Building trust in a cynical world

Building trust in a cynical world

The world is becoming a much more cynical place. Trust is much harder to win.

Add to that the exponentially increasing volume of marketing messages that everyone sees day in, day out and it’s no surprise that your marketing e-mails are getting opened less and less often.

Even getting people on to your list is proving harder to achieve. Traditional lead magnets such as ebooks are less effective and you are having to give away more and more stuff to gain a subscriber.

Is it all worth it?

Is there another way?


Demonstrating credibility and authority


Building trust requires a number of factors:

  • You need to demonstrate your expertise
  • You need other people to sing your praises
  • You need to be there for you clients consistently

Are you trusted?

Only when all three factors are present will you be able to develop trust and build a rapport with your target clients. They need to see that you know your stuff. That other people recognise you for it, and that you will be there when they need you.


Getting the word out there

There are a number of ways you can demonstrate your expertise and start to build that trust, but they boil down to two approaches:

  • Speaking
  • Publishing



network headsSpeaking can take a number of forms. The most basic is networking. At most networking groups there are a number of opportunities to talk about what you do for your clients.

Firstly there is the general conversations over coffee, breakfast, lunch or drinks. But don’t be the meeting bore, telling everyone you can grab about how fantastic your business is. That’s sure to make you the most unpopular person ion the room. Instead ask people about their businesses and the problems they are facing. Offer some tips or help. Maybe recommend someone you know that could help with a specific problem.  Become known as the person that helps others solve their problems without selling them anything.

There will be other opportunities to speak about your business at networking meetings. Most groups give everyone a 30 or 60 second slot to talk about their business. Don’t go for the hard sell. Focus on the benefits of working with you and offer something valuable if you can. You are looking to gain trust, not alienate people.

You may get invited to do a 10, 20 or 30 minute slot where you can go into much more detail. Again, make sure you are delivering valuable content to your audience, using stories and case studies too bring what you do to life, and then make a compelling offer to tempt the audience to become customers.


Speaking at events

Allen ruddock speaking at a conferenceSpeaking at an event is a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and build trust. Providing it’s the right type of event the audience should be jam-packed with your ideal target clients. The fact that you are the one on stage gives you a natural authority – the event organisers have entrusted you with an element of their reputation and that rubs off in the mind of the audience.

If you are also exhibiting at the event, you have the opportunity to drive traffic towards your stand where you can then capture contact details for follow up conversations. The number and quality of leads always increases if you are speaking at an exhibition.

You may have, or could identify, joint venture partners. Other non-competing businesses that have a similar target audience where you can cross sell each other’s products or services. But even where there is limited opportunity to cross sell, you might be able to find speaking opportunities. I work with a number of professional firms such as accountants and solicitors where I get invited to speak at events they are holding for their clients. By including something on the agenda that’s relevant to the audience but not related to their own services they are delivering value to their clients and may actually get better attendance at the event.


Podcasts and interviews

There are many business podcasts and slots on local and internet based radio stations and to charnels. These can be a great way to demonstrate you expert authority to a highly targeted audience. It’s always a good idea to agree the format and general direction of the interview so you can prepare some examples that promote you in the best possible light.


Publishing a book

Get yourself publishedPublishing a book is now within the grasp of almost everyone. There are many courses and workshop programmes that you can use to coach you through the process. You can acquire an ISBN number, even for your lead magnet ebooks and become a self-publishing author. You can even get you books converted into Kindle format so there is no need to go to print.

Having a book published, especially if you can go the extra mile and get it on Amazon, adds a huge amount to your credibility. Don’t expect to become a multi-millionaire from it – even the best business books don’t make huge amounts – but it can be a game changer for your credibility.



For many, the thought of writing and publishing a book is just too daunting. But writing a blog is well within the capability of anyone passionate about what they do. The blog needs to deliver value to the reader and not be an overt sales pitch from start to finish. A clear call to action is an absolute must and it might be appropriate for that to be a sales offer, depending on the subject matter and how often you have made offers previously.


Getting the message out there

Getting your message broadcast

Whether you are speaking or writing, you need to get your stuff in front of an audience – your audience. That’s where knowing your target audience and where they hang out becomes important. You need to know as much about your target clients as possible so you can identify them and then use the media channels they use to let them know about your content.

For most business that means social media. You need to know which social media channels you clients use for both business and pleasure. Then you can target them with information about your speaking events, your book or your blogs. Repeatedly engaging with them over a period of time, showcasing a range of content, will start to build your credibility and authority and therefore start to build that all important trust.


Getting others to talk about you

What other people say about you builds trust and is 1000 times more powerful than abnything you say yourself

What other people say about you carries a thousand times more weight than anything you say about yourself. So you need recommendations and testimonials and to get other people to re-broadcast your stuff on social media.

Your testimonials can’t be added to your website, to your product or service sales pages and broadcast via social media. All these channels will add to the social proof you need to build your credibility and expert authority. Once established, you won’t need to go looking for clients – they will come to you, because the trust you.

Get a head start – use LinkedIn properly

Whilst other social media channels can broadcast your stuff, including other people’s opinions of you, LinkedIn is the only platform that can do all that but with independent 3rd party recommendations built in as part of the core system.

The various elements within the personal profile provide a powerful basis for you to demonstrate the value you bring to your clients. Written in the right way, your profile can speak to the problems and pains your clients face that you can help remove, or to the hopes and desires you can help them achieve. All reinforced with personal recommendations direct from your clients.Social media strategy

For this reason, LinkedIn should be at the heart of your marketing and social media strategy. I use other social media channels to drive traffic to my LinkedIn profile to demonstrate my credibility and expert authority, and to my website to consume more of my material, gather contact details and make valuable offers.


