Brand messaging coach, copywriter, ferocious ice cream eater (not necessarily in that order...)
I'm here to help talented female coaches, consultants, & subject matter experts to roar about what they do with unwavering confidence.
There’s a quote about trust from Zig Ziglar who said “if people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will do business with you.“
And as business owners, we’re often told we should be building our ‘know’, ‘like’, and ‘trust’ factors. So how do we go about this? What are some practical ways to boost trust? That’s what today’s episode focuses on – 6 effective ways you can build trust through your copy.
Hayley Maxwell 00:06
Well, hello, and welcome to Episode Nine of the fierce impact podcast. And a happy, happy New Year to you. Yes, February is officially the new January or that’s what I’m calling it anyway. I hope the new year has started out really well for you and that you’re excited for all that you’ve got coming up in your business and life this year. I’m kicking off with my first episode of the Year by talking about trust, because it’s a really nice place to start right, talking about building real connection and real trust with our ideal clients. And so I want to start with a quote from Zig Ziglar, about trust. And he said,
“If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will do business with you.”Zig Ziglar
We often hear people saying you need to build your know like trust factor. But then they don’t actually provide practical examples of how to do this in your business. And so that’s what I’m focusing on in this episode, simple ways to start building trust through your copy. And you’ll know that building trust isn’t an overnight thing. It takes time and effort to earn it. And it’s easily lost. It’s a core part of building your reputation. And it’s essential to business growth. Because if people don’t trust you, as Zig Ziglar said, they are not going to work with you.
In fact, a Salesforce survey on trust trends found that 54%, over half of the respondents don’t believe that companies have their customers best interests at heart, while 84% of respondents said that being treated like a person, not a number is very important to winning their business. So we can see that trust, there’s a huge amount of business influence from customers loyalty, right through to spending. Because when people trust you, they’re more likely to be really loyal advocates for your brand and your business, to be repeat clients to spend more with you over time, and to refer you to others. But really what trust comes down to is just being a bloody good person doing what your say you’re do, and helping your ideal clients to feel really safe and secure about making the decision to work with you. And so when we’re writing copy, there are some really practical things we can do to ensure that our trustworthiness genuinely shines through. So today, I’ve got six ways to build trust through your copy.
Number one is make your copy honest, I mean, no brainer, right. But when you’re writing website, copy sales copy, it’s actually very easy to unintentionally slip into exaggeration mode to get drawn into writing copy that’s full of hyperbole, because we know we’re damn good at what we do. And we’re really excited and enthusiastic to make our services and authors sound the best we possibly can. Sometimes this can lead us to embellish our copy. And of course, I want you to share how awesome your services your offers your skills, etc are.
But I also want you to look at what you write and ask yourself whether there’s anything in what you’ve written that you realistically can’t promise you’ll help your ideal client to achieve, or that’s maybe a little on the exaggerated side. And so common examples of this would be things like over emphasizing the results that someone will get by working with you, or making claims like you’re the best at something or number one or fastest or most affordable. So what we need to do is to look at the copy we’ve written as objectively as possible and ask ourselves, are we over-egging the pudding? Are we fluffing it up in any way? Can we really promise the claims that we’ve made? And would you be happy to guarantee that your client will get the results your copy promises? And if not, then we need to strip the exaggeration out of our copy.
Okay, so number two is backup your claims. And this follows on nicely from my last point. So if you make claims in your copy, what proof can you share to back these claims up? Can you share testimonials that backup the claim? And there’ll be more on testimonials in just a minute? Have you conducted some kind of research? Have you got specific credentials or experience? Can you share results that specific clients have got with permission, of course, and with their name and business next to that result? Have you won specific awards, so you can see where I’m going when you make a claim, think about how you can show people that the claim is genuine, and not hyperbole.
Number three, demonstrate empathy in your copy. So potential clients want to feel secure that you understand what their problem is, and that you get where they’re coming from what they’re experiencing. And they want to understand how you can turn that around for them why you’re the best person to help them. This means approaching your copy from a place of empathy and kindness. So not just saying that you understand where they’re at, but writing in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the intricacies of the problem that they have. And then explaining how you’ll guide them through it to reach the place they’re trying to get to. And let me be clear, this isn’t about agitating pain points, and really pressing on those pain points. Sure, you’ll need to reference the problems that your ideal clients has. They’re coming to you because they’re struggling and to ignore mentioning that problem isn’t going to do them any kind of kindness. It’s ignoring what they’re going through. And also, if you don’t mention the problem, how are they going to know that you can solve that problem that they’ve got if you’re not talking about it, but you don’t need to dwell on it. So instead, it’s about shifting from the darkness of their struggle to the lightness of how you can support them, and demonstrating you understand where they want to be by presenting services that really clearly align with that problem.
