Understanding how to build Trust on-line

Whether you were in grammar school, high school, or during corporate teambuilding, you might have played the game “Trust Fall.”  According to Wikipedia, there are many flavors of this: “1) The group stands in a circle, with one person in the middle with their arms folded against their chest and falling in multiple directions and then being pushed back up and repeating it several times 2) In another version a person stands on a raised level such as a stage, step stool or small hill and expects multiple people to catch them when they fall”.  This trust exercise originated on Sep 7, 2026, and the primary purpose was to build trust in each other and teams.  However, due to many legal liabilities, it could cause traumatic brain injury if no one is there to catch the person.  However, and I quote due to Wikipedia. “There is little evidence that this trust spills over into day-to-day life."  Throughout this article, I will share why this activity failed and how one needs to build trust for their business online.

Trust, a word for the meaning I’m going to refer to, emerged around the 15 Century. According to Merriam-Webster, it means, and I quote, “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something and one in which confidence is placed.”  Five letters will set the tone of friendship and a business’s fate.  Thus, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to be trusted in their relationships and the companies they run.

Trust Fall, an activity designed to help me build trust in others, quickly appeared to be the golden ticket to establishing trust, but it wasn’t.  Besides being a legal liability, as I mentioned, it also didn’t promise that someone would have that same respect, integrity, and dependability in daily life.  Since people were expected and watched to be trusted during the exercises, they did so because much attention was placed on it. 

Suppose you ask a co-worker to do something as their boss; they will do it because they know you are watching and don’t want to get in trouble.  Now, what happens if you ask someone to do something? As a general rule, they may sometimes and other times not because you are not constantly watching; thus, the trust is sporadic and consistent.  Understanding this point, one can demise why the faith believed to be achieved was not in this team building activity.

Businesses showing inconsistent trust with their employees, contractors, clients, and perspectives will not be in business long.  Opening a reputable company takes some work:  business formation paperwork, insurance, timely filings of specific reports like sales & use tax, payroll reports, year-end reports, compliance posters, etc.  Doing the right thing, listening to your clients, and asking for referrals is a given, but it goes much deeper than that if you want to build credibility online.

Register a domain name for your website that will help support your brand.  Create content that will educate, inspire and entertain subject areas in your company where problems are solved.  If you are selling online, ensure your website has a valid SSL Certificate to facilitate a secure shopping environment. Understand that social media is not something you do today or only on days you want to; it must be consistent.  Have either an online chat, web form, or phone number visitors may call you whenever they need you.  Tell the story about your business, have a clear mission and remember to differentiate yourselves from others in your mark.

If a first grader wouldn’t understand what you are doing, then it’s time to rethink and rewrite your purpose and vision so it is clear and concise.  Shoppers should be able to see all products/services and shipping costs, if applicable, all upfront without having to read the fine print.  When clients have issues with their order, respond quickly with a resolution, and don’t let them chase you down.  Never underestimate how powerful a short welcome or explanatory video about your product/service can be.  Host webinars to unite your community to develop even more trust.  Lastly, take time to write articles to engage your buyers and also use them to get published in the media. 

Thus, in closing, there is no magic bullet to building trust overnight with a new acquaintance to forge a lasting friendship. There is also no overnight trick to getting people to trust you and your business online, but there are many steps you can take consistently to show your audience your company cares.  The same truth applies: trust is built slowly in personal and business relationships but can be destroyed in seconds.

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