February 17, 2024

Know, like, and trust: Sell more by building better relationships

Have you ever found yourself staring at the supermarket shelves, trying to decide which brand of peanut butter, dish soap, or toilet paper to buy? If you stop to consider what drives your choice between brands, how significant is the 'know, like, and trust' factor in your decision? Whether we realize it or not, this crucial factor often influences our selections, driving us to choose one product over another.

Brand recognition might come easy for companies with millions of dollars to spend on Super Bowl commercials—but for solopreneurs trying to sell more digital products, it's much harder to buy your way into the public eye.

In the following article, I'll break down how you can expand your reach as a digital business owner and get people to know you, like you, and ultimately, trust you so that you can connect more of your products to the engaged, ideal customers who would find them helpful.

Step 1: People need to know you

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but if no one knows about you, you'll have a pretty hard time selling, well... anything. Being "known" isn't just about being recognized—it's about being memorable with a unique blend of expertise and accessibility.

The first step to creating a personal brand people want to know is increasing your visibility and putting your thoughts and ideas into the world. Enter social media.

If you want people to get to know you, the fastest way to do that is by leveraging the mind-blowing network effects of social media. It doesn't matter whether you choose Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter/X (my drug of choice)—you just need to make sure your ideal audience is present and active.

Once you've planted your flag, sharing your passions, expertise, and hard-earned perspective while developing your product and/or business is a great way to find your people. "Building in public" tends to attract like-minded people (and potential customers), so share early and share often. You might be surprised by how much attention you stir up.

One last thought on picking a platform

The medium of the message matters. Different social platforms cater to different types of content:

Instagram and TikTok

  • Specialize in visual storytelling
  • Showcase products with engaging videos
  • Easily capture the essence of your brand

Twitter/X and Facebook

  • Powerhouses for text-based content
  • Allow for engaging discussions and insight
  • Tell stories that resonate deeply with audiences

Choose a platform that reaches your ideal audience and complements how you want to present your products.

Ok, now, really, one last thought about picking a platform

Don't forget that your social profiles live on rented land—and the owner of that land can change their algorithm at any moment without warning. After establishing yourself, do what you can to de-platform people and get them on a newsletter list. It's far more stable and will help you form genuine relationships with the people you aim to serve.

Step 2: Creating likability

At this point, your audience has noticed you, but why should they remember you? The second stage in building better relationships is about converting casual observers into fans who genuinely like you.

To create that likability, you need to resonate with your audience on a personal level through content that is both relatable and reflects your personality. You should share content that not only informs but also entertains and engages.

Tell stories and show your personality

Consider sharing stories or anecdotes about common experiences or challenges within your niche. This approach builds a bridge between you and your potential customers, leading to a stronger liking for you and your brand while fostering trust.

And don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. Show the creativity and strategic thinking it took to construct your product(s) and business. Whether it's your sense of humor or your passion for creation, a personal touch can make your audience feel connected on a deeper level.

And speaking of connecting on a deeper level, fostering and engaging in community at this point is a great way to increase your likability. It's a chance to invite your audience into your world, encourage information exchange, and foster a community built on mutual respect and trust—which we'll learn more about in the next section.

Know, Like, and Trust Pyramid

Step 3: Establishing trust

Without question, trust is the cornerstone of any successful business relationship. But of the three factors (know, like, and trust), it's by far the hardest to earn and easiest to lose.

Trust can be earned in a number of ways, and transparency and vulnerability are at the top of the list. When you are open and vulnerable about your product, practices, successes, and failures, you'll draw in more people and make them want to stay.

Another way to earn trust (and I do mean earn—it's never given) is to be human. I'm sure you've come across this famous quote at one point or another, but it bears repeating:

"Be yourself; everyone else is taken." — Oscar Wilde.

Share your journey, the challenges, and how you overcame them. It will set a foundation of trust and give authenticity to your story and products.

"Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest." — Seth Godin.

Once you've established trust, ask people to talk about you and your products. Collect social proof through testimonials and let others do the selling. Remember, people buy from other people, and word of mouth is still the most persuasive advertising.

Wrapping up

Building a unique "know, like, and trust" factor is one of the best ways to build better relationships and sell more products.

In a nutshell: Start by increasing your visibility and putting your thoughts and ideas into the world. Next, create content that is relatable and resonates with your audience on a personal level. Finally, share your journey, all of the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them. It will set a foundation of trust and give authenticity to you and your products.

It's not easy, but it is simple. Now get out there and get known!