Honesty in Marketing: 5 ways to Build Trust with Clients

 1. Tell them what you don’t do

Most of us who have been around for a while do a lot. Seasoned, smart and savvy, we’ve trustworked for a range of businesses, learned from our mistakes and worked hard to stay on top of our constantly evolving industry.

But we can’t possibly do it all. And even if we could, would we be doing it all really well? Of course not. It’s better to identify that at which you are truly experts and set some boundaries. I’m a content specialist and I work in digital media. One of my colleagues asked me if I do websites. While I have developed several sites for my clients and can do this, it’s just not the greatest use of my time and it’s not what I do best. This is where having great referral partners comes in—refer these projects to a strategic partner whose work you trust and hope that this person will do the same for you. Remember also that when you refer another professional to a client, and that person’s work ends up being exemplary and another great relationship is formed–this reflects well on you.

2. Admit to a few tiny flaws

Make your weaknesses work for you. Maybe you were unable to meet a deadline because you were more concerned with the quality of your deliverable. Since when did obsession with quality become a bad thing? Reschedule.

3. Embrace the elephant in the room

It’s pretty hard to get past that big old pachyderm, so you may as well just get it right out in the open. Maybe it’s as small as a client newsletter’s subject line that you thought was brilliant but your clients found objectionable (something that recently happened to me). This isn’t life-threatening. Back your decision up with data, apologize, if necessary, but don’t grovel. Clarify the review process and move on.

4. Forget lame excuses. Admit your mistakes

If you make a really bad mistake, people are going to find out about it, so a misguided attempt to gloss it over, blame someone else or offer up a pathetic excuse is going to backfire and make you look even worse. Time to be a grownup.

5. Share disappointments rather than hiding them

Maybe your latest campaign isn’t yielding the expected results, and that’s a problem. Time for some creative problem-solving and a fresh approach. Marketing is never a black and white solution. It requires a committed, sustained effort. Identify another direction and test the hell out of it as you go.

Looking for a new, honest marketing strategy? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We help our clients develop and implement strategies that grow their businesses.

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