Branding with Trust And Authority
Trust and Authority sound somewhat objective and hard to define. But I will line it all out for you here in this lesson and help bring home the need for trust. Also, how to become an authority even when you don’t feel like one.
I will help you understand the cycle a buyer goes through before they make a purchase and how you can tap into that cycle. Knowledge is power!
What Will You Know By The End Of Lesson 3?
- What is The Buyers Cycle
- How to build trust
- How to be an authority in your niche
- Create a contact page
What Is “The Buyers Cycle?”
Everyone goes through a process when they are contemplating making a purchase. For some, it is a quick decision, but most consumers need to see the product 7 times to make a decision.
The buyer’s cycle has stages which are the steps one goes through before buying your product. There are different levels of steps, and some only use three steps while others use five steps to explain the cycle. I like to look at all five stages. Within these steps, they are gaining information and deciding if they want to trust you.
The buyer becomes aware or realizes they need something. Often this is a problem they have so they go searching on the internet to find a solution. In this cycle, the buyer may notice your product and begin to contemplate what it can do for them.
In this stage, the person is not ready to buy; they are just browsing searching shoes on the internet, and one of your product reviews shows up in Google search. They click on the review and notice a pair of shoes you rated. These shoes may not have been what they were looking for, but you made them sound so good the consumer can’t get them out of their mind.
When consumers can’t get that pair of shoes off their minds, they float into the consideration stage. Maybe those shoes would look good with a particular outfit or will go great with the dress for their upcoming wedding attendance.
Your review was impactful because you gave a good description of the fit, sizing, comfort, and reviews of customers who bought the shoes. You kept it upbeat.
These shoes cost a bit more than most and are a bit extravagant. The consumer isn’t sure if they want to pay that kind of money. But in your review, you build trust with your words which will eventually lead to the consumer spending a higher amount of money. We will talk about how to build that trust later.
Capturing an email or a way to stay in touch with your customers is a huge deal. Let’s say you captured their email using a 10% discount. You send emails to this person talking about stories from other customers, a blog about choosing the right pair of shoes, newsletters with upcoming events such as discounts, or even a webinar about fashion.
We will go into depth on emails in another module. The emails help put your product before the consumer three or seven times to convert the customer’s consideration into a buyer. Your emails build trust and authority.
The intent is the decision-making phase. Consumers are savvy and look at all of their options, availability, price, ratings, and your information to make their decision.
You, as the marketer, play a significant role in their decision. With good information, you will convince the buyer that your product is the one they need to solve their problem. Building trust and authority is crucial to their decision.
You win, and the consumer wins. The consumer had a problem, and you had the solution. Once they reach this stage, they have made a decision and are ready to buy.
Most marketers may think they sealed the deal at this point, but the consumer will walk away if they do not feel like you care for their needs. Nurture your customers with discounts or funny comments. Make them feel important at checkout with a special “thank you” note or talk about how these shoes will make them feel. There are a ton of ways to make someone feel good.
A quote by Maya Angelou says it all:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
The “purchase stage” rolls right into the “after-sale stage” Nurture your customers. Follow up with customer care. Build trust and offer assistance when needed. When you do this, you will have a customer for life. They will return again and again.
How To Build Trust
So how do you build trust when you have never met your customers? We will talk about 4 ways that will make an impact on your business.
- Get To Know Your Followers
- Only promote high-quality products
- Show Respect to your readers
Think of transparency in business as your followers can see right through you. They can determine who you are just by your reviews, your writing, and your stories.
Story – When you tell a story about your experience, tell them about your success and failures. You build trust when your followers know you are a real person, and you, too, have ups and downs. But do it all in a positive manner of speech. Talk about how you overcame an obstacle but not how bad the barrier was.
Money – When we first start, our goal is money. When will I make money? Money is important, but that is not the main reason to start an online affiliate marketing business.
The real reason and the one that will give your business longevity is “How can I help others?” If you only focus on money, those who see your content will pick that out right away. But when your heart is in your business, you will build trust.
You can keep the money as a goal and in the forefront of your mind but first ask yourself: “What am I offering that will help?” How can I help solve a problem? Your niche is a solution to someone’s search.
Get To Know Your Followers
First, decide who your target audience is. Are you trying to reach young or old or male or female? If you attempt to target an audience that is too broad, it is nearly impossible to meet their needs and be personable.
If my target audience is baby boomers, then I will study what baby boomers want in life. What are their money goals? What types of products do they buy and what do they do for leisure. With this knowledge, you can write a post that speaks directly to your audience. Your target audience will feel respected and believe you care.
