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How Do You Establish Trust Online?
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Online marketing has many perks–we can communicate with people on a global scale, reach many targeted customers very easily for a minimal price, and we also have the added bonus of being able to show our readers that we're experts in our niches (which builds customer confidence).

But one of the challenges of marketing our businesses online is figuring out how to reach through the cold, mechanical computer screen and make a real human connection, one that conveys who we are as people, not just as random, anonymous website owners.

People want to do business with people they trust. When a potential customer does a Google search for your keywords or your business or product name, they get a feel for who you are from reading your articles or looking at your website or blog or your Facebook profile.

Through getting a feel for who you are– your professionalism, your friendliness, your knowledge, your personality–they form an impression of your business. 

What can you do to establish trust online with people you may never see or meet in real life?

1) Realize that it takes time. You can't submit one or two articles and then expect to be regarded as an expert in your niche if that is the only evidence on the internet in your favor. It is the accumulation of repeated positive experiences with you that makes a lasting impact. As you're doing your article marketing, you should regard each article your write as a way to grow your relationship. Decide on an article submission schedule that you think you can consistently do over the long term.

2) Realize that it's something that is earned. You need to show readers that you're worthy of trust–this means not only being consistent, but also going the extra mile and showing some transparency and authenticity. Remember, readers can get a feel for who you are from your article–how do you want to come across? Are you friendly and conversational, warm and comforting, funny and knowledgeable, or some other combination of attributes? It really helps when we're creating content for the internet to think, "How do I want to come across as a person?" In your writing, the more you're willing to let your guard down and portray yourself as a real person, the more you'll be rewarded. 

3) Realize what a huge impact the recommendations of others bring. This is true of offline relationships too, but even more so for those of us who are marketing businesses online. We are trying to make connections with people who we may never meet or talk to in person, and it's natural for anyone looking at information on the internet to think, "Hmmm, can I trust this?" This is why third party recommendations pack such a punch. Depending on what your website is about, you may want to add a special testimonials page to your website or sales page to help build reader confidence.

I know at we've worked very hard to build trust with our members. We get compliments all the time, and we'll ask the person if we can add their endorsement to our sales page. When a potential customer looks at our site and sees all the testimonials they get a feeling of reassurance that they can trust us. 

There are lots of other ways we work at building trust with members (providing reliable, friendly, and knowledgeable customer support, offering free educational information for our members and their friends on this blog, encouraging customer feedback, and just basically bending over backwards to be sure that each person has a positive experience).

Those are things that we do, but each business is different so you may have found different things that work for you. 

Question for you–In marketing your business online, how do you establish trust with your potential customers? 


NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

28 Responses to “How Do You Establish Trust Online?”

  1. John Muritu says:

    I totally agree with the author. Creating trust and confidence in the people we meet online is very vital to any business relationship. With so many people losing their hard earned money to scams it very crtical that we online marketers do everything to assure our prospects and customers that we care for them.

  2. Jeremy Long CT says:

    I fully endorse what’s been said. Great post!!

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi John,

    Yes, totally! It’s all about taking care of our customers, spot on.

  4. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thank you! :-)

  5. Paul Easton says:

    Great comment from John and very true, its not enough to get someone on a list, its what you deliver /show your self.

    Even in times where things have gone wrong, its how you deal with that with the customer or even its just the email subscriber!

    in short position yourself as a person who wants to help- marketing like crazy and you will be a winner and your customers will love you!

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Paul,

    Yes, totally! It is all about relationships. Even though we never see our customers/subscribers face to face, relationships of trust can still be built by offering value and also serving the customer with attitude of being their ally and helper, rather than an anonymous person on the net who wants to sell them something. It’s a long term investment in a relationship!

    Thanks so much for chiming in :-)

  7. Hi
    I agree totally, I’ve recently started my internet marketing business and my number 1 priority is to build trust with my subscribers. I am doing this by providing valuable, quality information and advice for FREE! with no strings. I communicate with my subscribers in an open and transparent way so that they get to know me as a person not just another online marketer.

  8. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Stuart,

    That’s excellent! What a great approach to take with your online biz.

    Thanks for stopping by :-)

  9. I think the most important snippet of advice in this post is under section 1: Decide on an article submission schedule that you think you can consistently do over the long term.

    From experience, I recommend putting this mission critical task on your calendar and a must do every week or 2 weeks. Staying consistent is the key and it works!

  10. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Keith,

    Yes, that’s a biggie, as if we try to be too ambitious with our submission schedule we can end up falling behind and just slacking off entirely.

    I am totally with you on putting it on the calendar–I’ve started doing that and it helps keep me focused and on track so that I’m not near the end of the month trying to play catch up! :-)

  11. Abby Lawal says:

    I totally agree with you. Establishing great relationship should be number one priority. Sure it takes time and lots of effort, but it’s worth doing.

    Another way I build relationship is by given out free quality e-books with an on-going educational follow-up email series.

