10 Proven Strategies To Build Credibility And Trust Online

Kumar Gauraw

All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.

You might have seen this incredible quote from international bestselling author, Bob Burg on my homepage already. Well, this is one my favorite quotes when it comes to business development. I truly believe that long term success of your business depends very heavily on this concept.

Online Trust Building - Proven Strategies

When it comes to building trust online, things get a bit tricky. Anybody can claim to be an expert at something by establishing a website and publishing some content worth a few pages.

Well, that means the competition is very high. Establishing your credibility and building trust online in such a steep competition is a solid uphill battle. And you must win this battle or else your business won’t see much success in today’s online world.

So, how do you do that?

First of all, you should know that having a strong professional presence online is your key to letting people know and like you. If you don’t have an online presence, you will have a hard time even in reaching out to people.

And when people begin to know you, you need to focus on the activities that will help you develop that likability and trust which will allow you to grow your brand value and grow your business online.

I would like to share these 10 ways you can help yourself not only in building a powerful personal brand online but also garner ongoing trust online in the marketplace:

1. Get A Self-Hosted Website

This is a no brainer, is it? I've discussed about this often at every opportunity.

Whether you are looking to start a blog for your personal branding or you are a new car dealership, you need a self-hosted and professionally done website.

Your website is your home on the internet and whether you are having your own home or you are staying in somebody else’s home for free (such as free blogging platforms), decides how seriously people will take you.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Having a self-hosted website is a great starting point to build your personal brand and establish credibility to grow trust online. However, you don’t want to be there without knowing who you are and why you do what to do. Does this make sense?

You need to know who you are writing for. Who is the one person who is going to benefit from reading through your posts and pages? What kind of people will benefit from your website?

This aspect is extremely important for building a powerful personal brand online. Don’t be completely random because if your audience doesn’t know why you are having a website, they will be confused and that isn’t a very good thing for your personal brand image.

3. Be Loud About What You Have To Offer

One of the things I learned early on in my business career is, you need to know what problem you can solve for others or what benefits/results/solutions can you provide to others. Knowing your value proposition is absolutely critical to your personal brand identity and that is what helps you establish trust online.

To make it clear, it is important that you prominently display your value proposition to your website visitors. All the leading entrepreneurs online make sure you don’t leave their website without knowing what product or service they provide to the world.

For example, you should check out Neil Patel of Quicksprout.com, he has a Consulting page where you exactly know what level of service can you expect from the man if you engage with him.

Similarly, one of my role models online, Michael Hyatt (whose teachings drove me to dive deep into the online marketing world), prominently displays all the products and services he offers when you visit his website.

If you have plans of strengthening your personal brand identity, it is very important that you know your value proposition and then you display it boldly on your website.

4. Show Yourself Prominently

With this evolving market and especially since the dominance of social media marketing, less and less people trust companies. In fact, consumers no more like to deal with companies (Unless you are Apple or Google-like giant). Instead, they prefer to deal with a real human being who they can relate to and ask questions.

That is why if you see that more and more leading online entrepreneurs are focusing more on establishing their personal brand names and less on their company names. In fact, people like John Maxwell, Jeff Walker, Michael Hyatt, Bob Burg and many others (just look around and you will see) have their websites in their own name.

Not just that, they also have (and I do the same) a clean and smiling headshot prominently displayed on their websites. If you visit their website, you will know who they are and what they look like. It’s amazing how many friends I’ve made just because I have my own picture prominently displayed on my website.

It’s simply a great way to build trust online and that in turn helps you build a powerful personal brand image. Take it seriously! I highly encourage you not to hide behind a company name.

5. Connect Your Social Media And Website

Just to add a bit more to your personal touch, make sure you have connected your website with your social media profiles.

Nowadays, if you have a self-hosted WordPress powered website, connecting your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ like social networks is very easy. Most of your themes come with a built-in feature to allow you to just do that.

This allows your visitors to connect with you personally on social media channels, ask you a few questions (possibly) and maybe share your website with others. Connecting your social media profiles with your website is another way to tell the world that you are trustworthy and that you are socially willing to stand behind your brand name.

6. Have A Professional Color Scheme On Your Website

One of the things I’ve noticed is, professional look and feel also means that every element on your website has a particular color scheme.

For example, if you look at rs.com (and I remember Derek talking about it as well), anything in violet color is clickable. If you look at my website (with a couple of exceptions), everything in red is a clickable link.