Also, watch your Google analytics. We set up Google Analytics in the first four lessons on “setting up your website?” Learn the demographics of the people coming to your site, the age group, gender, and where they live? Which posts are the most popular on your site? These are questions you can answer and, with the information, narrow down your target audience further.
The Video “Tracking Progress With Google Analytics” will help you find your target audience.
Only Promote High-Quality Products
High-quality products are different from high-end products. When you write a review and promote a product be sure to look at reviews. If you promote a product that does not meet the standards of time, you will lose customers. Meaning if the product is junk and you endorse it, you will lose followers.
Research thoroughly before you endorse a product. One good example of promoting a bad product I see on YouTube all the time. In the “make money online” niche, there are new programs launched daily actually; a ton of them launch daily. On YouTube, there are many examples of people promoting bad products just to make money.
A few marketers will promote these “scams or poor products” because they pay well. Yet many of these programs don’t offer value and take a person’s money without giving anything in return.
To build trust, only promote products that will hold their value through time. Would you buy from someone or a website that steered you wrong, and you lost your money or purchased a product with no support behind it?
Show Respect To Your Readers
What I am about to teach on here may seem rudimentary. It is not my intention to offend anyone but only to remind everyone of the many ways we can show respect in the online world. When we communicate in writing and not face-to-face, it takes a bit more effort to make sure our words are clearly understood, and we want to help.
Think about the time you may have texted a friend, and they came back mad at you. You didn’t mean it that way and spent the next 24 hours back peddling and apologizing for the misunderstanding. We don’t want this to happen in our business because the consumer will just walk away and give us a bad rep.
- Acknowledge their intelligence
- Give clear instructions
- Speak kindly – no down talk
- Listen and validate their concerns
- Go above and beyond to help them
- Give information without attempting to sell something
(The next set of lessons I will complete are on “Content Writing,” which will help explain a lot of the information you are receiving here.)
Acknowledge Their Intelligence
Consumers today are intelligent and well-versed in what they want. Online shopping is no longer new but has become a way of life. More than likely, the person looking at your site already knows what to look for in reviews and information you will give.
It is a fine line to speak intelligently but not out-talk them with your information. Keep it real and understandable.
Give Clear Instructions
No one wants to jump through hoops to make a purchase. Make your “call to action” clear. Tell them where to click and a tad bit of information about what they will find.
When you are describing an item, make the description very clear. Reread and rewrite it until there are no misunderstandings. When you are kind, you can do this without insulting their intelligence. Your readers will feel relief when you simplify their life.
Speak Kindly – No Down Talk
Social Media is an excellent example for me to use here. Have you ever posted something on social media that is your opinion, and someone replied with a smug comment? They use appropriate words, but you know they are putting you down by their wording. How did you feel after this? Whatever it was, I bet you didn’t want to have anything to do with that persona gain.
No question or statement is a dumb question in online business. Even if you think the person should know, never ever let them know. Use kind and gentle words, and you will build a solid customer base.
Listen And Validate Their Concerns
We are all different, and the things we value are also different. If a follower leaves a comment or concern, it is because it bothers them. Acknowledge their concerns and feelings. The customer is always right even when they are not.
I have read many reviews where the customer gave a 5-star rating because someone listened and validated their feelings, yet the product was trash.
Go Above And Beyond To Help Them
Always one step further. An example is: if a customer reads your review but doesn’t find what they are looking for, they send you a message asking for recommendations, research it, and give them ideas. Even if you won’t make money on the deal, they will remember your hard work and trust you in the future.
Give Information Without Attempting To Sell Something
When writing content, not all posts need to sell something. Some are strictly informative. Some will give valuable information and build trust, which leads us to our next section, becoming an authority.
How To Become An Authority In Your Niche
In the world of online marketing, to be an authority does not mean that you know more about a topic than most. It does mean that you are willing to learn and you speak with authority. When your followers read your well-researched and valuable information, they can validate it with their research.
- Focus on your niche
- Give value
- Knowledge is power!
Focus on your niche
Narrow down your niche. The less you need to learn, the more you will become an authority. Many will start in affiliate marketing, believing the more products they can sell, the more money they will make.
One cannot be a jack of all trades, so be good at one thing.
If you have questions about your niche and feel it is too broad, please send me a message in the comment section, email me or contact me through the contact page. I am happy to give my advice on the matter.
Give your followers value. Write content that is useful and informative. Don’t stuff a bunch of words into a post just to make the word count. Use a spell and grammar checker. People will not see you as an authority if your grammar is terrible. If you are not writing in your native tongue, pay close attention to the grammar.
