3 Simple Ways to Build Your Brand’s “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor
Right now, we are in the midst of a lot of Golden Ages. The Golden Age of Streaming. The Golden Age of Audio. The Golden Age of Athleisure.
It’s also the Golden (if not Platinum) Age of the Online Creator, and that includes the Online Course Creator.
Over the past three years, consumers’ preferences have changed quite a bit. According to a 2021 study conducted by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), “…consumers’ trust in brands is linked to authenticity—their belief that the brand reflects their values.”
Instead of choosing businesses based on awareness, consumers are now choosing businesses based on trust. These days, a consumer wants to know, like, and trust those whom they spend their money with.
If your Know, Like, and Trust Factor is high, you’ll be able to easily turn leads into customers and customers into raving fans.
Online creators are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this shift. Communicating directly with your customers is your forté. It’s what you do. And by developing your Know, Like, and Trust Factor, you’ll do it even better.
Today, we’re going to dig into the Know, Like, and Trust Factor. We’ll teach you what it is and three ways that you can use it to increase your influence and build your customer base.
So What Is the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor Anyway?
At its simplest, the Know, Like, and Trust Factor (also known as KLT Factor) is a marketing concept based on the idea that people are more likely to purchase from a brand that they have a relationship with.
Because of this relationship, people are familiar with you. They’ve formed a connection with you. They have an affection for you. Most importantly, they believe in your integrity. With these things firmly in place, they are ready, even excited, to do business with you.
It’s from here that you build raving fans in accordance with Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans concept.
The idea is this: You don’t need millions of customers. You don’t need hundreds of thousands to be into what you do. You just need one thousand “True Fans” to build a successful business around your work.
Of course, that number may vary depending on your idea of success, the number of people on your team, or the price of your products. Kelly’s idea of success is getting to a six-figure business. His calculations: if 1,000 True Fans were spending $100 on your products a year, you’d be bringing in $100,000 annually.
In his updated article, Kelly adds, “It has never been easier to gather 1000 True Fans around a creator, and never easier to keep them near.”
The 2021 GBTI study revealed that there has been “a dramatic shift in consumer loyalty and purchase considerations.” Saul Klein, Dean of Gustavson School of Business, also reported, “…brand awareness is no longer the currency of business––consumer trust is the priority.”
For today’s consumer, it’s about familiarity, connection, and authenticity…or the Know, Like, and Trust Factor.
If you operate with integrity, are willing to be open and accountable to your values, and put in the work to form an authentic connection, customers will be more than willing to give you a chance.
In other words, if you build it authentically, they will come.
So let’s get to building.
3 Ways to Build Your Brand’s Know, Like, and Trust Factor
Number One: Get Visible
This may be a hard pill to swallow, but you’ve got to be willing to let people get to know the real you.
The Know, Like, and Trust Factor is all about potential customers wanting to get to know the person behind the brand…which means that you are going to have to put yourself out there. And you are going to have to do it consistently.
Are you afraid? Congratulations, you’re in excellent company.
There are so many awesome creators and business owners who were scared of putting themselves out there, but did it anyway. They did it afraid. With time, that fear subsided. After a while, they were kicking themselves wondering what the heck took them so long!
Alexandra Fasulo, a successful freelance writer turned multi-passionate business owner and course creator, spoke of this fear on her podcast Freelance Fairytales. In her episode about the fear of putting oneself out there as a freelancer, she said that “one of the biggest mistakes of her professional life” was not posting about her freelance journey on social media for four years. She “couldn’t bring herself to do it” and held back on posting her “intent and commitment to being a savvy businesswoman,” because she was “afraid of what people might think or say.”
She now encourages freelancers and business owners to share their work and talents publicly…and she’s quite successful at it! By sharing her experiences candidly, Alexandra’s KLT Factor is sky-high.
