credible. I’m skilled. I can provide real value to my audience.” You know what? I know that because you’re a smart Hit Publish listener, but simply telling your audience this isn’t enough. That’s where trust medals can help.
Think about this situation. You’re at a party. In fact, you’re at a party that’s being thrown for people with pet turtles. You happen to be a turtle boarding house where people can leave their pet turtles to be looked after when they travel or go on holiday. You bump into someone, and they’re really struggling to find a high-quality turtle boarding house that they can trust.
You’re thinking, “This is great. I can help them. I’ve got the perfect solution. This is going to be so easy for me to transform their life.” With great enthusiasm, you tell them, “I happen to run a great boarding house that offers high-quality turtle care that you can trust.”
“Really?” they respond hesitantly.
Now at this point, you’re surprised. You’ve just told them that you offer something, which is high quality. You’ve told them you can be trusted, and you know they’re struggling to find somewhere suitable. They should be biting your hand off at this point, right?
Here’s the thing. One, they’ve been told the same thing by a number of other places, so how do they know you’re really different? Two, they have only just met you, so how do they know that they can trust what you say is true? Now you have a choice. You can simply repeat your plea with more enthusiasm and hope that with pure repetition you will convince them to let you look after their turtles, or you can bring out the trust medals.
Trust medal one: “Yeah, we’ve just been awarded a five-star rating from the Association of Turtle Boarding Houses.”
“Oh,” they reply.
Trust medal number two: “We had a recent write-up in the National Turtle Owners official magazine. We made it into the Top 10 of Best Turtle Boarding Houses in the U.K.”
“Really?” Now they’re getting interested.
Trust medal three: “It’s a family-run business. We’ve been going for 20 years now. We even have a fully qualified turtle vet on the premises 24 hours a day. “Wow,” they say. “Can I get your business card?”
Now that might sound like a slightly frivolous example, but no matter what it is that you offer, there are trust medals that you may already have — and later I’ll be sharing where you can get more — that you can use to reinforce your credibility and win people over. Why do they work?
One reason, in the case of, say, an award or recognition, is that it’s someone else saying nice things about you. And what someone else says about you is much more persuasive and has more weight than what you say about yourself. I might tell you that I have a mean front crawl, but when you see I won a silver medal over 20 years ago, you’ll be much more ready to believe it. All right, perhaps not.
But whether you’re a business owner, blogger, consultant, or service professional, you can tell your audience that you can be trusted, or you can prove it with trust medals.
How to Do a Personal Audit of the Trust Medals You Already Have, and What You Should Be Doing with Them
What kind of trust medals might you already have? Here are just a few examples. Number one, awards. Do you have any industry awards? Perhaps you’ve won a prize or have been given an official rating by an organization in your field. You might have entered a competition that relates to your skills and achieved a significant place. These all count as great trust medals, because someone outside your business has decided that you have skills worthy enough of recognition.
Number two could be, very simply, the years of service that you have. If you’ve been running your business for a while, this can help build trust. It shows that you’re established, you have experience, and you have a history of helping people do what you do.
Number three is testimonials. These are great for building trust. I want you to think about any time a previous customer said something lovely about you, because these can be powerful stories about how you have helped, how you have added value, or how you’ve transformed someone’s life. They should definitely be shared. Now in the show notes, I’m going to link to two Copyblogger articles that will give you additional tips on how to ask for great testimonials and how to put a process in place to keep adding more testimonials to your collection.
Number four is media mentions. Has your business or website been featured by another site or on the radio or in a magazine, a trade publication, even on TV? Don’t hide these things away, because if you’ve been talked about somewhere in the media, and this might include social media, it shows that you’re doing something worthy enough of being talked about.
Five is qualifications. Now, don’t shy away from mentioning any professional qualifications that you have, even if you think that they’re obvious, because people do place a lot of stock and a lot of trust in qualifications and certifications.
Finally, number six is personal or professional experience. Now when thinking about the personal skills you have or experience that you have, the more concrete examples you can provide, the more you build trust. Let’s say you’re a running coach. Now, you might say that you love running and that you’re a good runner. That’s okay. But if you said that you’ve completed several marathons and have a personal best of three hours, that’s going to be a lot more compelling and persuasive.
I want you to take a moment now and jot down some ideas about where you may already have trust medals in your online business. Those categories to think about were awards, years of service, testimonials, media mentions, qualifications, and personal or professional experience.
Let’s say you’ve made your list. You’re looking at your trust medals. How might you use them? There’s many different ways. Any time you’re publishing content about the services that you offer, what you do, or how you help people, a trust medal or two is definitely going to help boost your credibility and help win people over.
Here’s a couple of different ways that you can start to think about how you might want to use them. One might be on your home page of your website. The only thing here is that you may have come up with a long list of trust medals, so you’ve got to think about which are the most important, which are the ones that will hold the most weight with your customers. On your home page, you might decide that you use a short but very bold, positive testimonial, maybe just a line or two from someone whose life you have helped with your business, and then maybe show some logos of prestigious publications that you’ve been mentioned in.
From there, you might decide to list the rest of your trust medals: years of experience, qualifications, et cetera. Maybe you put those in your ‘About’ page so it doesn’t take up too much space on your home page.
You might also decide to have a dedicated page within your website that just looks at the testimonials that people have given you, perhaps mini case studies or stories about the people that you’ve helped, and have them all in one place where people can explore and read about people who were just like them that you’ve been able to help.
You know what? You might even want to put a whole bunch of your trust medals together under a list of ‘Top 10 Reasons Why Customers Love Us.’
There are lots of different ways that you can use them. The key thing is to use them. Quite often, if I’ve worked with a business before, there are a ton of trust medals that they never mention or talk about. You’re overlooking an opportunity to build your credibility, to win people over, and to prove beyond a doubt that you can be trusted. Make sure you’re not shying away from mentioning them when you’re writing content about your business and the services that you offer.
Where to Find Even More Trust Medals for Your Online Business to Build a Powerful, Persuasive Reputation
Okay, so how can you get more of them? Perhaps you only have a short list of trust medals. That’s absolutely fine. Just make sure that you have a system in place to put them all together as you get more.
How might you get more? Here are a couple of things for you to think about. You might decide to contact previous customers to ask for a testimonial. I keep a document just for testimonials for my business, Write with Influence, and then I have them all at hand whenever I sit down to write any marketing content to promote the site.
You might also want to start putting yourself forward for awards, or perhaps pitch to speak at an industry conference. You might even look at competitions that are relevant to your industry and see if there’s any that you and your business can enter. These are just a few ways to help you build credibility consistently so when people do visit your site, they trust you. They know that what you offer is high quality, and they want to find out more about how you can help them.
To summarize, a trust medal is a symbol of distinction. It might be awarded to your business by an external organization or person, or it might be a personal skill or experience that proves you can provide a valuable service. Common trust medals include awards, testimonials, media mentions, qualifications, and personal or professional experience.
It’s a good idea to list your trust medals and put them in order of importance. That way, if you’ve got limited space to show off your medals, such as on your home page, you know which ones to pick. Don’t forget: you don’t have to wait to be picked. You can be proactive in building your collection of trust medals by asking past customers for testimonials or putting yourself and your business forward for awards and competitions.
What are the next steps? I want you to go away and gather all the trust medals that you have at the moment and share them, start talking about them. Make sure that they’re featured somewhere in your site.
Then, I also want you to think about how you might start adding more into the mix. Now what I would love for you to do is to go to Rainmaker.FM, look up Hit Publish under the shows, find this episode, and show off your trust medals. That could be your first step. I would love in the comments to see what trust medals you have and what plans you have to get even more.
I want to thank you for being a savvy Hit Publish listener. I love this time that you and I get together, and I truly want to see you getting better results in your online business. It’s what Hit Publish is all about.
You could also help other people find Hit Publish by heading over to iTunes and leaving a rating and review, and if you do, I would be super grateful.
That’s all for this week, so until next time, remember to take action and Hit Publish.
Pamela Wilson says
An amazing first episode, Amy! And, in an eerie (but wonderful) coincidence, we happened to have published a post on how to get testimonials today on Copyblogger: Launching a New Product? These 5 Tips Will Get You the Testimonials You Need.
Let’s pretend this was all a part of a grand scheme, shall we? 😉
Amy Harrison says
I’d like to say it was all pre-planned but sometimes that’s just the magic of Hitting Publish, when you keep getting your content out there, sometimes luck gives you a little help along the way! 🙂
Anthony Taylor says
Thanks for the great podcast. I noticed that when I took my testimonials off my website the volume of calls certainly went down. I run a business consultancy in Canada and my trust medals include providing expert opinion for small business issues for the globe and mail, being a columnist in our local chamber of commerce newspaper, and frequently giving presentations on small business. And of course my client testimonials. Thanks for the great content
Amy Harrison says
Thanks for your comment Anthony! In addition to your testimonials, the associations you have with the Globe and Mail, Chamber of Commerce and the visibility you get from speaking are excellent Trust Medals!
Aligning your business with institutions like those, that people already trust is a smart move. What’s more, many businesses don’t realise that these institutions are keen to be aligned with experts who can provide valuable content, advice and consultation.
Great way to build confidence in your bran Anthony and thanks so much for listening!
That is a great show! Thanks!
I just started with both writen and audio testimonials. That looks like a written succes line what the happy customer says about me. And the whole testimonial in audio placed under it.
That means that I let someone else do an short interview with my happy customer on the phone. It’s recorderd and both parties know that.
The costumer does not get the questions on forehand so their answer is 100% natural. The uh’s and ah’s are cutted out later.
It is too fresh to see the results yet. But I am curious if you have experience with this. And if you have a vision about it.
Amy Harrison says
Thanks for listening, and leaving your comment. I love the idea of creating audio testimonials, especially as you also have a written line to complement it.
Audio works well because it’s more personal than a written testimonial, but I also think it’s a great idea to make it sound as conversational as possible. Some companies use video testimonials from customers and while these can work well, not everyone is comfortable on camera and you can end up with a review that sounds unnatural.
I would definitely keep some of the written testimonial on your site to catch people’s eyes as not everyone likes to listen to audio. One thing I do like to do is pull a line out of the testimonial and use it as a headline. So for example:
“Paula’s enthusiasm made the training fun, and already sales have increased because of the changes we’ve made…”
And then you can encourage them to listen to the audio for the full story.
Thanks again for sharing your Trust Medals and let us know how you get on!