This kind of clarity gives your readers an easy way to understand your website, your content and your website elements. It's a great way to demonstrate professionalism.

7. Have A Publishing Calendar

Predictability brings trust. Publishing regularly is an incredible way to establish credibility in the online world. You definitely want to publish at least 2 to 3 times a week if not everyday on your blog. It is not only important from the perspective of getting search engine traffic but also to give an idea to your website visitors about your publishing schedule.

When people know when they are going to get something from you, they have that expectation subconsciously and they begin to have more trust in you.

8. Make Sure To Proofread

Having spelling or grammatical errors is not fatal to your online presence. However, it is not a good idea to have too many of them. To begin with, always read over your entire post just one more time before clicking that publish button.

Reading out loud your own post once before publishing gives you one more chance to see if it conveys the message correctly. It also allows you to catch and correct any typo or grammatical errors.

I prefer to get my post edited for any such errors by a professional just to ensure I don’t introduce any such errors. I’m so fortunate to have great proofreaders part of the Krishna World Wide Team so I relax knowing that they will take care of errors in my posts.

9. Encourage Engagement Through Comments

Why is Facebook so popular? Because it encourages engagement. Because it allows people to interact with each other so easily and frequently.

Engagement with your target audience is very important to your online branding efforts. Your readers should have a way to share their views, opinions and ask questions about your content. Allowing comments on your blog is a great way to give them a way to have their say.

Everything comes with a price and allowing comments means you open yourself up for some spam comments as well. But it can be managed with so many awesome anti-spam tools available.

Do you really have to have comments? No, not really. Some of the popular websites such as Seth Godin or Zen Habits don’t allow comments and they seem to be doing great.

10.  Always Over Deliver

Your online reputation is a function of how you keep your promises in real life. It is an attitude which rubs off online if you have it in you dealing with real people.

For example, when you are rendering your service to a customer, always give more than your customer expects. Always add just a little bit extra value to them so they will not only come back, but also refer others to you.

This habit goes a long way and rapidly speeds up your growth in the online world if you do it right. For example, there are blogs with good content and there are blogs that you simply love because they add so much value to you for your time.

I just love every post by Derek Halpern on Social Triggers because I know if I am going to spend my 5 minutes on his blog, I am going to learn a trick or two about growing my business.

Similarly, I enjoy so much reading posts from Neil Patel (he writes really long posts, trust me) on QuickSprout.com simply for the amount of in depth information he shares about every topic he comes up with.

They simply add so much value through their content that people don’t have a choice but to trust them instantly as an expert in their domains.

Over To You – Share Your Thoughts

What are some of the techniques and best practices you think people should follow to build trust around their brand name to grow their businesses? Please share your thoughts on this topic through your comments.

You can click here to go to the comment section. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

39 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Excellent write up Kumar!

    I think having a good website is vital. I mean, hey, if you want to have better credibility, start to look professional!

    Website outlooks, self hosted domains, way of blogging all plays a huge role. So, yes!

    You nailed all the facts and thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Kumar,

    Loved your tips shared, and I think each one of them is SO very true πŸ™‚

    Yes, having a good website with content that your readers can relate to is the key factor. Derek, Neil, and many others are indeed wonderful bloggers to keep learning things from, though what we put into practice would depend from person to person.

    I would just add that to build the trust you need people to connect with you first at a more personal level than the professional one, which of course is important, but comes a little later. If they know you as a real person, they’d go all out and trust you and for me, this kind of a relationship has worked mostly through my comments, and the interaction with other fellow bloggers. Not to mention, when you go out of your way to help them in whatever way you can, or even just share their posts or guide them when need be. Honestly, you lose nothing much than a few additional minutes of yours, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead πŸ™‚

    • Oh that is such an important aspect of blogging, Harleena. Thank you for adding commenting to the list of important things to do for any blogger.
      I agree with you simply because it is also true that it matters who knows you. Trust online also can be heavily garnered through endorsements from other trustworthy and influential people and that needs some amount of relationships. And what better way to develop good relationships with other bloggers than starting to connect with them through your comments. You’ve really added tremendous value through your idea of commenting for relationship building.

      May be, I will dedicate a post to this topic alone sometime in future. Thank you again!


  3. Hi Reginald,
    Hey! It’s great to see you back! I am glad you enjoyed this post again and thank you for taking time to leave your thoughts on this topic.
    Yes, like you said, if you want to be professional, start behaving like one. That’s exactly right. To have trust online in the marketplace it is important that we have a professionally done website, an email with our personal domain and have the basic infrastructure that any entrepreneur should have – at least.


