how to start building trust from the first click
Did you know that according to Inc.com 81% of people only skim content they read online? That means all that copy you write for your blog posts, home pages, about pages, and more is really just being scanned quickly to see if it’s even worth someone’s time and energy. These days everyone’s competing for attention, and people want to get what they need faster than ever before. So, they’re basically not sticking around to read anything if you don’t hook them from the very beginning.
So, how can you possibly hook your audience when they’re not even reading anything you have to say? Well, it’s all about the images, baby (or is it benjamins?) See, posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts! That’s according to Inc.com as well. Yeah, visuals are the new hotness, and you can’t afford to not be using them to your advantage.
Remember those terrible old websites that were just full of scrolling text and no interesting graphics or photos so they looked very drab or maybe even too salesy with big, bold text everywhere? I mean, how awful were those?! You need interest and uniqueness to spark someone’s curiosity enough to stick around. Nobody want’s to sit there and scroll through an entire page about page just to read about what makes you so great. No, thanks. But what they will do is take a look at your picture and instantly know if they want to read further about how you can help them.
Here’s the thing: you need to start building trust right from the moment people land on your site. Otherwise, they’re just gonna bounce. It’s that simple. They need to know that they’re not on some scammy website from someone who doesn’t really know what they’re talking about and just wants their money. They want to feel welcome and comfortable with you and your business. And most of all they want to know if you can help them with whatever they need.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering how you do all of that through photos, graphics, or even videos instead of just writing it out in copy. You’ve gotta tell a story through your imagery. It has to be a well thought out, strategic story that you lay out over all of the visual content you put out that truly helps your audience to know, like, and trust you. It’s so much more than just putting up a nice headshot (although, sometimes that does help a bit). It’s about developing a framework for how your audience sees you each time they interact with you online and also how they interpret your brand once they walk away from it.
Make them feel comfortable
First of all, right when your audience gets to your site or social media page, they need to feel like they’re home. Like that is exactly where they belong, and they’re so excited to have found your site. You need to show them that you are or were just like them and know exactly where they’re coming from. They need to get this impression from your profile pics, your header images, and especially your home and about pages.
It’s kind of a big deal to make someone feel welcome into your tribe. You know how you feel when you walk into a new store for the first time, and you just love everything about it all the way from the front windows to everything hanging up inside. You just want to shop there all the time because it’s exactly your style. That’s what I’m talking about. Create images that will give your ideal audience (not everyone!) that loving everything feeling from your brand. Woo them from the start, and you’ll have raving fans for a very long time.
This is what I suggest when you’re trying to implement this. Go back to the ideal customer profiles that you should be creating for your brand. Take a look at the type of person that would be drawn to what you do and the uniqueness of your brand. What would make them feel at home when they land on your page? What elements, locations, backgrounds, props, or even poses would immediately trigger them to want to learn more? Develop your images around those questions, and you’ll peak their interest right away. Here are a few examples to show you exactly what I mean when you show your audience that you're just like them, and they belong on your site.
Look like an authority
Now for this one, I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a suit to wear in all your photos. What I am saying is that you need to look the part. If you were talking about the best bike rallies for Harley enthusiasts, you wouldn’t be wearing mom jeans and flip flops in your photos. You would show yourself with your motorcycle, wearing the appropriate gear, and maybe even with you fixing up a bike or riding down the road to show that you’re really into the whole scene. Whatever topic your business covers, you need to paint the right picture to prove yourself as an authority.
There are tons of different ways you can do this, but I recommend going with a couple different types of images. First, you need to create a profile image of yourself that creates the persona that you’re going for. You’ll use this on your sidebars, about pages, avatars, and your social media profile pics. Decide upfront what looks would be appropriate for what you do. It can be casual chic or totally fancy. Just brainstorm a couple different looks that would speak to your audience and let them know that you have the pulse of the community.
Next, I recommend lifestyle images. This is where you are actually depicting a scene with your photos. You don’t want these to look like they were taken in a photo studio at all. Rather, you need to actually create a scene just as if it were a tiny snapshot of a movie. Capture images of you in action doing what you do best. You can be helping a client, making something, or working on your computer. You get the idea. Just make sure that it looks like you’re authentic and not cheesy or staged. Then, you’ll strategically use them in place such as testimonial pages, social media posts, or below the fold on your home page to name a few.
Utilizing both types of images around the web will help you to look the part and establish the brand persona that you want your audience to get to know. They’ll start immediately recognizing you within the context of what you do and building up your credibility in their own minds. This will seriously help to start solidifying you as someone they can trust as a go-to expert in their minds.
Demonstrate your value
Okay, so you’ve made your customers feel comfortable and showed yourself as an authority. Now, you need to prove your worth. You need to give them that extra incentive to come back for more. That’s where you show them the value you provide. But, we’re not just talking about your copy here and whatever you write in your blog posts or even ebooks. We’re still talking about this from the very beginning of them landing on your site and just glancing at what you’ve got.
That means you’re gonna have to employ some strategic means of using imagery. You’ll need to ask yourself how your audience can actually see the results of working with you. Do you need to show your audience a portfolio of your work or is there another way for them to see the results you’ll get them? Should you show how you work behind the scenes? Can you create an infographic with facts and figures that relate to your business? Would creating a graphic for your testimonials work best?
Figure out the best way for you to convey the impact you make through your work and how you’re going to get your audience the results they need. Then create your visual representation of that impact and incorporate it into as many places as you can in your online presence. This will ensure that no matter where your audience lands first, they always get a glimpse at how you can actually get them real results. Check out this collage of examples to get a better idea of what you can do depending on what you achieve for your customers.
Now, I want you to seriously consider how you can uniquely incorporate these three elements into your images to capture your audience’s attention. The right way to do each of them depends on the unique qualities of your brand, so you need to dive into who your ideal audience truly is to make these work well for you. I’ve got you covered with the free worksheet below. It’ll help you work through all the questions you need to ask to hook your audience from the start with these three impactful strategies.
So don’t waste any time. Grab your freebie below and start building that know, like, and trust factor.