Consumer trust is the most important part of the equation. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if people don’t trust you or your brand, they might buy on a whim, but they won’t become lifetime clients. In this newsletter, I will give you the 5 ways you can build trust with your ideal consumer. As a business owner, I don’t want the “one and done” customer, I want the client that turns into family.
As you guys already know, these 5 lessons did not appear from thin air! I worked hard, made mistakes, and learned some hard lessons to come to this point. I am giving you the goods, but you need to practice them and learn how to apply them to your business.
#1: WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
How would you start to build trust with someone if you don’t even know what kind of a person you are speaking to? If I wanted to build trust with the New England Patriots (in the Tom Brady Years “insert heart emoji”), would I start talking to them about my advanced crocheting skills? Conversely, if I wanted to build trust with the Crocheting Association of America, would I start talking about the secret to blitzing, lines of scrimmage and interceptions? (Full disclosure, I just had to google “football terms” in order to give you this example).
The point is… YOU NEED TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO. I only sell women’s clothes. I have a 96% women to 4% men gender mix on my insta and 100% women sales on all platforms. My branding is very feminine, it has earthy tones and is geared 100% toward women. Do I have a young, rainbows and butterflies aesthetic? No, I am catering to women between the ages of 28 and 55ish who will be spending $500-$2000 on a purse.
The first thing you need to do to build trust with your ideal client is find out who you are selling to. What does your client do? How much does she make? Does she have children? Where does she live? This is who you are shopping for. You are not buying and then figuring out who you will sell it to. You buy with this person in mind.
Whether you are a figure online or your store is your focus… it’s all about presentation. When you walk into a Nordstrom, what do you think? Are you worried you might get duped by a designer fake? Would you walk into a Nordstrom if you were looking for the best blender in town? (I am hoping the answer is “NO” here). You need to build a world that tells the story of your brand.
I recently had a follower ask me about my authentication process and how I got people to trust me. While I don’t just give away my information for free, I asked her “Would you be worried about buying a designer piece from me?”. She immediately answered “NO” without hesitation.I asked her why. She doesn’t even know me! How does she know I am not some scammer creep?
She answered something along the lines of, “you seem to know what you are doing and you have the word expert in your title". (Ladies, I can back up my title with the years of experience. We need to be honest. I wouldn’t call myself a financial expert for example, that would be a blatant LIE).
Go into my @shopthegcc account now (actually, please follow it lol, it will serve as an example and it will help me immensely). Although I have totally neglected it for months and need to get back into growing the following, what do you see? What does the presentation of my products tell you about my business? Would you trust me to sell you an authentic luxury piece in excellent condition? Or would you be worried I am hiding defects by showing your dark, blurry images where it is hard to make out details? Or would you worry I would send you something totally different from what is pictured?
Would you think of my store right away if you wanted to buy a preowned Louis Vuitton in near new condition? Now, on the flip side, would you think of my store immediately if you needed some great Lulu Lemon Pieces? No, I have a niche market.
You can sell luxury and athletic gear in your store and still make your presentation cohesive. It just needs to look like a place where your ideal customer feels at home. Be her one stop shop for anything she might need in her closet. What would she like to see?
#3 WHO ARE THEY BUYING FROM? ARE YOU TRUSTWORTHY?
This is one of the most important parts of the business. Until you get to Neiman Marcus, Target, Best Buy, Starbucks brand status, YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. There are millions of people trying to sell items. In the 70’s, people saw anywhere from 500 to 1600 ads a day. In 2020, EVERY DAY, we are exposed to anywhere from 6,000-10,000 ads a day! We are being targeted even in our sleep!
We are small business owners. We can’t compete directly with The Real Real, Fashionphile, Tradesy etc or any of those big names when it comes to marketing based on their HUGE capital. But you have one key secret ingredient that they will never have, they can never be YOU. People buy from people. I just recently started to put my face on my insta this January, and I can tell you it has made a huge difference. I have ALWAYS had my picture up on Poshmark and my “about me” post filled out.
You are your brand. I am a strong believer in the idea that perception is value. I take my job very seriously. Am I wearing activewear that has NEVER seen a gym 90% of the time when I am hidden behind my computer? 100%. But what do you see when I appear on Instagram, my website or on my seller profiles? How do I speak to customers when they ask questions about a Chanel bag?
It isn’t a fake me, it’s business me. It’s the part of me that comes out when I am going to sell someone a $1500+ purse. I think anyone spending that much money at my store deserves to see and talk to "business" me.
Would you trust me to buy a near new Louis Vuitton in excellent condition if the images on my website or about me page featured me with a weird side bun, no makeup, and my giant mc hammer sweats (that I love with all my heart)? Would you trust me if I was constantly wearing designer dupes or if I started promoting them? Remember, your brand is an extension of you. Be true to what your brand represents. (There are thousands of studies on perception. We are judgmental little souls. Whether we want to admit it or not, we buy based on what is pleasing to our eye, and what we believe to be true.)
Most of you know by now that I have a lot of experience in fashion and marketing. Why do I share that? Well, #1, it's real and it absolutely shaped the person I am now. #2. Because this is the part of my life you need to know about as a customer when deciding whether you should trust me to have authentic products or not.
The more people know about your life, the more they feel like they know you, the more they will be willing to trust you. This is not an entrapment scheme. It is a way for your customer’s to get to know the you they want to meet. Figure out what parts of your life make you trustworthy. What would you like to know about the people you follow?
HOMEWORK (YES, I ABSOLUTELY GAVE YOU HOMEWORK)
As a consumer, what makes you trust a person or a brand? Pick your favorite brand name product. Make a list of all the reasons why you are willing to pay name brand prices for this one item. Do the same with your favorite influencer. What is it about them that makes you like/trust them? Go back and look at your list. Are any of these reasons facts? Or are they just assumptions you have made about the brand or influencer based on marketing and the world they curate for you? (DO NOT SKIP THIS EXERCISE, GIRL)
Ok ladies, I lied. You don’t get all 5 today. It is a lot of information to digest and I want to make sure you take time on these first three steps before I throw the other two, plus a little bonus on top.
I hope you liked this newsletter. Like I mentioned before, I am not holding anything back. You are getting ALL the stuff, but it is up to you to implement it and practice it.
Thank you again for your time and I will see you back next week for part 2!
Hold on a second there! One more thing...
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Click here to read Part 2 of How to Build Trust with Your Ideal Consumer