  4. Hi Kumar,

    Ok, Just wrote my comment and it disappeared before I click submit πŸ™‚ And it was a long one.

    It’s crucial to be the one that people know and trust, because people do buy from those they know, trust and like. The liking part is so important. Even if I know you, but don’t like you, I’m not buying, right?

    It’s a must to have your own domain. Some people still think that it’s enough to have a Facebook page or something like it, but it’s not. You need to have your own page that you own 100%.

    I always try to over deliver because I know that there’s lot of completion out there, even though I know not too focus too much on that.

    Thank you for your great tips.

    • Hi Sylviane,
      Sorry about your first comment disappearing. Not sure what could have been the reason but I am glad to see your comment now. Thank you for retrying. I know it takes patience to do so.

      Regarding people who think they can manage their brand through a Facebook page or a free website through on of the free platforms, I know I have had people like that in my circle of friends.

      In fact, I still have some who are so diligently doing so. But I know they have no brand value even after years of trying and they never will. It’s unfortunate that they don’t get it.

      But then, there are those who get it in one time and we happen to be in that category. And I think this post is also for those who want to learn and grow, right?


  5. Hi Kumar,

    Each point you mentioned is a must when running an online business. Ahh…a self hosted blog! I cannot stress that one enough myself. If you are trying to brand yourself you need one!

    Once we get our blog up, with our social share buttons, it will take a little time to get out there and receive comments. The best way is to join a group, comment on blogs like I’m doing here, and then share it on the social media – again what I’m doing here lol!

    We do need to engage as much as possible for people to know like and trust us. Yes, we have heard this phrase over and over again, but it is so true. We don’t have to be bogged down on social media, but be present on it every day for a short time.

    Eventually, people get to know us and there you have it…business and pleasure all rolled into one!

    Thanks for these excellent tips!


    • Yes mam! You are so right. We don’t do it for the sake of doing. We do it because we enjoy the process.

      Eventually word gets out and then the trust building goes on auto cruise. Thank you for taking time to share your valuable comments.

  6. Hi Kumar,

    These are all great tips for building credibility online and of course it starts with your fabulous quote.

    Just like Sylviane mentioned in her comment, I might know you through some interactions perhaps but if I don’t like you I’m not buying from you. There is no way to build up that trust factor and if you can believe this I’ve run across a few people like that.

    I had a guy email me the other day and wanted to know what it costs for him to brand himself. When I explained to him what that really meant it’s like a light bulb went off for him. I told him to think about how you want to be perceived or viewed online! What do you want to be known for, who do you want to associate with and if they visit your site, will they know what you can do for them!

    It all starts with you having your own self hosted site but as Harleena also mentioned that going that extra step and connecting with them on a more personal level will go a very long way. People will feel like you really care but don’t come across like you want something from them. It’s all about building that relationship.

    I really have nothing further to share since you’ve covered it all pretty much. Thanks for that by the way and I might send my friend over here to read more on this topic.


    • Hi Adrienne,
      I came across this quote when I first read Bob Burg’s tremendously powerful book – Endless Referrals. It really sunk in the first time I understood what he meant back in 2009 and since then it has helped me stay on top of things when it came to business development.

      When applied this principle online, it really helped me reap incredible awards and rewards in every aspect. That’s the reason I started this post with this awesome quote!

      I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with us here.


  7. Hi Kumar,

    All great tips for sure. One of the most important, as most people will re-iterated, is the professional webesite and whether it is a hosted one or not. I think I mentioned the same thing in one of my recent posts.

    It is a pet peeve of mind. I started out early on with a free site, but that’s because I didn’t know any better. But when building a brand, we must invest in ourselves to help build that brand.

    Great, great tips and very important.
    Thanks for posting this vital information.

    • Hi Barbara,
      I think a lot of people get started with a free platform and that’s alright. When we just want to have a feel for blogging, it’s alright to do so.

      However, when we get serious about it and want to pursue it as a career or for a serious branding, we need to graduate to have a self hosted and professionally done website.

      I know I did and you did it too πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your thoughts and adding value.


  8. Great post, Kumar! I would add that acting the same in real life and online is a mandatory ;)! Even this post is about trust online, I believe that in today world the line between online and real life is too thin:)

    • Absolutely Aistis. In fact, online will only happen if you are better at building trust in the real world. Online can’t fake what you are not for a long time.

