Trust is everything: How to build trust quickly online


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Trust is everything when it comes to content marketing.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to build trust with consumers and it’s up to you to put the work in to build that trust and build a relationship.

But, how can you build trust quickly when someone is discovering you for the first time?

In this episode, Chris discusses ways you can build that trust quickly through your content to gain an advantage over your competitors and get the best customers for your business.

Additional Resources:


In the last episode I talked about why would someone not buy from you? This question really leans directly into what I want to talk to you about today as well. By building trust, what it takes to build trust, and why we need to build trust, and why it’s more important now today than ever has been, and how we can do it fast, right? Why the speed of trust matters, right?

My friend Marcus Sheridan talks about this a lot, he’s known for saying that we are in the business of trust. We are all in the business of trust, we’re all in the same business, we’re all trying to sell the same thing. So it doesn’t matter if you’re an IT services company, or a shared company, or you’re an architect, or if you’re a market and services company, we’re all in the business of trust, we’re all trying to sell the same thing.

‘Cause ultimately what happens when someone buys from us, that’s them saying, “I trust you, I’m confident that you are going to do the thing that you said you were going to do.” Okay, so let’s talk about trust, this whole thing. The speed of trust, I believe that trust is everything when it comes to content marketing. We’ll talk about that towards the end, but let’s think about what we know so far about content marketing.

So if you’re a long term listener of the show, you’ll get this right away. However, if you’re just listening to the show for the first time, then I’m gonna put links. There’s gonna be quite a few links, I think, to other episodes that will be in the show notes. So wherever you’re listening to this episode at the moment, you’re gonna want to head over to our website, find this episode, episode 161 Trust is Everything: How to Build Trust Quickly Online, and look for the show notes and get the links, okay? I’ll take you to some of the referenced podcast episodes I’m gonna talk about.

So what we know already is, we know about the Zero Moment of Truth, that on average 70% of the buying decision is made online before someone contacts the business for a first time. Then we’re not even talking about buying from someone, we’re talking about contacting a business for the first time. So even now we still … we need enough … just enough trust to contact a business, right? So we’re not even talking about buying from them, we need to build up enough trust just to get … contact the business for the first time.

Why is that, right? Why is it so important? If you think about trust, even in our lives and our relationships with other brands and other companies, and the people that have let us down, trust has been eroded over time, we don’t trust as much as we used to. We’re definitely not as stupid as marketers think we are as consumers, we’re definitely smarter and much more savvy. We definitely do our research, we want information. We’ve all been ripped off before, we’ve all be sold something that we didn’t want to be sold, we know someone that’s had a bad experience, we’ve had those bad experiences ourself as well. Our trust is just not at a level that it used to be.

So not only is it more difficult to build trust with people, it’s like we’re working from a lower point as well, even in some cases minus trust. So we’ve got to do the work, we are, as business people, as marketers, it’s our responsibility to be the ones … the people that go first, right? So, like in any relationship, if you wanna build trust with someone, you have to give some trust away first, okay?

So, this is what I … this is where I’m coming from, this is the context, right? That we don’t trust as much as we used to, that’s evident in the way that we make our buying decisions, right? We’re doing a lot of our research online before we contact the business for the first time, and that’s not even … that’s even way before we think about buying from them, right? So, take all that as it is, right? If you want to know more, go to the show notes and click on the links, and you can listen to some other related podcast episodes there, all about Zero Moment of Truth, and get familiar with that.

But what the value pack piece of this puzzle, the valuable part of this episode that I wanna give away really is, well what can we do, Chris, to build more trust? This idea for this episode came about today, actually. Part of the CMA membership programme, there’s a masterclass programme, which is a higher level of coaching. On there we were talking about how one business was able to … was getting most of their clients through word of mouth, but wanted to do what they could to also drive in more clients from online, their websites, basically through their content marketing.

So what we did was, was get sort of asked the question was, “Well, what’s happening when someone recommends you to their friend, right? What’s happening there, that transfer of trust? Why does that happen? What’s going on there, right? Then how could we mimic that online for a customer that’s not been recommended? That isn’t going through word of mouth, that’s actually discovering us for the first time.” It’s true, this is what’s happening, right? The way that the word of mouth works is that transfer of trust, they’re borrowing that trust, and they’re coming to you for the first time already having built trust through their friend or their colleague.

