How do we build trust with our clients? And why building trust with clients starts with yourself!

Prospects become clients when they trust you. But how do you get them to trust you?

The first thing that you read on my homepage is:

“Helping you excel at sharing content, copy, and marketing messages that make your business visible, valued, and trusted - and let you sell with confidence and authenticity”

The thought behind the tagline is that clients buy from you when they trust you and that trust is the last step in a process, where people notice you online, see you for who you are (as a person and as a service provider), value you and what you share with them, and as the final stage - trust you to help them solve their problem and make their lives better.


What is trust?

Trust is “the belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something”.

When we look at this definition from a service provider’s perspective, then I’d like to make the following assumptions:

Belief comes from action and conviction. There must be a foundation upon which trust is built and for your clients to trust you enough to work with you, they must have experienced actions that you have taken to prove that you are trustworthy. Actions that convince them of your sincerity.

Reliability implies consistency and that you have proven to be true to your word over a longer period of time.

Truth leads us to who we are as a person being authentic and congruent with our values and what we believe in – and how we express these in words and in actions. It’s about how you’re living your values.

Ability is connected to your innate strengths and talents but also to your skills and capabilities that you demonstrate consistently.

This leads me to the conclusion that for others to find you worthy of their trust, you have to build trust within yourself first.

You cannot expect others to trust you if you cannot trust yourself - AND if you don’t know who you are as a person, you cannot show up as the person that others can trust.


Who are you as a person that can be trusted?

The first thing that I do with my clients when we start working together is to help them to put together a holistic picture of themselves.

We start with the “easy” part and look at their formal education and qualifications. These are learned skills and capabilities that they can use when working with their clients.

The next part is looking at their experience, expertise, and knowledge that they have accumulated throughout their lives. These are often related to their professional career but also to their hobbies, passions, and any other activities that they have performed in the past.

Finally, we are looking into their personality. Their innate strengths and talents but also their value system and their purpose.

This is the really exciting part because it often is a part where they discover that a change of perspective can make a huge difference.

This shift of perspective is often related to a personality trait that others made you believe to be a disadvantage.

A good example is a person with ADHD, who discovered that her ADHD enables her…

  • To be extremely focused on areas that are interesting for her (forgetting everything else around her)
  • To be fully present for her clients – every time
  • To absorb knowledge in her area to an amazingly large degree
  • To have high (positive) energy levels that her clients can feed of
  • To easily memorise the tiniest details about her clients

This flows naturally together with looking deeper into innate strengths and talents and how they manifest in the work that they are doing. What their “default” approach is and how that can lead to signature processes and approaches.

Another part of this step in the journey is to define and articulate personal values and how they live them every day and with their clients. This part is about how they are consistently showing up for themselves but also for others.

Their personal values are essential in driving the consistency of their actions - just as much as their purpose is the destination that channels their actions towards an aspirational goal.

Understanding yourself to that degree, allows you to define and take the actions that are congruent with who you are.

And that is the foundation to act with integrity and consistency, which make you reliable.

This knowledge also gives you the confidence and trust in your abilities to figure things out. It also allows you to trust yourself to invest in yourself because you know that you’ll be able to make things work for you and get a return on your investment.

In other words – it drives you to do the work and get the benefits you desire.

Do you keep the promises that you make to yourself?

I believe that we’ve all experienced situations where we set ourselves a goal and failed at reaching it. New Year’s resolutions are a brilliant example of it.

We promise ourselves that we want to eat healthily and exercise five times a week. But then after a few weeks, we are back to our old habits of exercising sporadically and eating “soul food” on the couch.

But here’s the thing – only when I’m congruent with who I want to be, can I show up and act as that person.

When I tell myself that I am a swimmer, then act as a swimmer, hitting the pool every morning for a serious workout, getting a trainer who works with me on my style, getting a training plan, adapting my nutrition, and seeing myself as a swimmer.

This doesn’t mean that I have to compete in the Olympics but it means that I need to make being a swimmer my way of life.

The wonderful thing about aligning beliefs and actions is that you can trust yourself and that your mind doesn’t give you failure messages anymore. You follow through and that is congruent with your beliefs.

When you don’t follow through, your mind signals that you’re not congruent. When you start missing your swimming sessions in the mornings, that makes you feel bad or guilty because that’s not aligned with your identity as a swimmer anymore.

My point is – to show up authentically as who you are consistently, you need to understand who you are and act accordingly.

For your own sake but also for your clients’ sakes if you want them to be able to trust you.

So, who are you?

And who are you for your clients?

How can you get your clients to trust you?

Now that you know how you want to show up, you need to define how you want to show up for your clients.

How you show up for yourself should be aligned with how you show up for your clients. That allows you to show up authentically.

Earlier I spoke about values and purpose. These are still very valid for your interactions with your clients.

Your values and purpose drive your actions and let you consistently and reliably show up as your authentic self.

This consistency doesn’t only allow you to be congruent with yourself, and reliable for your clients – but it also builds your brand.

Consistent actions get you to be known for something. When you consistently live into your purpose and act according to your values then you will be known as the person who…

  • Helps people change their mindsets
  • Turns their finances around
  • Change their lifestyle
  • Recover from burnout
  • Break through the glass ceiling
  • Write high-value content…

When you show up for your audience consistently as yourself – then you have an effect on your audience and their lives. You help them to change, grow or improve.

And with time you get more and more social proof, people talking about you, and you grow your influence.

This won’t happen overnight. You need time to build your brand and reputation – and your audience needs time to experience your actions and learn to trust you.

Your audience needs to see that…

  • You are capable and have the skills that help them
  • You are acting with integrity and are honest in how you treat people
  • You care about people and show them that you are “connected”, understand their needs and feelings
  • You are reliable and do what you say you do
  • You are credible, have champions who vouch for you and testimonials that prove your level of expertise

And that doesn’t only get clients to trust you, it also builds loyalty in those who have worked with you.

That’s quite a journey but a journey that I believe to be necessary to grow a solid business. And if you feel that you need support with figuring out the “who you are as a person” piece – then send me a message and we can have a conversation.

Categories: : Authenticity, Brand Messaging, Client avatar, Content tips, Credibility, Online Presence, Sales, Trust

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