Personal Branding 101: How Can You Inspire Trust?

You have heard me say it over and over again – “people buy people.” Consumers want to do business with people that they know, like, and trust. And they’re usually willing to pay a premium to do so. Of those three traits I just listed, the hardest to inspire is generally trust. In today’s world, business owners and consumers have to be cynical—because there are just so many scam artists out there.

So today, we’re going to take a few moments to discuss the process of establishing trust. Below are four specific tactics you can use:

1) Be yourself. Authenticity is important. People can usually “smell” a phony from a mile away. That’s why it’s so important that you stay true to yourself. As you’re building your personal brand, don’t try to become someone you’re not. Don’t feel that you have to fit into a certain mold to succeed. Be yourself!

2) Under promise, over deliver. The surest way to lose the trust of your market is to disappoint them. So do everything in your power to avoid disappointment! The principle of “under promise, over deliver” is very valuable here- it basically means that you’re understating your products or services so that your customers are pleasantly surprised when they receive them. This philosophy allows you to beat deadlines instead of missing them—a sure way to inspire confidence and trust.

3) “Live” your brand. This is another way of telling you to practice what you preach! For instance, I spend a great deal of time in this space discussing the value of publishing books and appearing on TV. If you wanted to learn more about me and discovered that I had not, in fact, published a book or appeared on TV myself, you’d be right to question me. Live your brand… don’t just preach it.

4) Don’t compromise your principles. This is less about branding and more about personal integrity—though integrity is an important part of your brand. Don’t compromise. Do what you know is right. Be true to the principles you believe in. At the end of the day, if customers and colleagues can depend on you to be honest, straightforward, and principled—you’re going to do just fine. Your integrity is everything, so don’t compromise it!