      So yes, that is a great point. Don’t try to be something online which you are not in real world πŸ™‚

      Thank you for adding this awesome tip.


  9. Hi Kumar,

    Thank you for a wonderful post!

    With respect to your opening quote, I have a particular take on the issue of trust. You may recall I wrote about “Love Based Leadership” in a previous post. I think when we begin all that we do with love, whether online or off, we create the possibility for trust to be established after respect is earned.

    In my way of thinking, LOVE leads to RESPECT which further leads to TRUST.

    I have far to go to accomplish some of the points you have made as I become more tech savvy.
    I know I’m a whole lot further because of your continued help. Thanks so much!

    Warm Regards,

    • You are so very welcome Bill. We compliment each other in many ways and I admire you for being such an AWESOME friend πŸ™‚


  10. Hey Kumar,

    First time on your blog and I like what I’ve read so far. All I have to say is #9 and #10 really struck home for me.

    Last year I’ve been on a lot of webinars and trainings, and the “trend” was to write blog posts everyday to get traffic and leads. I did it for a while and I found that it wasn’t so. I found out the more that you engage with people, along with promotion, the more traffic you’ll get. It was a wonder how some people will write one blog post a week and get more traffic than those that write everyday.

    Also if you over deliver, your readers, prospects, and leads will definitely appreciate it. Being spontaneous and giving above of what is expected will definitely make you more of an attractive leader than those that don’t. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hello again Kumar!

    All these tips are important! I love the third one – Be Loud About What You Have To Offer. That’s so true because like you said with all the competition out there we have to market out post with eye-catching and intriguing introductions to make folks want to read it.

    I’m always looking to learn something new….I’ve been very lucky to have connected with some awesome bloggers who are teaching me what training in a classroom can’t.

    I think if we apply the tips you shared above and being genuine, we can have a successful blogging career. Great post Kumar! Hope you’re having a great day!

    • Hi Corina, Glad to hear from you again πŸ™‚
      Thank you for these words of appreciation and your testimonial through your own blogging journey. I wish you much luck in days to come.

  12. Another great way to strengthen your brand would be to do case studies and reviews from first hand experience.

    For example if you are writing reviews, write from a personal experience and say how the product personally helped you or did not help you.

    Also, if you are reviewing products you might want to do a case study showing how you are using certain tools and/or strategies to accomplish a certain goal. An example would be me talking about how I use Unique article wizard to increase back links to my site and maybe include a screen shot of the backlinks. I no longer use Unique Article Wizard BTW.

    Openness and transparency and honesty are good ones too. If you are succeeding, mention it. If you are failing, mention that too. On my blog I trade stock options online.
    I regularly comment on what positions I am in, why I chose those positions and what I expect moving forward. as long as you show how you are learning from your mistakes people will appreciate that, and your successes will be more believable.

    I really like the ten tips in this article, I will keep them in mind for my brand.

    • Thank you Dale. Appreciate you for taking time to share your thoughts.Also, I am glad you found these tips, useful.



  13. For the longest time I assumed that if you write quality information they will come. They won’t, and they don’t. Your point about engagement is one of the most important points about blogging. The other important point is to promote, promote, promote your content. I write about small business information yet I consider myself to be a content creator. It doesn’t matter the niche, if it’s not being circulated and engaged with you lose! Great post!!

  14. Hi Kumar

    Engaging with others online has always been a top priority of mine when it comes to blogging.

    I haven’t really shouted about what I have to offer as yet other than what I write and share. I plan to add a Hire Me page at a point in the future that I feel I’ve gained trust and have enough traffic to warrant it.

    Having a self-hosted blog is a must. Not only because it allows you to take control but you won’t lose any of your hard work if WordPress or Blogger decide that your content is no longer required!

    Some great points Kumar! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Tim,

      I enjoyed your writing as well and sure I can agree with you about “earning trust”. It does make sense to have a “Hire Me” page which gives your visitor an idea about what kind of products/services they may get from you if they choose to work with you.

      By the way, thank you for taking time to sharing your thoughts. I look forward to getting to know about you more as we communicate more.



  15. Kumar,

    Great points on the things that build trust online. I would add publishing elsewhere. My two blogs are geared a lot toward Amazon eBooks, which in turn build trust and credibility for the ebooks. It is a win-win.

    But you don’t even need ebooks, even guest posting on other credible blogs, and to a smaller extent leaving thoughtful comments here and there, or writing in depth forum posts on topics you blog about all can build trust. The more you write about a topic and the more places you do it (provided you know what you are talking about and provide useful tips) the more you build that trust and credibility.

