Find out what to do and what not to do to build your brand’s credibility
Is your brand trustworthy? That is the first question on someone’s mind when they first encounter your business.
The question of trustworthiness then breaks down into three areas – assessment of credibility, assessment of knowledgeable assets, and the fact that you can help them.
Two things are always happening when brand building – you are either building trust or losing credibility.
Think of building trustworthiness like points! You responded to an email within 24 hours – you can add 1 “trust point.” You have customer reviews and testimonials that potential customers can check out – you can add 5 “trust points.” However, some things that you may do can deduct “trust points.” For example, you bought your Instagram followers and someone notices – you can lose 100 “trust points,” discrediting all the previous points you earned.
If that last sentence caused you to pause and think about the things you may have or may not have done to cause brand distrust, this article is for you! When you inflate the reality of your business and you are playing loose with the truth, potential customers will be able to see through the facade. It may not be a sudden experience, but your brand’s trust and credibility will decline over time, affecting the business as a whole.
Your business success is built on the trust and credibility you present to customers and the standards they hold your business to. You’ve put a lot of time and energy into building your business. You have great products and services that you try your best to market. Taking shortcuts to build your brand will only hurt you in the long run. A well-thought-through strategy and branding plan has to be implemented for success to be reached.
Take a look at two common shortcuts that business implement that ultimately leads to a decrease in credibility:
1. Buying Followers and Likes on Instagram
You keep hearing about how your business needs to be on social media. That is very true. You need to have an online presence beyond your website because we are in the digital revolution and the majority of your prospective clients will find you online.
How can you stand out to them from the competition? You decide that the most important metric that will set you apart from your competitors on Instagram is follower count, so you use a third-party application to buy followers (primarily bots). Your business’s Instagram account goes from having 100 followers to 10,000 followers. Following this follower increase, a potential customer visits your Instagram page. You assume they will automatically follow and gain the credibility of your business because of the large following. You believe you have activated social proof. In reality, you have done the exact opposite.
Did you know that it’s easy for a potential customer to know if your follower count is fake? Roughly, only 1% of your followers will engage with your content regularly by either leaving a comment or hitting the like button.
That means if you have 2,000 Instagram followers, it makes sense that only 20 people or more liked your last post or left a comment. A good example is SNR Creative’s Instagram account. Our engagement may vary, but it stays along the same average and mirrors our follower count.
Having an account with 10,000 followers and only receiving 5 likes and 2 comments per post raises a major red flag. Prospective clients will be expecting you to get at least 100 likes or comments – discrediting your business’s brand as a whole.
It might seem like a small thing, but if someone thinks that you’re lying about something as small as Instagram followers, they might think, what else are they lying about? That’s not appearing trustworthy.
2. Exaggerating your Company Size
Most websites have an “about” section to give potential customers a vision of exactly who they will be doing business with. The about section for companies vary from very detailed to minimal information. Take a look at the difference in how Marketing Leadership Coach Shavonnah Shreiber and SNR Creative presents their about pages.
The most important fact is the business must use the correct language to present themself. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, don’t use “we” language. Who is this “we”? You might be tempted to present yourself as a bigger business thinking that people will not want to work with just you, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you work with others, even temporarily, you can mention it; however, do not exaggerate like you have a larger team.
Exaggerating about simple things will only hurt you in the long run! Potential customers want to be fully confident in their decision of working with your business, and prompting lies is a quick way to come across as a fly-by-night operation leaving potential customers with the idea that you will take their money and run. Never leave a potential customer with the question of ‘what else could you be lying about’?
Present your company accurately at all times. This is how you become trustworthy.
One Question to Test Your Credibility
Here’s a quick test to know if there’s anything you need to change about how you’re presenting your company.
Ask yourself: Is there anything I’m doing in my business where someone can potentially call me a liar?
If the answer is YES, then don’t do it. Correct it immediately. The reputation of your business means more than fake followers and a false presentation of your brand.
If the answer is NO, then continue to excel in your brand building!
Need Help? If you want to increase your brand trustworthiness strategically and creatively, contact SNR Creative today. We specialize in making sure your brand is presented most accurately while reaching your desired audience.