  12. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Abby,

    Wow, that’s great–yes, offering continuing support, education, and resources is a great way to establish trust because it shows the customer that you are in it for the long haul.

    It also gets the customer used to looking to you as a trusted expert, which is the idea!

    Thanks so much for chiming in :-)

  13. Kaye says:

    Two months ago I signed in to approximately 10 sites for newsletters so that I could see who I wanted to keep getting information from. After the first month only about 60% were still sending me newsletters.

    Guess what I think about them. No, not that. But it does show me that they are not running a professional business.

    Keeping in touch creates trust.

  14. Steve Shaw says:

    Good point, Kaye–thank you :-)

  15. Hi, thats true

    Personally have had great experience in my internet marketing. all the clients i get are purely through internet and funny enough, we never meet. but they post very positive comments, though at first, i have to win their trust before they can confidently book a safari with me. Your informative support have been of great help and thats why i can confidently say;-

    Thank you – Asante sana

  16. Dinndayal says:

    Trust is the Key,Heart is the Foundation

  17. Marc Lerner says:

    I find in my work with people in a health crisis, that we trust what is important to us. If we put importance into ideas and thinking we develop agreements, which is not the same as trust. What is said on-line makes the reader feel that their life & inner wisdom is important. This turns the anxious patient into an active partner with their doctor. When a person becomes an active partner, they are more likely to trust you.
    The focus of any service has to empower the person you serve. If they approach your service not playing an active role, your services will not be received properly and will not be as successful if received with the inner resources of whom you serve. Self trust requires the people you serve to value their life more than your sales pitch. When life and inner wisdom is more important than the thoughts in your mind; you trust yourself. That begins with how you communicate to those you serve.
    Learn to respect the Wisdom of your Body in a Tele-seminar. Go to to enroll and get my e-book “I found a healthy way to be sick and so can you”. I have had multiple sclerosis for 28 years. I’m president of Life Skills Inc. & Life Skills Institute. Inner Wisdom Body is our greatest resource.
    © Marc Lerner 2008

  18. Daniel says:

    Great comment!

    The best way to establish trust with customers is to work closely and honestly with them toward the goal of determining what they need.

    Unfortunately there are a ton of internet scams out there.

  19. Ted Raiter says:

    You’re spot on i think, especially regarding the point about trust taking time to build…

    You’ve been very consistent about working your list and trying to provide valuable content for those that are/were still undecided about your product.

    This last blog post has finally pushed me off the fence. Nice work in practicing what you preach.

  20. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Ted,

    Thanks so much for your comment, and we look forward to welcoming you to the service. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  21. John says:

    Thanks for that.

  22. Joe says:

    Great words of wisdom Steve. As we strive to provide services and products to our customers and potential customers alike, trust will be a very important factor.

    When marketing in the offline world there is a greater opportunity to sell yourself with personal contact, which means we will just have to work harder online to gain customer trust.

  23. dileepa says:

    Hi Steve

    I happened to open your mail ‘How to customize your resource box in 3 steps” & I ended up here.

    Lovely thoughts bein shared – yes I like it – it’s all about trust.

    Will be in touch.
    Success Always


  24. Business email –

    Stephen Covey comments on how to build trust ian the simplest terms. He says your behaviour must show:
    1. honesty
    2. integrity
    3. competance
    4. consistency


  25. Hi to all the readers like myself. I am new at this, but am in for the long haul. I have written an article and am writing blogs. I liked what you have said and am willing to get all the advice you have to share. First, a little bit about me. I am a grandmother of 6 wonderful teenagers who all have great parents. I am a retired substitute teacher for special education students. After retirement from the school district I taught ESL (English as a Second Lnaguage) classes and a Citizenship class to mainly incoming Vietnamese soldiers and there families for almost 6 years. The best part was there success and the friendships that were built. I hope to do the same on line.
    Again, any help you have to offer I am all ears.
    Willing to learn and Steve Covey’s 4 personal characteristics should be key requirements in anything you do.

  26. Dr P N Moghe says:

    Hi, this is in appreciation the golden advice. I have been in the teaching profession for last twenty five years and have taught almost a generation which has now become parents themselves. At times I come across my ex-students’ children also as my students. It is amazing how long people remember the good or the not so good words spoken to or about them. They do refer you for a long time to come. Now I am working towards making an online presence, but I am sure basics are the same as rightly stated by the learned author.
    I see towards more counsel of this type here which is coming so handy for me.

  27. Thanks for your article Steve. There is so much to think about, SEO and will the search engines like what I write, what keywords will get the most hits, how can I develop back links — uurrggghhhh! But really, being yourself and being open enough so that others can sense who you are is critical. I’ve only started in this world and published 7 articles so far which have been read by about 250 people. How amazing and exciting is that? And 29 of them have clicked on my personal profile – more than 10%. Your words are so true and very important – thanks. The way to be trusted is to be trustworthy and to trust yourself. Jannette

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