Building trust in person can be a hard enough proposition, yet building trust online has its own challenges and opportunities.
Most healthy in person interactions that build trust are built on a few core approaches:
Identifying with that person and finding common ground as quickly as possible . Are they a Broncos fan? Where are they from? We do this subconsciously almost, but it is a key part of any introduction, it builds a quick surface level connection.
Genuinely understand what their core trigger points, problems, and passions are. As you get to know someone face to face this will typically unfold if you listen and ask questions well.
Objectively share similar experiences, challenges, or business needs that you might have and how you are learning from them. The key here is listening well and not sharing too quickly the perfect story that comes to mind to encourage that individual or help them with their problem.
Most of the above characteristics of building trust both apply in personal and professional contexts- although in a professional sense the content of what you share will be different. For example, in a personal context you’d be sharing about the challenges you faced when losing your grandmother, whereas in a professional context you might be sharing about the lessons you learned while in the trenches your first few years working. Both build trust but in a whole different way.
So, how do these core characteristics apply in the digital space? Let’s try to mirror the thought process, but apply digital touch points.
Identifying with the person through LinkedIn knowledge. If for example you are making a call to a person that is a new introduction through a mutual business relationship, take a moment to look them up online. I do this shamelessly and refer to their LinkedIn profile on the call. Most people don’t react negatively to this and are impressed that I’ve done some homework. I typically start with trying to find common ground geographically.
Genuinely understand what their challenges or passions are by writing to their needs: I do this as best as I can through the writing or content that I post. If I’m writing a blog about what do with a pretty website that isn’t driving any traffic, I’m picturing that person that just invested a lot of money into a great website but is now disappointed.
Objectively sharing similar experiences etc, with them through a webinar or initial consultation. A way to build trust with someone is through your writing, or the content that you’ve produced online. Hopefully you’ve built trust with your audience enough to have them sign up for a webinar or free consultation to hear more about your business, but more importantly for them to share their needs. If they’ve raised their hand through a opt in form or call to action, now is the time to engage. Don’t go overboard though, listen first.
At each of these tips’ core is one key component: get to know someone for who they are as a person first, over what they do. This is the quickest and most genuine way to build trust.