Trust. One of the most underused words in business. But, perhaps the real question is: Are you a trusted resource or are you a product pusher?
There is a big difference. You know the product pushers. They are always trying to get you to buy, buy, buy. In real life, they throw business cards at you and offer to “take you to lunch” to sell you something. Online, they are always shoving something down your throat via email or social media sites. Yuck.
On the other hand, some people are trusted resources. They are authoritative and influential on certain (or many) subjects. The go-to person. But, they aren’t some “guru” on the mountain. These people are approachable, friendly, helpful, and visible. (Oh, and by the way, they make a heck of a living as well.)
How do you make sure you fall into category #2? Here are some quick ideas to get started (and trust, of course, isn’t earned overnight):
#1: Start a Web Show
Seriously. Why not? Content creators are seen as trustworthy, especially if the content is good (good as in educational, entertaining, and/or inspiring). What are you a walking encyclopedia on? What can you talk about every day in front of the camera?
#2: Write 25 Articles
Not about your product, but about a subject people actually care about (and obviously you do to). Tips, tricks, interviews, your opinion. Perhaps you are a dog trainer and instead of bragging about your services, you write how-to articles on training puppies. Where can you publish these articles? On your blog…or better yet, approach other bloggers and new media sources who might be in need of delicious content.
#3: Write THE Book on the Subject
Nothing screams authority and trust like an author. Self-publish it if you want to. It is has never been easier to do. No, you don’t have to write “War and Peace,” but why not give it a shot? Something good will happen.
#4: Speak, Speak, Speak
Where can you speak? A local Toastmasters? A Chamber of Commerce? Be on a panel at a conference? Trusted resources love speaking while product pushers love bragging. Who knows? Perhaps you will become a professional speaker one day. And speaking is an amazing form of marketing.
#5: Host an Event
How about nabbing some folks together for a like-minded lunch? Or a “Tweet and eat?” Bringing people together not only is fun, but organizers are trusted. How can you bring people together?
Trust, authority, and influence aren’t buzzwords; they are an opportunity to build your brand and become one of the trusted. Are you up for the challenge?
David Siteman Garland is founder of The Rise To The Top. He hosts RISE, a web show for entrepreneurs, and The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC. He is the author of the upcoming Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business.