Occasionally a client asks me to take a book I’ve previously written and revise it or change the formatting for offline publication or use in one or another eBook format. It’s easy work and I’m always happy to do it (good excuse to listen to an audiobook while working).
I was doing just such work the other day when I came across a paragraph I wrote 8 months ago.
Here’s an excerpt (printed in agreement with the client):
The prevailing attitude among most Internet marketers is that their target customers cannot possibly trust them. The Internet is a digital wild west scenario and to trust someone is about as good as throwing your credit card into the crowd at a grifter convention.
But the truth is that most people are fundamentally honest and, because they are honest, they have a harder time than you and I LOOKING for dishonesty. Today’s web-users are more savvy than ever – they know to avoid Nigerian Princes and $200 apartment rentals – but they trust more openly than we expect them to.
Don’t sell yourself short. Prospects WANT to trust you – your job is not to allay some hidden anxiety but to give them a good reason to trust you. Do that and conversions will skyrocket.
People use the Internet now more than ever before to purchase things. It’s not because it is somehow safer or less prone to fraud (If anything, fraudsters have become more sophisticated, not less). Rather, it is because we, as a society have developed habits to protect us when online.
We know to look for the padlock that means a connection is secure. We know NOT to use credit card information on a public WiFi connection. We know to avoid sites we’ve never heard of before and that PayPal is a good way to protect our information.
Trust hasn’t changed, though – just our habits. We are better trained to avoid possible problems and therefore find less need to distrust as a whole.
Your Audience WANTS to Trust You
It’s easy to become cynical and think that because you’re not selling something or because you can’t land a project, your audience, prospects or clients simply don’t trust you.
But, as with most things in life, the vast majority of people will trust you if given the right reasons to do so. They WANT to trust you because, deep down, they know that most people are worthy of that trust.
For freelancers and business owners, it means you need to stop fighting against imaginary opponents.
There are situations in which trust can be an issue. If you are in an industry plagued by fraud – such as SEO – many prospects come in with warnings in mind about what to avoid. But, even in this case, remember that those prospects still NEED what you’re selling and they WANT to trust someone.
If you produce quality information, educate them without expectation of anything in return, offer real value in everything you do and generally do a good job for the clients you DO have, you’ll easily overcome that trust barrier.
As a freelancer, I’ve been forced to deal with trust barriers more than a few times. Nine times out of ten, it happens because the client had issues with a previous client. Personal experience, not circumstances lead to distrust, and there are many things you can do to build trust, even indirectly – such as with a blog.
So, instead of apologizing and making excuses, I simply do a better job. I give them every reason to trust me and am extremely patient, recognizing that it may take a few weeks or even months before they recognize that I have THEIR best interests at heart, not my own.
If you do the same in your business, the rest will happen naturally.