The first book I read on the topic of sales and marketing was by Robert Cialdini.
I was 19, at university, and working part-time as a chef. I was also rather plump, so at least you knew I could be trusted.
Remember. Never trust a skinny chef.
One of the topics in there is 'social proof', with one example of social proof being testimonials.
Now, it's widely accepted that using testimonials in your marketing is a sensible thing to do.
But I was recently doing some research before writing some copy for one of my clients, who has a service creating product descriptions for eCommerce companies, when I came across an unusual service.
In short, they would, for just £5 a piece, write fake testimonials for you to use on your website or Amazon listing.
I'm writing this email sat in Costa coffee, and I can tell you without any doubt that that's less than the cost of a large, Belgian chocolate Frostino.
But this isn't only happening in the eCommerce space.
I went for lunch last week with a copywriter friend of mine who has, on several occasions, refused to use testimonials supplied by his health and fitness client, because they weren't genuine.
Is it any wonder that consumers are becoming increasingly untrusting?
The good news is this presents an opportunity for trustworthy business owners, like you and I, to stand out from the competition.
Because one of the best ways to build trust is through consistency.
No scammer or charlatan is going to invest in consistently showing up and delivering value to their audience.
They're usually in it for the quick win.
Meaning that by demonstrating a willingness to provide value without expectation, you can build trust and create more sales from your audience.