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Know Like Trust - Marketing to Sceptics

Know Like Trust - Marketing to Sceptics

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”- Sir Walter Scott, 1808


In this famous line from Scott's epic poem, Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field, Scott is alluding to how, when we speak dishonestly or try to obfuscate a subject matter, we inevitably create a downward spiral of ducking and diving that becomes impossible to climb out of. 


Now, back in 1808, I doubt Sir Scott had marketing principles in mind, but nevertheless, the words are worth heeding in today's modern world of communicating. 


Most marketing is online now and instant. Your clients and potential customers have access to any information they seek at the click of a mouse. And with this comes the ability to double or even triple-check that information for accuracy and credibility. 


That’s why it’s so important not to practice to deceive


Think about it. Who do you prefer to buy from - someone you know, like and trust, or someone who won't give you a straight answer? 


In his bestselling book, They Ask You Answer, Marcus Sheridon addresses this very point within the context of inbound marketing. The book introduces readers to the concept of transparency in marketing and sets out how embracing this approach will make you a trusted voice in your industry.  


You become the person with the answers, and the person with the answers usually gets the sale. 


Know, Like, Trust - How to become THAT person


I suggest you start by trying to incorporate some of these basic principles into your marketing strategy. 

  • be customer-centric. Understand your customer inside and out. Investing in thorough market research is always a good idea. You don’t need to hire a large agency to do this, but you should invest some time yourself into mapping out the buyer’s journey for your target market, highlighting the pain points along the way and the questions they are likely to want to be answered before they commit to a purchase. 


Now you know the questions, answer them. Show them how your product or service can solve their problems. Back these claims up with successful case studies and other means of social proof. But don’t underestimate your audience - they’re smarter than you may think.


That’s why you should always………

  • Be honest - If your solution is not the right one for the client, let them know your concerns. Equip them with the facts so they can make an informed decision. Not only will this continue to build your reputation of integrity and expertise, but it will also prevent you and the client from entering into an agreement that simply cannot be fulfilled to expectations. A lose-lose situation like this can seriously hurt your brand, your pocket and your sales prospecting. More importantly, it hurts the client relationship, potentially turning an advocate into an adversary. 

  • Be authentic - Consumers are overwhelmed these days with marketing messages. Their social feeds are full of promotional content and people trying to hard sell. They’re becoming cynical about the miracle solutions on offer. They’re looking to buy but want reassurance about who they buy from. Passionate business owners who genuinely believe their products and services will add value to their customers communicate this with heartfelt conviction and sincerity - they’re authentic. And people buy from people they believe in.


“Build trust and earn attention. The entity that gets the most trust will get the most customers.” - Seth Godin.


  • Be consistent - Consistency in your messaging across all marketing channels plays a large part in building credibility. Show up when you say you will - this may be as simple as posting to social media at the same time every day or releasing a blog once a week on a Wednesday. Always deliver projects on time, and meet deadlines. If you become reliable, your customers will know what to expect from you and aren’t disappointed when they come looking for answers. All these regular positive interactions with your brand will generate more sales leads and contribute to a higher, quicker conversion rate. 

  • Be persistent - Despite the stories we hear of businesses having instant success with their inbound digital marketing, remember there are many more about how long it took to grow a community of followers. Accept that it will take time. Your first Facebook Live may well be just you and your dog, possibly even your second and your third, but with persistence (and consistency) your reach will start to grow, as will your inbound leads. 


Now get out there and become THAT business owner customers Know, Like and Trust and don’t forget to let me know how these small changes to your marketing efforts produce great results for your business! 

Martin Baillie - ActionCOACH and Growth Specialist
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As a Business Growth Specialist, I work with business owners to create the business and lifestyle they had in mind when they first started. Using the ActionCOACH business coaching system, you are guaranteed to see vast improvements in your time, your team and your profit. The results are compelling... not only a business that works more profitably than it did, but also more choice and lifestyle for you as you will be able to work on your business rather than in your business.