My grandmother constantly said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It drove me crazy because I thought I could succeed simply by my merit and knowledge. However, she was right.
Our human skills and our ability to connect with others is probably the single most important skill we can develop as business owners. One of the most important rules of business is that people need to know, like and trust (KLT) you before they will buy from you, and this general rule applies to much of life, not just business. Even as a teacher, I had to consider know, like and trust because these factors were key to getting my students to be responsive and willing to learn from me. Even though I was an expert in my subject, my students wouldn’t learn from me unless they got to know, like and trust me. As a business owner, building the KLT factor is where I spend most of my time.
In case you aren’t convinced, here are some key reasons to work on building your connections.
✅ Increasing Sales and Conversions: Customers who know, like, and trust you have confidence that your product or service will meet their needs, leading to higher conversion rates and increased sales.
✅ Word of Mouth and Referrals - reducing marketing costs: Satisfied customers who know, like, and trust you are likelier to recommend your business to others, so you don’t need to spend as much on advertising.
✅ Resilience in Tough Times: Customers who KLT you are more likely to stick with you and support your business in difficult times.
✅ Differentiation in a Crowded Market: In crowded markets where many businesses offer similar products or services, having a strong KLT factor can set you apart.
How do we get people to know, like and trust us? In this three-part series, I will share how to work on each factor.
Building a solid reputation and being recognized is the cornerstone of trust in business.
Being known establishes your credibility and lays the groundwork for future business relationships.
Prioritize making your presence felt to ensure your potential clients "know" you.
What do customers need to know about you?
Before customers make a purchase, there are several key things they need to know about you and your business. Of course, they will want to know details of your products and services, warranties, prices, etc.. We often consider only that information, but when you are an entrepreneur, they are buying your personal brand, so they need to know more about you as an individual. This knowledge is crucial for building trust and a sense of connection. Here are the essential aspects customers should be aware of:
✅ Your Expertise and Credibility: Customers want to know that you are knowledgeable and credible in your field. They need to understand your expertise, qualifications, and experience relevant to the product or service you're offering.
✅ Your Story and Values: Sharing your personal or business story can humanize your brand. Let customers know who you are, why you started your business, and what you stand for.
By providing transparency, clear communication, and an understanding of the customer's needs, you build trust and make it easier for potential customers to decide to buy from your business.
How can customers get to know you?
Getting to know people does not happen overnight. Be patient and be intentional. Here are the main ways you can start those relationships so that your target audience gets to know you.
Share your authority
Regularly share your knowledge in your industry so that your audience starts to see your authority.
Create Content: It is recommended that you choose one “long form” of content - either YouTube, Podcasts or blogging to demonstrate your knowledge and provide value. (You are currently reading my blog, where I demonstrate my authority in techniques that help small business owners eliminate friction and create systems that flow so their businesses can flourish.)
Social Proof: Highlighting your experience, education, and certifications that establish your credibility. In addition, testimonials from past clients can be helpful. You can also share the number of clients that you have served or problems that you have solved and include stories or case studies to illustrate your skills further.
Volunteer: I serve on several boards where I can both give back to my community and provide a chance to share my skills and authority.
Present at events: Consider sharing your knowledge at in-person or online events. (look at the next points to figure out which events are worth it)
Your audience will never get to know you if you are not in the right spaces. Figure out where they are, go there and interact with them. Don’t be a lurker or a cringy salesperson, but go and provide value that shows your authority (reread above!).
Choose the right social media platform: For example, if you are super active on Facebook, but the majority of your audience is on LinkedIn, they don’t have the opportunity to get to know who you are. Research and ask clients which social media they use, and go there.
Find relevant groups on the platforms: Once on social media, narrow down and find groups that your target audience hangs out in.
Find membership groups: There are also many online and offline groups according to interests and professions. You can join some groups as a sponsor if they are mainly your target audience, and use that as a chance to get to know your target audience.
Attend Events: I regularly attend local networking and membership events simply to have that consistent exposure. Try also figuring out conferences where your target audience goes, and go to a few strategic ones.
After you are in a group, if it doesn’t seem to be the right place, leave it! You are not serving yourself or your audience by being everywhere. Focus your attention, and be intentional about which groups you give time and energy to.
Be Personal and real
Getting to know you involves knowing you as a whole person. You can be the best and most present authority out there, but if your audience doesn’t feel a personal connection to you, they may not buy. We want to buy from relatable people, and that means we find some commonalities with them. Maybe we both have a dog or love hiking on the weekends?
Share your hobbies and interests: Let your audience see your hobbies, interests, and the person behind the business. You want to moderate and not overshare, but your audience needs to see that you are relatable and human (this helps a lot with the like and trust factor, but first they have to know this side of you)
Show ‘behind the scenes’: Most likely, you have seen other businesses showing what they are doing to develop their products or services or to showcase employees behind the scenes. This is a fabulous tactic to provide your audience to see you in a more casual light, but at the same time, it can boost your authority. Try to show pictures of you with a client or working on a product that your audience might not normally see.
Your unique combination of personal and professional traits helps you stand out in a competitive market. People want to buy from people they feel connected to in some way, and if they see you share common interests and hobbies, you are more relatable.
Free Call to Find Your Focus for Getting Known
Don’t fret, you don’t need to do all of this all at once. Book a free call with Cordes to identify what you could focus on for the most impact to ensure your potential clients know you.