Abraham is credited as being the father of faith. He left his home and family behind at the age of 75 to follow a call from God into a strange land, where he waited another 25 years before he got his son Isaac. And when his son was of age, God called on him yet again to offer his only beloved son as a sacrifice. It was faith that kept Abraham going. It took faith for him to leave everything he knew behind to go start life a new with nothing. It took faith for him to believe God’s promise of being a father of many nations, yet he did not even have a son at the time he heard these words, and it took for faith him to take his son up to the mountains not knowing God would provide a sacrifice. Despite the many trials that were stacked up against him, he still believed God would come through for him. This is what Faith is…. believing in the things not seen, believing in things hoped for. More importantly, Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God for without it, it is impossible to please God!
The same way cash is used to buy worldly possessions, faith will buy you heavenly possessions.
Life is generally transactional and Personal Branding is no different. To get customers and those around you to ‘buy’ into your vision, you need to offer TRUST in return.
Thus, Trust is the currency of Personal Branding.
When trust exists, there is absolute reliance on an individual’s capability to deliver. To successfully build your Personal Brand, you need to build trust with your audience. The best example that illustrates this is that of my daughter. Immediately she started school, she gained absolute trust in her teachers so much so that everything I said at home did not hold any water. Over time, I have tried to prove my educational prowessness but I fear I may have failed miserably as I still get asked questions like: “Mum, did you not go to school?” or “Mum, why can’t you just google the answer?”
I must admit my Personal Brand is in tatters when it comes to my daughter and to win it, I must continuously prove that I can help do homework with her without having to refer to google for the answers.
So, what must you do to build trust with your audience?
For your audience to trust you, they must get the feeling that you understand and share their concerns and that your values and intentions align with theirs. Once this is done successfully; you will become an obvious MUST for them anytime they have a concern they feel can be addressed by you.
To build trust for a successful personal brand, you need to:
Build your Foundation
“Living life… is like building a house, you have to have a solid foundation before you begin to build or your whole structure will come tumbling down.” Rashida Rowe
The foundation in your life relates to your personal vision, values, beliefs, and passion. To lay yourself a strong foundation, you must be introspective to be able to determine with clarity ‘WHO YOU REALLY ARE’. When you are clear on your vision and the values you stand by, then you will be able to determine the boundaries with which to operate, as guided by your operating principles. Eventually, you will attract an audience that believes and fits into your belief system.
Build your expertise
We all want to be viewed as experts in our craft. Your expertise is built around the skills you have acquired, the knowledge you hold around a subject matter and the practical experience gained as you solve your customer’s demands or pain points.
The more your audience is able to enjoy the depth and breadth of your experience, the more they are able to trust in your capability. And the more you are seen to engage with your audience teaching and providing useful insights, the more your credibility is built.
Building trust is not a one-day affair, don’t expect immediate results.
As the case is with my daughter, I must continuously rise to the challenge, ensuring we get it right every time we do her Grade 1 work to become her trusted education partner. Seth Godin rightly puts it in his book ‘This is Marketing’, “The market has been trained to associate frequency and trust”. So, make sure you do what you do through everyday small commitments that will thrust out trust.
Put trust in to become the trusted expert in your industry and you will definitely #Standout4Growth.