The Know, Like, Trust Principle

Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

You know this is true because it’s true for you. But it’s also true because the data collected proves the idea that the Know Like Trust (KLT) principle is the way to build a successful business with happy and satisfied fans for customers.

Think about your own purchasing decisions and how you make a choice to buy or not to buy. You probably have a few brands that you really trust over others and you’re probably even willing to pay a little more for because you trust them so fully. It’s the same with your customers. They might pay more just because it’s you. Because they know you, like you, and trust you.

The know-like-trust principle comes into play every single day for every single person looking to buy anything. When using a credit card to make a purchase there is a fear of information being stolen or the product being worthless, until the buyer knows they can trust you.

It takes time to demonstrate that you are someone they want to know, that they can like and can trust. It’s a process that can start with a blog post and can end with a discovery call or a purchase.

Using the content you publish, you can do a lot to help your audience know you, grow to like you, and ultimately trust you. The brand that you create, the voice you speak with, the products you develop, and how you deal with all of that, while putting the customer at the centre as the main character in your story.

Help Your Audience Get to Know You

Aside from your audience realising you exist by seeing your name or logo, your audience also needs to feel as if they know enough about you to be willing to build a relationship.

For example, think of someone you like to follow on social media. What do you know about them that makes you want to know them more?

Are they philanthropic?  do they have kids? or do something that helps you relate to them? Are their stories something you can relate too?

That’s the kind of stuff you want to share with your audience so that they feel as if they know you. However, you don’t have to tell a long story about your Yoga practice to make it count. You only need to mention that you were doing Yoga when the idea hit for them to feel as if they relate.

This can be tricky, especially for me as I still write as I would when I worked in a corporate job.

When people feel like they can relate to you, due to something you normally do, it makes it easier to get to know each other. They may never really meet you in person but if they feel like they know who you are, who your brand represents, and your character, they’re going to want to keep getting to know you more.

Consider what you can share with your audience that helps them get to know you better. If you really want your audience to know you, then you’re going to have to actively share information with them that you want them to know, that will help the relationship grow.

There are many more places and ways to share this type of information, aside from your “about” pages. The truth is, any type of content you create, especially any content that can be termed “why” content, is going to help form the relationship. This content gives your audience insight into what you and your business stand for, what your values are, shows your personality, and how you came to your work.

For example, if you have a hobby that you genuinely like, there is no reason you cannot share that sometimes with your audience, even if it’s not directly related. For example, if you’re a Virtual Assistant who provides services to Life Coaches – who also happen to love Yoga – sharing your Yoga-inspired images or the thoughts that cross your mind in Yoga class, can bring your audience just a little bit closer to that actual “know” factor you’re looking for.

Show Your Audience That You Are Likeable

Once your audience relates to you by wanting to get to know you more, they may start following you on social media, they may have signed up for your email list, or they may have even purchased a low-cost product. Now you can start showing them that you are also likable.

Once people deem you likable, it’s not long before the trust follows but you may need to spend more time helping them get to know you while showing them that you are likable at the same time. There are many ways to do it, all of which involve using the right type of content to deliver your messages.

To be likable, you must be appealing to your audience. This requires that you know exactly who your audience is and what their values are, what their fears are, and what their needs are. This way you can deliver the right information using the right terms and the right personality that they are attracted to.

You may even need to learn and use the terms they like to use to express themselves. Nothing is worse for understanding that not speaking the same language. This is not about jargon here either. This is about speaking to your audience in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

The “like” factor of the KLT principle is super important because this is where your branding comes into play. Branding is all about how your customers feel when they see your brand or think of your products or services. Knowing how they feel about it is crucial.

Do they feel happy, excited, motivated, or something else when they are dealing with any of your online content, or products? Your content, information, and products should be designed to perform in a way that makes your audience feel the way you want them to feel. These feelings will eventually lead to the most essential factor, which is trust. Because if they don’t trust you, they won’t use you.

Demonstrate Trust Through Your Content and Actions

Once your audience starts trusting you, they’re going to become true fans of yours. Once they are true fans, they’ll start talking about you to others and will even defend you, should the need arise. That’s because trust breeds loyalty.

Trust is a potent component of the Know – Like- Trust Principle that cannot be ignored. Once you are trusted, that’s when your sales will take off, and you will know for sure that you have a good business concept that can continue for years to come.  Let’s look at ways you can demonstrate your trustworthiness via your content and actions.

      • Differentiate Yourself – Use your content to stand out from the crowd. A good way to do this is to study your competition to find out what they are doing. Then, fill in the blanks with what they are missing so that you can stand out. Show them how you are different in everything you do.
      • Develop a Curiosity Mindset – You need to know everything you can know about your audience and what makes them tick. Plus, you need to know about your competition and about your own products and services. Be curious, study, learn, and implement what you learn.
      • Know Your Point – When you create any piece of content, know the point of the content. What is your specific and measurable goal for the content? Do you want to get people to sign up for your email list, to buy something you are recommending, to learn something? What do you want them to take from the content? If you can write down what you expect them to get from the content first, it’ll be easier to create it.
      • Understand Your Why – Everyone has variations on their “why” story. Your why may be unique, or it may be something everyone resonates with. Either way, knowing your “why” and being able to tell your story about your why is a great way to build the trust factor with your audience.
      • Develop Your Own Brand Voice – This might seem like a strange thing. You may wonder how a brand can have a voice, but it’s important that your business feels welcoming and attractive to your audience. You do that by being clear about who you are and who they are. This may not happen at first, it can take time to find your voice.
      • Stand for Something – If you really want to stand out, find something for your business to stand for. It might be standing for a concept like less work but more money or standing for something more specific to your business or the causes you care for.
      • Tell Stories – Share as many stories as you can while relating them to your business and your audience. For example, tell the story of how you founded your business and why. Tell the stories of success that others have experienced due to your program, product or service.
      • Be a Resource – Sometimes you cannot help everyone with your product or service, but you know people who can. The best thing to do when this happens is to simply be a resource to them. Give options and tell them about other people who can help them.
      • Focus on Building Community – The other thing you can do to really get your audience’s attention is to focus on building a community of like-minded individuals that use your products or services.
      • Spread the Accolades – Be generous with your mentions of other people’s success. Be openly thankful for your contractors who assist you. Show thanks and gratitude and let them know how much it means by sharing the accolades publicly. When you are a good person, trust soon follows.
      • Show Results – Everyone cares more about results than anything else when they are exploring your services and products. Due to this, you can build trust by sharing success through case studies, interviews, and deep-diving into your successful customers’ experiences.
      • Collect Testimonials – Don’t forget to make it part of your system to ask for testimonials from your customers. You can set this up via your email autoresponder system. Give them enough time to enjoy the product then send them a request for a testimonial. You may have to ask for it more than once, but if you put it in the autoresponder, it’s going to make it easy.
      • Create Samples – Another way to create trust is to give them a free sample if that is possible with your type of business. If you cannot do samples, you can at least do a demonstration so that they can see what it’s like in the real world.
      • Guest Post – If you can guest post or get articles published in places that your audience likes to read and consume information, you can develop trust that way, too. The main reason is that trust increases in numbers. The more they see you, the more they trust you. Especially if others are trusting you, too.
      • Podcast Guest – If there are podcasts that your audience listens to and you are a good fit with the topic, why not reach out to be a guest on their show.
      • Become an Authority – You probably won’t be an authority overnight, but you can work on the perception by publishing books, speaking at events, and having a great message to share that is slightly different or delivered in a different way than others.
      • Teach What You Know – When you can teach other people what you know, and it works for them too, they will start trusting you more. You can teach your audience straightforward things via your blog or video channel in three to five minutes per blog or video.
      • Exceed Expectations – This is probably the simplest way to build trust. If you wow your audience by giving them more than they are expecting, they’ll sing your praises loud and long.

If people don’t feel as if they know you, like you, and trust you, they are not going to feel safe to spend any money on your products, services, or programs.


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