I came across a television advertisement the other day that really caught my attention. The advertisement was from a company with prime pieces of land for sale. A saying my local tribesmen would call ‘buroti maguta maguta.’ The advertisement made a very bold statement about the company’s way of operation in managing land transactions on behalf of their customers. If you have lived in these parts of the world, you probably would have heard stories. About individuals who bought land that either was nonexistent (even after verification from the government registries) or was marred with a lot of controversy.
This advertisement leaned in on this insight and showcased a scenario where a would-be buyer was forcefully evicted from their home. All thanks to unscrupulous behaviors from land players in the game. In the end, it put out a bold claim to the viewers. Proclaiming that they were the only company that could be trusted to handle delicate land transactions for customers. My only concern in all this… the fact that this was a very newly formed company, that had hardly been in existence for 6 months.
By the time the advertisement ended, I could not help but ask the question, “Why should I trust them?”
In addition, as a new company, it had not built enough credibility (its audience) for me to trust that ‘bold’ claim it was making. Even though land fraud is a real issue for customers looking to purchase genuine pieces of land. If an organization has not built enough credibility with its audience, it will look just like the industry con men.
Furthermore, While advertising can easily boost a brand’s visibility, it can also be detrimental if done without first establishing credibility. Any brand that opts to accelerate its growth through advertising must be willing to spend much more on its communication journey. This is done by developing a phased communication sequence that allows the audience to experience the full cycle of the brand and its capability. For instance;
- Phase I – which entails understanding what the brand is and stands for,
- Phase II – which gives a view of any demonstrated expertise, and finally
- Phase III – which speaks to the problem and solutions at hand.
Jumping straight to phase III leaves the audience with questions about the credibility of the brand. And without credibility, it becomes challenging to convince your audience to invest. Keep in mind you want them to invest in you or your products & services, no matter how good you are.
Much like the company in the advertisement above, Personal Brands can also suffer the same fate if trust is not well established.
So how does this process look when it comes to building trust for Personal Brands?
- Be sure to introduce yourself: For the world to interact with you, they must know you. Have you ever had a strange person show up in your inbox with a request for assistance? Even when you can help, chances are you will be hesitant to offer support if you do not know much about the person. The same is true in the world of Personal Branding. Before you can tell us about your expertise, you must tell us who you are and why we should believe in your message. Otherwise, your message will be given in futility. Your Profile Pages give a you good opportunity to introduce yourself to your audiences. When was the last time you spent time on your LinkedIn profile? Take some time out and ensure your profile is as complete as possible.
- Be consistent in your communication and behaviors: Consistency builds memorability. Develop a set of beliefs that will guide your everyday actions. Make sure it is both by word and deed; online or offline. Demonstrate consistent messaging and behavior across different situations and events. This will make it easier for people to create perceptions of who you are. Earn a mark in your audience’s mind by creating a brand message that you are committed to standing by. This should be irrespective of changing situations, and consistently project that across all platforms.
- Deliver 105% value to build an army of ambassadors: Be devout in demonstrating your skills and expertise in your field, and willingly share your knowledge and insights with your target audience. By proving to your audience that you can deliver more value than is called upon, you create opportunities for them to speak on your behalf. This will always give you the service advantage over your peers.
A personal brand that wants to stand the test of time must take the time to consistently build its credibility. With credibility, you establish a strong connection with your followers and create a positive image for your brand.
Build your credibility and #Standout4Growth.
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