You crank out blog post after blog post.
And still – nobody seems to value the content you publish.
You know your stuff but you haven’t made a name for yourself (yet).
You need to establish your credibility but you don’t know how.
Here’s the good news:
This problem is totally fixable. In this post you’ll discover smart trust indicators and how to use them to establish your credibility.
As a result, you’ll get more traffic, email subscribers, shares, opportunities, and sales.
Let’s dive right in:
Trust indicators and social proof: what’s the deal?
The importance of trust indicators ultimately boils down to a psychological concept known as social proof.
According to Wikipedia, it is:
“…a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.”
What this means is that when people see evidence that others value your blog and what you have to say – they’ll be far more likely to value you & your blog too.
Now, the way that you convey social proof to your readers is by leveraging the power of specific trust indicators. I’ll walk you through the main ones now:
Which trust indicators should you use?
5 Trust indicators and how to use them
1. Trust logos
Logos are the most commonly used trust indicator. Chances are you’ve already seen them being used a bunch of times on websites you’ve visited today.
There are several different types of trust logos. Some of the most common include:
- Featured on logos
- Client logos
- Partner logos
- Sponsor logos
As a blogger, you’ll get the most use out of featured on logos.
Here’s an example of what I’m displaying on the homepage of my personal blog:
But there are plenty of other places to display these logos.
You could add them to your sidebar, footer, about page, service pages, opt-in forms, or landing pages.
Now, it’s important that I point out that there are types of logos to avoid using. An example would be logos of software/tools you use for your blog – these should be avoided because it makes out these companies endorse you, when they don’t.
The best way to get started would be to write guest posts for other blogs in your niche. The larger and more influential, the better.
You should also check out HARO – a service which allows you to answer queries for journalists. This is how I was featured in CIO, HuffPost, and a few other big sites.
2. Industry accreditations
Industry accreditations don’t exist for every niche but it’s worth considering because they will go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
In the marketing space, a good example is the HubSpot inbound marketing certification.
Lily Ugbaja offers writing services through her blog and displays the accreditation as a way to establish trust with potential clients:
These can also be displayed anywhere else on your site that it’s relevant – homepages, about pages, sidebars, footers, etc.
3. Industry awards
Have you won any awards for your blog? If so, you should definitely let the world know.
This award offers an extra reason for people to read Tamsyn’s blog.
A quick way to find these types of awards would be to search Google for: “[your niche] blog awards”
Testimonials are another popular trust indicator that you should definitely use where possible.
And they typically come from two main types of people:
For example, I include three testimonials on the homepage of Blogging Wizard:
The important thing to consider with testimonials is that you need to make them look as trustworthy as possible. Some people, unfortunately, make testimonials up (not cool!) so, by including names, websites, and photos you can create a better impression.
You can take things further by embedding tweets as testimonials because it makes it easy for people to verify those comments.
What if you don’t have any testimonials? You can get in touch with your contacts, ask your readers, etc.
And if you use WordPress, you’ll find that there are plugins which can partially automate the process of collecting testimonials. A good example is Thrive Ovation, which allows you to set up a testimonial collection page that you can add to your blog & email out to your subscribers.
5. Impressive data
Numbers can do a great job of conveying social proof.
If you’ve got a lot of email subscribers, you could display that amount to encourage email sign-ups like how Content Marketing Institute does:
Do you get a lot of blog traffic? You could add that number in a tagline on your blog’s index page.
And if you offer services or sell products on your blog, you could display the number of customers.
You could even combine data with other trust indicators for maximum impact like Basecamp do on their homepage:
While the last example is for a SaaS app and not a blog – it illustrates just how compelling trust indicators can be when used together.
How to get the most out of each trust indicator
When using trust indicators, there are 3 factors to consider:
Relevance – There will be general trust indicators that will always be useful, but when using anything specific, ensure it’s relevant to your audience. For example, if you’ve been featured on a marketing blog, you probably won’t want to display its logo on your home improvement blog.
Relatability – The best trust indicators are something your target audience finds relatable. So, when choosing testimonials, always choose the ones that your audience will relate to the best. In order to do this, you’ll need to have a good understanding of your target audience.
Rarity – This applies mostly to trust logos, badges, accreditations and awards. If there is no barrier to entry for a particular trust indicator and anyone can leverage it – you may want to avoid it. For example, a lot of bloggers used to display badges to show they were a writer for one of those old article directories. But those directories allowed anyone to write for them and ended up being full of spam.
Wrapping it up
By now, you should have a good idea of what trust indicators you can use, and how to use them.
The important thing is that you take all steps possible to establish trust with your readers and avoid using trust indicators in a way that could cause issues in the future. Everything needs to be 100% honest.
Trust logos and testimonials are typically the easiest to start off with.
Reach out to your contacts for a testimonial. And consider writing guest posts or become a source for journalists via HARO, so you can display some trust logos.
About the author:
Adam Connell is a content strategist with a background in SEO and email marketing. He used to manage the content marketing efforts of international brands. Now he teaches bloggers how to get noticed at BloggingWizard.com.