Just wanted to share a post that I wrote for my personal blog. Its one of the biggest secrets that will make your business a world of a difference!
Gaining the trust of your consumers, clients, and the general public is one of the most important aspects of creating a thriving business. Trust is contagious, as we have seen in the business world countess times. Not only does it spread by word of mouth, it grows exponentially across social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, and Flickr affecting hundreds of millions of people. Because your consumers, your buyers, are the pillars of your business, it is crucial to gain their trust in order to have a successful multi-million dollar empire. How do you gain trust?
Well, years ago a close friend gave me a piece of advice that I will never forget. He said that you need to provide your time and knowledge, as a compliment to your consumers. Give people free valuable information and services in order to build trust in your company and brand. He personally makes well into 8 figures, so I know he is successful, but that is not why I trusted him. I trusted him because he is intelligent and he understands business psychology. Understanding the consumer will give you a head start in any market. Whether the business is e-commerce or motivational speaking, you will be very successful. No matter what field you specialize in, no matter if your product is digital or manufactured, no matter what type of business income model you have built, you have to gain trust. People trust brands and big names and then naturally, they will trust your product or service.
On a large scale, "trust" was the key to success for Craigslist's founder Craig Newmark. Craigslist's grew their annual revenue to about $25 million, by providing a free service. Since its launch in 1995, Craigslist has become a household name with 50 million unique visitors per month. This free service was built on trust and customer service. "Try to treat people the way you would like them to treat you, which I guess is another way of saying provide good customer service"- Craig Newmark. This is the key to success as Craigslist has the potential of being worth more than Ebay, if they decide to monetize their site. In the end, your customers run your business whether you like it or not.
Several multi-million and billion dollar companies today use this same idea. TurboTax, Facebook, Twitter, OKCupid, Ebay, Amazon, Ideeli, Gilt Group, just to name a few. These companies are THRIVING because they provide a free service to consumers, and thus, have experienced a viral effect. Their names have become part of millions of dinner conversations, without charging the consumer a dime for certain services.
The idea of free service started with social networking. People are able to try out a service without paying a monthly membership or buying a product, so they receive a huge benefit. The service is open to everyone, with a sense of exclusivity. Your service will still have memberships and invitations, but there is no cost to the consumer. This way you have an avenue for email advertising. The name and service of your company will begin to catch on and spread virally and soon enough, you will have millions of users. No matter how you monetize your business you have the potential to be an extremely successful, multi-million dollar business if you give more away for free.