You may have an IQ far above average, but if your grammar is wrong for the language you are writing in, your followers will not see your work as intelligent, so sad but just the way our world is today.
Follow through with what you say. If you put on your contact page that you will be in touch within two days, then, by all means, contact them in 2 days or less.
We, as affiliate marketers, have many tasks to complete, but the person who sent you the question is only concerned about what answer you have for them.
If you say you will offer a discount code in 4 days, make sure to follow through. When you are an authority in your niche, your followers hang on to your promises.
Knowledge is power!
Research, research, and then research again. Every bit of information you give to the consumer is powerful. Even if you don’t see yourself as an authority, your follower does. Make sure what you tell them is the truth and that you can back it up if needed.
Everything we learn leads to the next step and level of our business.
A contact page is vital for your customers to reach you and Google likes to see that you are accessible.
You will get messages from marketers as well as your followers. Just ignore the marketing ones and move on to your followers. We help solve a problem, and the consumer wants to trust us and see us as an authority.
To set up a contact page, you will need a form builder plugin. The best form builder that offers the most in the free version is WPForms. The WPForms lite version, which is free and designed for new users, does offer a contact page form. The customizing options are more significant with the pro, but the lite will do what you need it to do.
I use Smartcrawl as my SEO plugin, and it has a component you can download to build forms. This plugin is Hustle Pro. Smartcrawl has almost everything needed to create a beautiful site with a “contact page.”
SmartCrawl does have a 7 day free trial period. After that, the cost is $7.50 per month for all of the add ons you will need to create forms and an SEO-ready site. One drawback is the $7.50 per month is billed yearly at $90. But it is an investment I would recommend to everyone serious about their online business.
I will go over how to install a contact page with each one of these form builders.
If you choose the WPForms, I will go over creating and embedding the form on a contact page. To learn more about SmartCrawl SEO Pro, you can click on the link here to see my review.
WPForms Contact Page Set Up
First, start by creating a new page for your Contact form.
- Navigate to “pages.”
- Click the “add new” in the upper left corner
- This will open a “new page.”
- Put in your title, Either “contact us or contact me.”
- Be sure to save the draft
- Then click the “W” to go back to your dashboard
When you get to the dashboard:
- Navigate to “plugins” in your dashboard, and here we will install the “WPForms plugin.”
- Click plugins in your dashboard
- Click “add new” in the upper left corner
- In the “keyword” area on the right upper type in “WPForms.”
- See the image below to make sure you are installing the right plugin
- Click “install now.”
The next step after you install the “plugin” is:
- Click on the “activate tab” as seen in the image below
- The WPForms will pop up
- Click the orange tab “Create your first form.”
Once you click on “create your first form,” it’s a downhill skate. Easy, easy! Follow the image below this. I use many images because I found myself sitting, trying to figure out what the person was saying when I started. With pictures, it is easier to compare.
- Choose “simple contact form.”
- Choose “use template.”
The next screen will be setting up your contact form. Any of the blue tabs are options to change the form. WPForms includes all of these in the free version of WPForms.
If you don’t want to make changes in your form, it is all set, and we will move on to the next step.
- click save
- click settings
NOTE: Before you click “settings,” click “Field options,” as seen in the second image here.
Now click save and settings. We will move on to notifications and email settings. The “General” Tab is acceptable to leave as is. But we need to put in our email address where we want notifications to go.
When someone submits a message, we want to know about it. You can leave it alone, and the email by default will be set to the email on file with WordPress, or you can put a different email in the slot.
Now we will embed the form on our contact page. When you click the “X,” it takes you out of the form and sends you to where you can copy the shortcode to embed on your page.
- highlight the shortcode – right click it and copy
Now let’s head back over to the page we created. In the dashboard, click on pages and choose the “edit” for the “contact us” page.
- Click the black box
- put “shortcode” in the search bar
- click the “shortcode” box to add it to the page
Now add the shortcode to the box, and you will have a contact page.
- paste shortcode into box
- click on the blue tab (it will say update or publish) you want to publish the page, so it is ok to hit it even if it says publish
- now click prview and see your new contact page.
Your contact page is functional at this point. You will need to add it to your menu so people can see it and contact you. We went over menus in the first series I set up.
Remember that your page is a plain white page. The ability to customize colors and background images comes with the WPForms Pro version. But having color does not matter to google or the people who want to contact you. The most important part at this time is to have the contact page on your site.
A contact page will build trust because it gives your followers a sense of security. It is good to be accessible to your readers to answer questions and offer help.
This concludes lesson #3. Let’s move onto lesson #4, Branding with email and social media.