If you’d like to understand how you can harness your LinkedIn profile to drive your business, then book one of my free profile review calls. Numbers are strictly limited so book today by clicking below.

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Speak to you soon.

Getting to grips with social media marketing

social media apps questionBefore the internet and social media marketing was pretty straight forward. And he with the biggest budget usually won. Nationally it was about big and expensive TV ads, newspaper and magazine spreads in the most prominent places and all the best billboards. Small business would go local but even then, if you could afford a bigger, more prominent ad in Yellow pages you probably won. After all, Yellow Pages only published once a year.

The internet and social media have been a great leveller. You can now compete with anybody at a local or national level and often get higher in the rankings for less money than the big boys all by knowing your stuff. The Scottish Shutter Company regulalrly ranks No.1 in Google Adwords listings and pays less per click than it’s much better funded national competitors. All because they became masters of the art.

But with so many tools to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your business. It can be as confusing for you as for the Point Haired Boss in the Dilbert cartoon below:

dilbert social mediaDILBERT © 2015 Scott Adams. Used By permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK. All rights reserved

How do you work your way through the confusion? I recommend starting with the decision tree shown in the infographic here:

Internet & social media marketing tree Infographic

If you are targeting people that are ready to buy, they are probably searching for products or services like yours. So you go down the left hand side of the infographic, choosing the tool most likely to be used by your target audience.

If you are trying to prompt people to thing about your product or service it’s a very different proposition. You still need to choose the tool that best fits your target audience but a large proportion of them won’t even be contemplating buying from anyone, let alone you. Here you need to think about building a relationship so that when they do think about buying, your product or service is front of mind.

For business to consumer, or B2C, you should follow the right hand side of the infographic. Understand where your target audience hangs out. Photographers are great on Pinterest or Instagram for example. You can sometimes prompt a buying decision with the right offer. For example, a local restaurant that finds Mondays to Wednesdays quiet might use geographically targeted tweets or Facebook ads to suggest people eat out rather than cook and enjoy 20% off or a free bottle of house wine if they dine Monday through Wednesday.

For business to business or B2B, it’s straight down the middle. There is some limited targeted marketing you can do with Facebook and Twitter, particularly using lookalike audiences for your ads, but first you have to have an audience for those tools to mimic. For me, the only place to get or build that audience is LinkedIn. In the B2B world the vast majority of your ideal clients will have a profile on LinkedIn. If you have the right style of profile that offers value and invites connections, it is the single most powerful tool to enable you to find and engage with your perfect clients.

LinkedIn webinar Bootcamp

If you’d like to a magnetically attractive LinkedIn profile and learn how to find and connect with your ideal clients join my three part LinkedIn webinar Bootcamp. Click LinkedIn webinar Bootcamp or on the screen for more details.


Want More Referrals?

Do you want more referrals? What would you pay for a system that provides a steady stream of referrals straight to your inbox? No set up costs or activities, no maintenance fees or activities and all you have to do is ask politely?

What if I told you the system exists, already has over 360 million users worldwide including most of your best clients and is FREE.

You want that system don’t you?

Well you probably already have it – it’s LinkedIn.

I want my share of referrals
So why aren’t you getting your steady stream of referrals? It’s probably because you’re like most of those 360 million users who think LinkedIn is pretty much an online cv used by recruiters and job seekers.

I’ll let you in to a little known secret – it’s not. LinkedIn is the single biggest and most under-used marketing weapon available to any business owner or professional in the B2B marketplace. And it’s FREE!

How do I get my share?
Did I mention your best clients are probably already on LinkedIn? Are you connected to them? They’re hardly going to refer you if you’re not. Once you’re connected you are just a simple, polite message away from getting that referral.

Danger alert!
But hold on. If somebody sees a referral recommending you on LinkedIn the first thing they are going to do is look at your profile. Is it up to scratch? Does it tell your prospect what they need to know? You see, if you thought LinkedIn was just an online cv, then that’s probably what your profile looks like. But you don’t want a job, you want to sell to your prospects.

Help is on hand
That’s where I can help.

First of all there’s my ebook ‘9 Points to Creating a Powerful Personal Profile’ . Click on the link, sign-up and get a free copy straight into your inbox.

Second – you’ll have already done this if you did step one – sign-up for my blog and get a regular stream of useful tips to help you market and grow your business.

Third – talk to me. Call me on 01483 387052. If I’m not around my support team will agree a time when we can talk about how I can help you set up your referral machine.

Why Allen?
I really care about helping people get more out of their careers and out of their businesses. As a project manager for 30 years I have lead, coached, mentored and trained project and line managers and teams to deliver more effectively. As a business owner and coach I have built a successful consultancy and training business and, with my wife, built and sold a successful local care business for a substantial 5-figure sum. In that time I have successfully used LinkedIn to connect with my target clients to develop business opportunities.

This strong background in delivery, training and coaching, mixed with developing small businesses, means I know how much potential there is for most people to market themselves and their businesses so much more effectively and more personably. Through the 3 degrees Social network, the Entrepreneurs Circle and various mastermind groups, I’ve accessed a whole host of tools and resources to help people work smarter, market themselves and their business more effectively and have the time to do and enjoy the things that are really important to them.

LinkedIn is one of the most under-utilised resources I’ve come across. That’s why I love being part of 3degrees Social. We specialise in helping you halve your networking time and take the ‘6degrees of separation’ down to just 3degrees with effective use of LinkedIn. I have a variety of ways I can help you with this – from half day and full day workshops (open and in-house), through online programmes to hands-on 1:1 three-month programmes tailored just for you.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to grow. Connect with me today, book that call with me, and let’s start to explore how I can help you grow your business.