Or, how to get your audience to believe what you write.
It’s possible that people were a little more trusting before the internet came along. Now, among all the other hurdles any online business has to overcome, getting people to believe you and then trust you seems an impossible task.
No doubt that an entire book can be written on this topic. But for today, here are 3 steps you can use right away to build credibility (and hence believability) in your written and spoken communications.
1. Smart targeting and engagement
Confirmation bias is the phenomenon in which people have a natural inclination (bias) to believe the things that agree with their own views. And everybody does it to seem degree. It’s a coldly objective and disciplined person who can completely resist.
This is where smart targeting comes into play. But before you can do that, you must know your audience as much as possible. Yes, another admonition to know thy audience. Maybe it’s repeated so much because it’s so important.
But seriously, this gets back to the idea of targeting people according to some of their beliefs; at least insofar as it concerns the common niche or market. Still, there will naturally be different belief systems among a niche market audience.
Here’s how to deal with that.
Engage them first and then it’s relatively easy to find room for agreement. This is not as hard as it may sound because you have the common ground of the niche market. If you know your niche market, then it’s easy to find points or areas in which you know your audience will agree with you.
2. Build on agreement and move to the problem
Once your readers find themselves agreeing with you, on any number of points, then discuss the problem and get them to come into agreement about that. This is not an insurmountable task, either, because you know what the problems are in your market.
People need to have their feelings validated; this is another universal principle as it applies to all humans.
Once you can get readers to silently agree with you about their own pain, then the connection becomes that much stronger. This is also creating and building rapport and is powerful when done effectively.
There’s more you can do to strengthen the connection such as skillful use of language; and this isn’t about hype. This is about talking to your readers in the language they use in normal, everyday life.
If you’re not sure what that language is, then it’s a good idea to find out. You can visit forums and social media groups within your audience to see firsthand how they talk to each other. The best case scenario is when your words fit right into the grooves in the minds of your readers. It’s seamless and passes without notice.
3. Show rather than tell
That’s a piece of old advice for telling stories whether in print or other media. It makes for a more compelling and interesting story. How does that fit in here?
How do you react to the following?
You can trust us.
We’re the best in the business.
We have the highest quality products.
The words bounce off like a spitball hitting an armored suit. The words ring pathetically hollow. Yet how many times do you still see businesses using those tired phrases?
People don’t want to be told; they don’t want to be sold to; they want to make their own decisions based on facts minus the hard sell.
You don’t have to cut your prices if you can build a solid case for why you charge more. Lots of people don’t mind paying more if the quality is good and they can justify the price for themselves.
Go out on a limb and be upfront by saying that your products or services are not meant to be for everyone. That speaks volumes to a potential customer when they realize you’re not afraid to say it, and lose a few customers. That also helps build some credibility and maybe some trust.
Show your audience that you are trustworthy and they’ll trust you. You’ll make more money with higher conversions to a smaller audience who trusts and believes you.