Success as an entrepreneur can come down to how much people trust you. They must trust that the product works, that the company has integrity, and that you know what you’re doing. The last part is especially important if you deal with clients face-to-face or when dealing with investors. People who talk to you must believe that you are an authority in the relevant fields, and that they can trust you to have their best interests in mind when you make decisions.
1. Support Your Clients
People begin to trust you more when you have more than your product in mind. That means educating your clients whenever possible. It’s likely that you have a personal blog or a company website. Use those tools to help teach your clients by giving tips and writing industry-related articles.
You can even offer them seminars that help them in other ways, such as money or business management. Not only are you helping them, which will endear you to their eyes, but it will further establish your chops as an entrepreneur and a businessman.
Think about your target demographic – you’re not trying to sell your product to everyone, you’re trying to sell it to people who are in that demographic and those who want to be in it. Now think about who you want to trust you. Don’t try to get everyone to like you. Pick your battles. Pick a niche group of people to cater to. Not only will it focus your energies, it’ll help you understand how to approach them, which can improve your marketing efforts.
You don’t have to stick to appeasing one group. Once you have established your credentials and have sufficiently impressive reputation, you can try to appeal to another group.
3. Write Articles
The best way to let people know that you’re an expert is to show them, and there’s no quicker way to show that than writing articles. You don’t necessarily have to put the articles up on your site – find a website or a newspaper, send them a letter with an offer to write, and work from there.
Make a commitment to regularly write articles. A weekly or monthly column will provide repeated exposure and will improve your personal brand.
4. Solve Problems with a Book
If you decide to write a few articles, check with your editors and find out which ones got the most attention. Once you’ve got an idea of which topics got the most hits, consider writing a book on those topics, talking about it to a level that would not fit a weekly column. While your book must be informative and thorough, keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be a doorstopper.
Write the book well enough and you’ll instantly establish yourself as a strong and trustworthy authority in your field. Make sure that it is well-edited and well-researched – if your book does poorly due to factual errors, your reputation will follow suit.
5. Speak at Seminars and Schools
Public speaking can be a frightening, but it’s also a great way to get your name out there. Not only will it build your reputation, it will help establish that you’re a trusted enough person to speak at a seminar or graduation.
Getting the right gigs can be difficult, but you can get started by talking to notable speakers and seeing if the event has room for one more, as a supporting or opposing speaker. Attaching yourself to a more notable speaker enhances your reputation and gives you a large audience to start with.
Make sure to practice your speaking skills. Speaking to a group of people at a seminar is very different from talking to your team. Read up on speech-writing and practice projecting your voice.
6. Get Interviewed
Podcasts and radio shows are always looking for someone great to interview, so help yourself and help them by contacting a host and letting them know why it’d be amazing to have you on the show. It’ll let you get your name out to a lot of people.
Once you’ve found the right show or host, just send them a message. If you can’t find their email, you can check out their social-media outlets and find their contact information there.
Trust is what builds brand loyalty, and a company with an authoritative and respectable leader can develop that trust far more easily than one without. Earn that respect by showing people that you have what it takes to handle your business, and you’ll find that getting investors will get progressively easier. You may also find more clients than you know what to do with.