In deciding whether to trust someone, we weigh two key characteristics, Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer explain in their book Friend and Foe – competence and warmth.
Basically, we ask ourselves two questions:
- Does this person have the ability to follow through?
- Do they have my best interest at heart?
Trust is a mightily important element in business blogging. Readers, after all, found your blog because what they needed corresponded with what you sell, what you know, and what you know how to do. They’ve clicked on the link, and now they’re “meeting” you for the first time.
How will you appear to readers in terms of competence? There are two elements at work here:
- Credibility – It becomes evident, through the content of the blog, that you’re the subject matter expert they’re seeking.
- Reliability – You’ve helped clients and customers “just like them” many times before; you’re familiar with your readers’ needs and concerns.
Even if you’ve come across as the most competent of providers, you still need to pass the “warmth” test. Does your blog present you as “real people”, with a passion for serving in your field?
The founder of Moth, a nonprofit dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, believes the success of his organization comes from two elements:
- There’s no “wall of artistry” or stage curtain between the storyteller and audience.
- The storytellers share their own human failures and frailty.
As business owners or practitioners in today’s click-it-yourself, do-it-yourself world, our content writing needs to demonstrate to online searchers that, in our fields, we ARE smarter than Google Maps, or eHow, or Wikipedia.
Even more important, we need to make clear, we’re a lot more caring for our customers – they can count on us!