    • Hi Scott,

      First of all thank you for leaving your thoughts not only against this post but multiple other blog posts here. I appreciate you for doing that because I know it takes a caring heart to take time to appreciate other people’s work and it also takes a bit of your time to write your thoughts through comments πŸ™‚ So, thank you!

      I agree with you about guest posting as well. It definitely creates credibility and as much as possible, serious bloggers should consider writing quality guest posts on quality websites.



  16. Hello Kumar,
    You have said it all, and i must say that your tips are well on point :).
    Standing out from the crowed will surely give you credibility and recognition. Making yourself known and being the best at what you do will surely give you the credibility you want.

    Once again, nice article Kumar… do have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Kumar,

    Excellent tips, not only having a website but also a strong social media presence is absolutely necessary to connect with the audience. Its a long term process indeed, and every step has to be taken like medicine!

    But what do you do when you have a niche blog, and there are none out there where you can discuss the same topics? I think it becomes harder to promote you content then.

    What do you think?


    • Piyush, That’s a great question indeed. But, that is where your creativity comes into play. When you have a niche blog where there are not many people focusing, you should reach out to other bloggers who (or, whose readers0 may benefit from your blog and propose them with a blog post from you which will help their readers. Since they are not into your niche, if they find a value of your writing for their readers, they will gladly accept and you will have a solid credibility building for you for free.

      Not necessarily you need bloggers from other community to relate to you, they just need to know how you can help them and when you know that, your job becomes very easy and rewarding. Think about it and let me know how you can help me through your niche πŸ™‚

  18. Hi Kumar,

    Definitely some great tips to build up your reputation and brand your name at the right time. While I was not fortunate to get my name as a domain, I improvised and got something with my name in it. I waited too long and tried to hide behind pen names for way too long.

    I definitely learned quite a few things from your post. One thing that I learned is that all your clickable links are red. I never read that about the “violet” colored links getting more clicks. I think I need to start doing that on my blog.

    I’m starting to get involved with social media, but still have a lot to learn. It seems like there is so much to learn and not enough time in the day to learn it all. Thanks for sharing these tips and I hope you have a great day.

    • Hi Susan,

      I understand how difficult it would have been you to fight for getting a domain which is closer to your name πŸ™‚ But I see that you got one which is pretty nice.
      And regarding Social Media, yes, there is always a thing or two new to learn every day. But then, that is what makes it interesting and keeps it fun πŸ™‚
      Congratulations on moving on and thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.


  19. Hi Kumar.

    Sensational! Nothing to add other than that really over delivering on each post helps you to gain the trust of your audience. If you create powerful stuff people will stop by, read, comment and share again and again.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Thank you Ryan. Appreciate your kind words. Have an awesome weekend πŸ™‚

  20. Hi Kumar,

    You have covered it all. Trust is so important in any business, but, over-delivering is something a lot of people don’t do. If you really want to help people over-delivering is part of the process.

    Like Corina said, #3 rang a bell for me, however, there is a fine line about being too loud. It’s easy to turn people off if you are too forceful.

    Good post and thank you for sharing your thoughts. πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Kumar,

    All great points, my favorites are 3,5,10.

    Number 3 speaks to being proud and confident about what you have to offer. Surprisingly enough not everyone is. I think sometimes that has to do with making your first few sales. As you get more sales, customers and feedback on your offers your confidence goes up. And that speaks to #5, get out there on social media and connect with others. Don’t blatantly promote but connect as someone who is an authority and genuine. If you do it right people will buy just from their connections with you.

    And of course always strive to over deliver. That’s probably the hardest thing since we all have so many competitors in our niche, But I think if we can help our readers and followers to learn something new, think outside the box and resolve problems they’re having we have a better than average chance to build credibility and trust.

    Great post Kumar. Enjoyed reading this.

    Liz πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Liz for your amazing comment. You said it all. You too have a blessed week.


  22. I’ll personally forgive every other flaw in a marketer if he/she consistently over-delivers. While it is very important to package oneself very well, you lose all your credibility if people get in only to discover that you don’t have real value for them.

  23. You don’t really need to β€œestablish” credibility. I think it comes naturally as long as you provide quality products and services and you treat your customers and employees well. In the end, it is all about doing the right thing instead of making it seem that you are doing the right thing. You really cannot fool anybody.

  24. Its very important to business owners to build credibility and trust Online.you suggest very good strategies..

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.