Another example is seven-figure copywriter and course creator Alex Catonni, who shared about the fears she had starting her YouTube channel. She actually described herself as being “terrified.” She didn’t want to fail publicly. (Can you relate?)
Two years and over 180,000 subscribers later, she attributes YouTube to being one of the greatest growth factors in her business. She summed it up so well: “People can’t know, like, and trust you if they don’t know you.”
Number Two: Tap Into Your Brand’s Values
We are living in a purpose-driven economy. Consumers want to know what you stand for and want to see the actions that back that up.
Remember the GBTI study we mentioned earlier? According to its findings, there is a “significant increase in expectations that a brand aligns with the consumer’s humanitarian or environmental beliefs. Earning trust in a purpose-driven economy is achieved through acting with competence and intent, and is lost when these behaviors are not demonstrated.”
When we are talking about building KLT, what we mean is relationship building through authenticity. And one way to tap into this is by knowing and sharing your brand’s values.
Your brand’s values are the intersection of your brand’s goals and mission, including the causes that you care about and why. Sharing them is how you show what you stand for and how you stand for it.
Some questions to ask yourself regarding your values are:
- What’s your brand’s mission?
- What overall goals do you want to accomplish, and why?
- What do you personally care about?
- What’s important to you?
- What causes do you care about?
- What issues, problems, or injustices do you see that you would like to help solve?
There is no wrong answer to any of these questions. This is just about starting to articulate your values. Once you’ve gotten these nailed down, you can move on to the next step.
Number Three: Share Consistently
Now that you know what you stand for, it’s time to share. The truth is, there is a difference between posting about the environment once on Earth Day and consistently showing how your commitment to the environment is built into your lifestyle and how you run your business.
Splashy demonstrations of single-day affection followed by a year of silence is a red flag to conscious consumers. Think about it: nobody wants a partner who shows up with flowers, chocolate, and jewelry on Valentine’s Day, and then ghosts for the rest of the year. To build Know, Like, and Trust, consistently weave what you care about through your messaging.
Your newsletter is a great place to let people know how you commit to running a value-driven business.
Reformation Clothing includes a quarterly Sustainability Report in their newsletter where they highlight what they are doing to “make progress towards their long term, big picture commitments” when it comes to the environment. So when they do post on Earth Day, it doesn’t feel performative or like jumping on an expected fad. Throughout their messaging, they have made it clear that the environment is a top priority of their business.
Sharing the personal story behind your values is another great invitation for your customer to get to know you. In her bi-weekly newsletter “Hannah’s List,” Beauty and Fitness influencer Hannah Bronfman highlights articles and stories relating to fertility struggles, something that she and her husband Brendan went through before the birth of their son.
Freelance writer Alexandra Fasulo also spoke openly about her experience as a high-earning young woman. In her messaging, she included the story of when she received unexpected backlash when CNBC wrote an article about her six-figure success on Fiverr at age 25. Having shared her own journey through the fire, her commitment to encouraging and supporting hesitant business owners feels even more authentic.
The openness these women have adds heart to their brands and makes you feel more connected to them.
Aside from your newsletter, other methods of consistent sharing include your blog, podcasts, YouTube, and social media. Through all of these channels, people are getting to know, like, and trust you. And when it comes to social media, you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. A good rule of thumb is to choose one channel and commit to it.
We’ll be continuing this “Know, Like, and Trust” conversation in future posts, but for now, these three things should give you a good place to start.
Though this method is about the long game, there is a way to jump-start your efforts. Webinars are an excellent way to begin to develop the Know, Like, and Trust Factor. Not only are they an excellent tool to demonstrate your personality and style of teaching, running no-pitch webinars is also a great way to build your email list and start gathering your community.
Want to learn more? Watch EasyWebinar’s masterclass How To Scale Your Courses, Coaching & Services 24/7 With One Simple Webinar.
This post was authored by Arynetta Northcutt. Arynetta is a solopreneur, content creator, and EasyWebinar contributor.