But that’s not happening when it’s someone that’s discovering you for the first time. So we have certain things that we need to do with our website, with our content, with our marketing, to build trust quickly. This is the thing, it’s about speed of trust. How quickly can we build it, with the idea here that if you can build the trust quicker that your competitors, then it puts you in a position that’s much more advantageous and much more likely to get the customer?

So, I wanna give you some examples of things you could be doing. This is definitely not a complete list, and I’d love to hear if you have things that you would like to add to this list, that you think also builds trust quickly online too. So, there are five or six things here. The most obvious one, you’re probably thinking this too, “How do you build trust online? What’s the quickest way to do that?” Is video, right? Video is the quickest way to do that. We’ve been talking about video on the podcast a lot, and recent episodes are linked to those in the show notes.

What we’re starting to see is that a lot of consumers who are thinking about buying something are watching more video to help them make that buying decision. Ultimately when we talk about trust though, specifically with video, is that your prospect needs to see you, they need to hear you, they need to see what you’re like, they need to feel like they know you, that they like you. So almost like video is an opportunity for them to meet you before they physically meet you in real life.

So, the more video you can do in your content on your website, allows a lot of that trust to be built up before they meet you for the first time. So, for example, it happens all the time, people walk in and they say, “Oh, you’re the girl from the videos, you’re the lady from the videos, so nice to meet you.” They’re building up trust before you even meet them, and that’s a great way to scale you, is through video content. I don’t think there’s any faster way to do it than video, because like I said, they can see you, they can hear you, they can see your body language, there’s a lot going on there. So check out the other two episodes that we’ve done recently on video, I think you’ll like those, and it might give you a little bit of a kick in the butt to get your video done too.

So, video, number one. Number two is sort of problem and solution-based content. Not specifically case studies, which we’ll talk about a little bit more in a later point. This is more of … and we could use video here as well, this is more about problems we solve type content. In last week’s podcast we talked about this, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you, all about why would someone not buy from you. So, sort of dealing with problems.

So, what we want is content that sort of says, “Here’s the problem, this is how we either identify the problem, went on to solve the problem, and here was the result for the customer.” The more specific you can get around the problem that you’re solving, the more likely it is to be a good piece of content. So, imagine someone on your website early on in the process, finds a piece of content that specifically discusses the problems that they’re having in their company or in their life, and they’re able to see how you identify the problem and create a solution for that problem, and the result for that client as well.

So, that could work really, really, well, in terms of building trust quickly, because they can see that you understand the problem, and that you’ve got a solution for that problem, and that someone has bought from you in the past, and you’ve delivered an outcome or a result for that as well. It’s really important to get the result in there, a lot of people leave that out for some reason.

So that’s number two, problem, solution-based content, problems we solve type content. Number three’s a general one, it should be a given, but it’s not, is that consumers … people that are on our website, they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. So there’s no need to make anything about your website complicated. Make sure that the pages that you want them to visit first are easy to find, make sure that your website obviously loads easily, and is easy to navigate. All of that stuff, just tick all those boxes, all those conventions, we want to find what we’re looking for quickly and easily.

Now you’ll see this in your own behaviour. If you can’t find what you’re looking for quickly and easily, what do you end up doing, right? You don’t spend more time on the website, you go back to Google, you start looking somewhere else, and then that’s you away for good, probably. Okay, so we wanna find stuff quickly and easily. So this is a case of if you’re looking at your website and thinking to yourself, “Well, what are the top three, five, seven, pages that we want our first-time visitors to visit on our website? How can we make sure those are easy to find?” You might even wanna consider something like a start here, or a first time on our website type page. Think about it, see your website, see your content through the eyes of a first-time visitor.

Number four. So that’s three, so we’re kinda halfway through. Video, problems-based … or problems we solve type content, finding stuff quickly and easily on your website. Number four is content marketing. We want to be embracing this philosophy of content marketing. They Ask, You Answer and the Big Five, of course it makes sense that we want to embrace this. If we understand that 70% of the buying decision’s made online before someone even contacts your business for the first time, we need to be creating content that helps our prospects to make an educated buying decision.

