Educational content isn’t worth a lot if it doesn’t come from a trusted source. That’s why you need to have a strategy to build confidence in your authority with your audience, but that is easier said than done. As a content marketing company with over a decade of experience, we’ve seen firsthand how small-business owners become trusted experts in their fields, and it starts with building relationship capital.
What Is Relationship Capital?
When you build relationship capital, you build a connection with another person. In this case, you’re making a connection with your audience. Over time, if you do it right, that relationship should get more substantial.
When you’re trying to build credibility with your audience, interpersonal trust and relationships are essential. After all, a lot of people out there would like to be seen as the go-to source for information about your industry, but not all of them rise to the level of authority necessary. Oftentimes, that’s because they neglect to reach out to their audience or offer helpful resources. That’s why content marketing and sharing free educational materials can codify your expertise in the minds of your audience.
But unlike relationships between individual people, building a relationship between a business and a consumer can pose unique challenges. Here’s how we do it successfully.
It Starts With Trust.
Like any relationship, this one needs to be founded on trust, too. In a business setting, that means your audience should be able to rely on you to be open about your source materials, provide accurate figures and data, and either disclose or avoid biased reporting.
In fact, 80% of customers lose trust in a local business if the information they publish online is inaccurate. The consequences can be even worse if a business is outright lying to boost a product or service. In the context of content creation, being trustworthy means ensuring your data is from reliable sources and your written material demonstrates you care about the truth. Always strive to maintain high standards for accuracy and publish retractions as soon as possible if you do get something wrong.
Lean On Experience.
One unique source your business can use to bolster your credibility is your own real-world experiences as a company. At Newsletter Pro, we’re experts in this particular type of content creation. We often use real-life examples of successes we’ve had or lessons we’ve learned throughout the years and borrow heavily from the stories of our CEO, Shaun Buck. This has allowed us to put a face to our company and solidify our authority as a marketing business that was built from the ground up.
Fortify Your Message.
Once you have built trust with your audience, your work is only beginning. You see, it’s difficult to gain a consumer’s trust but very easy to lose it. That’s why answering questions, addressing problems openly, and being transparent are so important.
Ninety-four percent of customers report being more loyal to businesses that operate with transparency. That means if your business makes a mistake, you need to own up to it right away. This can be as small as citing an incorrect figure or as big as dealing with a public relations snafu. No matter the situation, honesty is the best policy, and you should always be ready to answer tough questions with grace and humility. When it comes to building your business’s credibility, you can’t underestimate the power of relationship capital. If you can nurture ongoing relationships with your audience through offering educational content, resources, and real-life stories while maintaining transparency, you will be in a great position to rise to the top as a premier authority within your industry.