As a foundational pillar for business success, consumer trust can make or break a business, and building it from the ground up is no easy feat. With no experience or reputation to back it, a fledgling business can seem questionable and untrustworthy to potential customers. But to build that necessary credibility, new entrepreneurs will have to make the most of their startup budgets.
To help set you on the right course, the members of the Young Entrepreneur Council provided 13 cost-effective ways new companies can build credibility while earning the trust of their customers.
13 WAYS TO BUILD BUSINESS CREDIBILITY (EVEN WITH A MODEST BUDGET)
- Get involved with your community.
- Include trust badges on your forms.
- Ask for reviews.
- Optimize your landing pages.
- Blog consistently.
- Share authentic stories.
- Provide excellent customer support.
- Build team connections.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Keep your promises.
- Highlight social proof.
- Show your value.
- Talk to your customers.
1. Get Involved With Your Community
Community involvement is simple, easy and a great way to market your business. Credibility is everything, and getting involved with your local community not only fits a modest budget, but also creates great word-of-mouth referrals and generates a positive association between your brand and your consumers. —Kyle Michaud, Experience Expositions
2. Include Trust Badges on Your Forms
You can build credibility with your customers on a budget by including trust badges on all of your forms — especially your payment page. When visitors see that your company is trusted by well-known security companies like McAfee or Norton, they are more likely to trust your business as well. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC
3. Ask for Reviews
Generate reviews via Google, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau and related professional sites. We did not have a budget for advertising when we first started our law firm, but we got a lot of five-star reviews with comments on our holistic approach, how much we care about our clients and how people thought we were the best at what we do. Personal opinions via online reviews create loyal fans. —Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office
4. Optimize Your Landing Pages
To build credibility with customers, create optimized landing pages that go into detail about your campaign and help you build a relationship with customers. The more they know about your brand and its products and services, the likelier they are to take action. Add a contact form and calls to action to encourage engagement and collect their information. —Jared Atchison, WPForms
5. Blog Consistently
One of the best ways a business can build credibility without a budget is by blogging consistently. Blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise while enhancing SEO efforts and search engine rankings. Although blogging can be time-consuming, it also doesn’t cost anything. —Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Share Authentic Stories
People are into relatable stories and content. At the same time, they like proof of what you have to offer. In building credibility, a company has to be constantly and effortlessly sincere, showing people its products and services without overrating or overpromising. These stories can come from customers and influencers. As long as they’re true, you’re good! —Daisy Jing, Banish
7. Provide Excellent Customer Support
Customer support is a critical factor that people look at when choosing to work with a company. When customers face trouble using a product or if they want a refund, your customer service needs to show up. Through fast communication and practical solutions, you can convince your audience of your credibility. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Build Team Connections
The way the outside world views your company has everything to do with the way your team interacts with each other inside the organization. The greatest investment that you can make to enhance your consumer trust is to create opportunities for your team to connect outside the workplace. Consumer buy-in is a direct result of true relationships between the people providing the service. —Kelly Cardenas, Kelly Cardenas Salon
9. Increase Brand Awareness
Increase brand awareness to boost credibility. Your marketing strategy should be such that it boosts your brand’s visibility. That way, people will become more familiar with your business and they will automatically start trusting you. The best place to get started is social media. You can leverage hashtags to increase your reach, engage with your audience regularly and post consistently. —Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
10. Keep Your Promises
You build credibility one way: by keeping promises. I encourage all business owners to consider first the product they want to sell or the service they want to offer and then consider the best hypothetical outcome for the customer. On time, under budget, built to last a lifetime, simple and easy to use — you can get close to that ideal no matter what scale you’re working on. —Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
11. Highlight Social Proof
To build brand credibility, you want to showcase social proof on your website, social media, email marketing and more. This could be anything like reviews, ratings, testimonials, real-time customer activity, etc. Positive word-of-mouth helps new customers trust your brand right off the bat based on the good things they’ve seen and read. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
12. Show Your Value
Showcase the value you deliver to your customers. Fulfill promises and look for ways to solve other issues that they have. Creating an interpersonal relationship with your customers is a way to build credibility, and it doesn’t cost a dime. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
13. Talk to Your Customers
I believe that the best, low-cost way to build credibility with your customers is to simply talk to them. Spend time on social media talking to prospects and existing customers. You’ll get the chance to build rapport with your subscribers and identify new goals and pain points, which you can use to nail future marketing campaigns. —Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights