012. Be more Transparent Online

Being real & honest is the best way to grow your business.

Everyone wants to be seen as trustworthy and honest in the online world. It’s how we get business and how we can ask customers to pay us upfront without losing their interest. Being transparent online helps you establish that trust with the people who can help your business grow.

Trust is gained slowly and can be lost quickly if you’re not careful with how you act online. So, today we’re going to talk about the do’s and don’t of online trust building and how you can be more transparent with your audience.

Be real about your mistakes

One of the best ways to lose trust is to lie. I see too many business owners try to cover up mistakes in fear of backlash. In reality, admitting mistakes and being upfront with an apology can actually build trust.

If you saw a blogger copy another writer’s content - and you called them out on it, what would you prefer? That they be upfront and apologize or that they remove the content and say they don’t know what you’re talking about? 

This doesn’t just apply to mistakes in copyright - you can also be honest about mistakes in past choices. I made the mistake of starting a blog without doing any kind of target research. For years I wasted my time blogging about a million topics with no purpose. This is a mistake I can share with my audience and they can use it as a tool to learn. 

When you share your mistakes, people know they can trust you, to be honest about past shortfalls. You’ll also be able to forgive your own mistakes easier and allow other people to share in your lesson.

Be honest in your content

A few months back I did an entire periscope about why I didn’t like CoSchedule and I preferred Buffer. Now, I’m using CoSchedule daily and I haven’t touched my buffer account in months. I could delete all my old content about buffer and pretend that CoSchedule was alway my number one tool, or I can be honest about why my mind was changed. The internet changes incredibly quick, and our preferences change almost as quickly. 

Don’t be afraid to contradict your past content for what is true now. It would be wrong of me to swear that coschedule is the best tool ever when just a few months ago, buffer was the right tool for the job. Being honest about your changing business and updating your position is important.

We don’t want to be in the same profession as we did when we were 4. Our preferences change and our tools change. Documenting those changes help other people follow your path at a much smoother pace. Instead of wasting 4 months with a sub-par tool, my audience can now look at my content and decide for themselves whether they prefer buffer or coschedule. 

Being honest in your content can be as simple as keeping your old content on your blog. 

Nora Conrad