We want to help readers to feel positive about the change that’s possible for them. There’s a quote from the author, Stephen Covey, who wrote Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And he says, When you show deep empathy towards others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. And we need to consider that sometimes when people come to our websites to our sales pages, looking for help, they are going to be skeptical about whether we could really help them whether we’re the real deal or whether we’re full of you know what, so writing copy with empathy is about being mindful of someone else’s situation, and focused on creating a true bond of understanding and creating that bond. That real connection is a really important part of building trust.
Okay, number four, be clear, not confusing. Here’s the thing, copy that confuses loses. Because when the copy is confusing, people one lose attention very quickly, which you definitely don’t want. And to will find it a lot harder to digest the messages that you are trying to communicate. And when people can’t understand your message, they simply won’t connect with you at the level you need to start building trust. So ditch the fluff from your copy ditch the jargon, because no one likes to feel bamboozled by technical terms and industry speak that they’re not familiar with. It means they spend more time trying to figure out your copy your message than they actually do on absorbing that intended message so on getting the impact that you really want them to have with your message. Additionally, researchers found that the clearer and more concrete your copy is the better because people tend to place a higher level of trust on more concrete descriptions. The more abstract your message, your content your copy, the lower the level of of trust. So always give your copy a clarity sweep because as the person who knows the ins and outs of your business, your industry lingo, it’s really easy to forget that not everyone has that same level of understanding that’s so familiar to you. So just ask yourself, is this written in a clear and simple way using plain English? Does my message shine through clearly? Right?
Number five is use testimonials. Now, I’ve spoken about testimonials before, they’re a really powerful form of social proof, which means in my eyes, we do need to be careful about the testimonials we showcase. And this is something that I’ve talked about in more detail back in episode six. So I’ll put a link to that episode in the show notes. But essentially, testimonials and case studies work because they provide proof that other people with similar problems, experiences, feelings, and more have been where they currently are, then they’ve worked with you and they’ve come out on the other side with some sort of positive result. So it’s not you telling your reader how amazing you are, it’s other people doing it for you. That makes it way more credible. When something feels credible, it increases confidence and trust.
When we consider the following stats from big commerce, who found that 88% of consumers trust, online testimonials and reviews, as much as recommendations from friends or family, and demand gen report found that 97% of b2b customers cited testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable type of content. And then desta, who found that 88% of consumers say reviews influence their online purchasing decisions, we can see just how important they are from a trust building perspective. So when you’re using testimonials, make sure they showcase the typical results your ideal clients can expect to receive showcase, some that are about the results showcase some that are about the process or the experience of working with you. Because having a variety of testimonials that point to different parts of the journey someone takes with you is a really important part of selecting testimonials. Having that variety of testimonials means that they build upon each other to create a richer, fuller overview of what it’s like to work with you. That really helps to build trust. And now also very quickly add, please don’t only use out of the box testimonials on their own. So these are testimonials that might showcase in a typical result or result that you may not always be able to repeat for the 98% of your ideal clients. So make sure if you use testimonials like that, that they’re also accompanied by testimonials that highlight your more typical results because this gives a much more balanced overview of what it is like to work with you. Now testimonials themselves could make up a whole episode in their own right, so I’m going to save the ins and outs of getting great testimonials for a future episode.
And last but not least, is number six. Let people know how you’ll use that information. And this particularly applies to websites because you may not think it’s got much to do with copywriting. But it actually does because a lot of the copy we write is for websites and email opt-ins and landing pages and more. And so this means you’ll need to make sure you’re letting people know very clearly how you will use that information. So you have to make sure that things like your website policies, your cookie policies and so on up to date, and include copy underneath your email, opt-in forms and landing pages that explains what will happen when someone gives you their email address, comply with GDPR rules and make sure that people are clear that they can unsubscribe from your emails at any time. Let them know that you won’t share their personal information. And please, please, please make it really obvious and really easy for people to unsubscribe.
And so there you have it, six ways to boost trust with your copy. So to recap number one, make your copy honest number two, back up your claims number Three, demonstrate empathy in your copy. Number four, be clear, not confusing. Number five, use testimonials. Number six, let people know how you’ll use their information. So I hope that you found this episode useful. And if you have and you enjoyed this episode, hit the subscribe button in your favorite podcast player. For more information about me the work I do and my free copywriting resources, head on over to hayleymaxwell.com And until next time, go forth and be fierce