Trust is the foundation of business relationships.
In construction work, contractors trust the designers’ plans; designers trust that the builders will safely construct the building according to plan; and most importantly, the homeowners trust the people they’ve put in charge of creating the future home for their family. After everybody shook hands and exchanged names and contact information—the process of building a home is begun. Soon a beautiful house is established, rising from the solid foundation of concrete and a customer-contractor trust relationship.
Contractor/client relationships require trust.
Today we’re going to look at how to establish trust before you’ve even met the client in person. Maybe even before they’ve asked you to work for them at all! Consider these two keys to building trust online.
1. Provide Value to Online Users
What you do online has to provide value to your potential client. Be thinking about your future customer and how to serve them rather than thinking of yourself and how to get more business.
Approaching online marketing from the position of “how can I serve my future customer?” communicates trust to your prospect. They come to your online presence seeing that you have no agenda other than helping them get what they want, and trust is communicated non-verbally. When you set up your content to serve the best interest of your potential client, you craft an online presence flavored with integrity.
Internet users can sense through the words you write, or the videos you create that you are a person there to help them achieve their goals.
Here are some ways for you to provide value online:
- FAQs. Think of the most common questions homeowners are asking and create answers from your own experience. Then put your new content online in helpful articles or videos.
- Articles. Write articles giving tips and tricks to improve their home. Provide articles to help them fix up or maintain their house. Any kind of article that helps your homeowner is valuable.
- Videos. Create videos answering their questions. Faced with a customer’s dilemma, create a video showing them how to do it themselves or how you can do it for them.
2. Provide Reinforcement for the Value Given
Just as concrete needs reinforcement, so does your online content and marketing message. How can your potential client know whether you really are what you say you are? Here are some ways to strengthen your marketing message online.
- Testimonials. Testimonials from happy clients provide powerful reinforcement.
- Portfolio. The more high-quality pictures you can provide of your work for your customers’ research the better. Having a strong, up-to-date portfolio legitimizes your online presence.
- Awards and Credentials. Have you won awards for your craftsmanship? Showcase them! Are you a qualified re-modeler? Do you have credentials from past training? List and explain what each of them mean, and how they will benefit the customer.
A firm foundation of trust between contractors and their clients doesn’t just happen. When you build a house, you don’t dig a ditch, pour some concrete in the cavity and immediately build a house on it. A lot of planning goes into the foundation. It takes a lot of hard, backbreaking work. It’s going to be the same way for you and your contracting business.
Research who you most want to serve—your target audience — and see how you can provide them with the thing they need the most, whether that’s information, videos, or photos, etc. Learn what they need and be there to give it to them. Sharing information and having a helpful online presence is the key to building trust with future clients before you’ve even met them.
Thank you for joining me today. If you have any further questions or comments, please join the conversation in the comments below.