I’m gonna put a link to two podcast episodes into the show notes for you to check out and listen to. They come in two parts, this’ll help you to understand why you need to create content in this way, so listen to those episodes. We need to be … So, this is a sort of high level summary, creating helpful, transparent, honest and unbiased content that helps your prospects to make an educated buying decision, to help them make that buying decision easier and with more confidence. What’s another word for confidence? Trust. They need to feel confident.

Now you know when you don’t trust something. When you’re not confident about something, you’ll say something like, “It just doesn’t feel right,” and that’s what we’re trying to avoid. We’re trying to get people to say, “If feels right, I think we should go ahead, I think we should do this thing.” So that’s number four. Content marketing, They Ask, You Answer, and the Big Five.

I’ve got two more. Number five. Social proof. So, we’ve talked briefly about this in number three, which was … sorry, number two, the problems-based content, problems and solutions. Number five is with social proof. So, people really do need to see that you’ve sold your product or your service before, and that they’ve had success with it, or it’s achieved the thing that they wanted to achieve. So there’s ways to create content around this consumer-based content, or user-generated content, so any photos that people have shared of your thing, get them onto your website, get them online so people can find them.

You wanna look at testimonials, recommendations, case studies, reviews. Any kind of social proof, ’cause it’s part of the decision-making, is that people need to see that other people have bought your thing, and that it did the thing that it was supposed to do. Reviews are huge, testimonials are huge, recommendations, case studies, evidence they’ve sold the thing and that it worked. We need to see that. So number five, social proof.

Number six, this is the last one. Number six is email, and we’ve touched on this very briefly, but there’s many, many, ways to build an email list. We’re not gonna get to that on this podcast episode, however, you do need to build your email list. It’s such a powerful way, once you get someone onto your list, it’s such a powerful way to build a relationship if done correctly, right? So, you can give away something on your website, you can build a list around your blog or your content or your video content. There’s lots of things you can do, just Google, “How to build an email list,” there’s tonnes of content out there.

You don’t have to worry about me giving you that information right now, and perhaps we’ll cover this in a future episode. But that’s how we’re gonna … We ultimately want to build a relationship with these people, so you might have a buyers guide, or some sort of guidance for people that they can download on your website. Once they’re on your list, you want to do what you can to build that relationship. ‘Cause once you’ve got the email address, you’ve got direct contact with them, it’s so, so, powerful not to be overlooked, and definitely not to be replaced by social media.

We’re not even gonna talk about social media, that comes next. That’s those six things I think are the things that really matter, like front of mind for me, in terms of how can we build trust quickly with our prospects, with the people that are discovering us perhaps for the first time with video, problems we solve, content? We wanna find stuff quickly and easy, we want to embrace the ask, you answer, and the big five. We need social proof, and we want to build our email list and get people onto our email list so we can contact them directly, one-to-one.

So remember, this is not about how much money you’ve got. I don’t think building trust is related to financial resources, I think building trust is related to speed. So, how quickly can you do it? There’s fast versus slow. I think the fastest company is going to win. As I mentioned already, building trust is something that we have to do. We’re working with this erosion of trust, so we need to be continually building it, that’s what your blogs and your podcasts, and your videos are all about. That’s your effort, that’s what’s required of you, that’s your responsibility, to give some trust away, so that other people can trust you.

We have to make the first move. We don’t know how long it takes to build trust, we don’t know how to measure trust, all we know is that we need to be actively building it with our prospects if we want to get new customers. Not just new customers, but people that truly want to work with us, our best customers.

Let me know if there’s something you would add to this list. Let me know if you’ve tried some of this, or you’ve taken something away from the episode today, as well, you’re gonna put into practice so you can build trust faster with your customers.

I wish you all the success you’re prepared to work for. I hope you’re well, and until next time, don’t forget to be awesome.

Thanks very much for joining me on the CMA Podcast today. If you find today’s episode interesting and intriguing, and you want to get better results from your content marketing, then join the CMA membership today, at

About Nicola Crawford

Marketing PA at the Content Marketing Academy.
In business, I believe in people first.
Mum to two crazy kids, Alaina and Morgan.
Green belt in Shotokan Karate.
Always learning, always growing.