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How to make customers trust your startup

If you are new on the market, you may be lacking in credibility. If they haven’t heard of you before, people may hesitate to buy products from you.

This can be made worse if you already have established competitors. Your dream customers might be sceptical about buying your products instead of theirs.

It seems like a daunting task, but there are effective ways in which you can build up trust. Here are four ways in which you can convince your customers and investors that you are worth their money.

1. Develop a voice

Few things build trust as effectively as contributing to communities. No matter what you sell, connecting with existing audiences can help you establish yourself as legitimate. This works most effectively when you focus on a small niche that matters most to you.

Find out where your target audience spends their time, and go there. You can begin by building an audience on social media, participating in community forums, writing articles and creating original content for websites. Then, you can attend conferences, events and meetings. Make your face and name known!

The more people have heard of you the more likely they are to trust you, so go out of your way to connect.

That said, make sure others can also connect with you. Provide contact details for your business that are accessible, and reply quickly when people contact you.

Your level of engagement will go a long way when it comes to proving to customers and investors that your business is trustworthy.

2. Make sure your product is reliable

If your goal is to be a successful startup, there are no excuses for poor products. Loyal fans and repeat buyers are essential for a business to become viable; quality products are a must.

To gain positive reviews make sure that your products match their descriptions, and that they have been thoroughly tested. There are two ways in which to test your products.

Firstly, you can use them for their intended purpose and see how well they hold up. Can they be washed or cleaned? Do they function effectively? How long do they last? Do they have any weak spots or parts? Make sure that the products you are selling are of a high enough calibre that you would use them yourself.

The second way in which you can test your products quality is through focus groups. Get together a group of people and ask them about your products. Their feedback can help you improve and change your products until they reach a better standard.

3. Be real and genuine

If you are starting out small, it can be tempting to pretend that you are not.

One of the most common mistakes new startups make is exaggeration. Fake customer reviews, edited statistics and fake social media followers might look good at first glance, but they will only damage your reputation.

Customers have learnt to recognize the signs of scam businesses. Many tactics which startups use to exaggerate their size simply raise red flags.

Instead of misleading customers into thinking you are something else, be honest. You can be an effective start up with only one or two people on board!

Make it clear that you are small but passionate. One way to gain credibility is to highlight your prior accomplishments. Then, focus on delivering quality experiences and be truthful about what you are creating.

One of the most common mistakes new startups make is exaggeration. Fake customer reviews, edited statistics and fake social media followers might look good at first glance, but they will only raise red flags.

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4. Make ‘being trustworthy’ an actual goal

Every business should have a list of goals. For instance, those goals might be to increase profit margins, release new products and launch marketing campaigns.

Becoming trustworthy belongs on that list!

Have a look at your industry and identify what the most reputable websites, magazines, blogs and events are within it.

How can you be featured? Is there a way in which you could be written about? Can you guest write a blog post on a high-profile website? Are there any local events you could sponsor? Any conferences you could speak at?

Identify key things that build trust, and start making plans to reach them. Becoming trustworthy is vital when it comes to succeeding in business. Prioritize it!

Communicate with your community, be honest, make good stuff, and contribute. These four elements, when used together, will help you become a trusted member of your industry.

- Lena Klein

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