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Earning Trust: A Method for More Sales

Published on: December 5 2022 by Social Media Examiner

Earning Trust: A Method for More Sales

Earning Trust: A Method for More Sales

- One of those that's like really difficult to overstate
because the reality is that pretty much anything
that you are measuring as a brand, as a marketer,
as a sales professional, like trust is a precursor.
People aren't gonna download from places
and companies they don't trust.
They're not gonna schedule a call with somebody
they don't trust.
They're not gonna buy a product
and give their credit card information
to somebody they don't trust.
- Today, I'm very excited to be joined by Melanie Deziel.
If you don't know who Melanie is, you need to know Melanie,
author of "Content Fuel Framework".
She's also the co-founder of The Convoy,
a B2B marketplace that helps small businesses save money
through aggregated buying power.
Her latest book is called,
"Prove It Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust".
Melanie, welcome back to the show.
- Thanks for having me back.
It's good to catch up.
- I'm super excited to have you here today, Melanie.
Melanie and I are gonna explore
how to establish trust online.
So first question for you is, why is trust so important,
as we're recording this in late 2022,
and some people are gonna be listening to this
in 2023 and in the future?
Like, tok to me about trust
and why this is so important right now.
- I guess like trust has always been important, you know,
like as a general rule.
We know this in our personal lives,
but I think what we've seen, especially over the last,
you know, few years,
is that it's a very skeptikal marketplace
that we're operating in.
Consumers are so jaded when it comes to, you know,
who they should trust and who's gonna follow through.
You know, they're spending a lot more time
looking at reviews and you know,
the studies have shown repeatedly that, you know,
less than 5% of people feel like marketers
are practiking integrity.
You know, there's a lot of skeptikism, a lot of fear that,
you know, they're gonna get scammed, you know,
that there's just a lot of lieing going on.
And some of that comes from like, you know,
the reckoning we've had with Photoshop and you know,
body image and things like that
in the more like, visual advertising space.
But it just kind of ties into this general feeling of like,
there's a lot of scam artists out there.
I don't know who I can trust.
And so it's never been more important as a brand,
as a marketer, you know, as a company of any kind,
to make sure that you are showing that you are trustworthy,
because even if you feel like everything you're doing
is on the up and up, you know, consumers just, I mean,
they don't know that, and if we don't prove it,
they have no reason to believe us over, you know,
the Nigeria lottery in our email inbox or the, you know,
car warranty phone calls that we're getting.
- Well, and if you think about it,
there has been some big influencers who have essentially,
quote unquote pitched products
that turned out to be scams, right?
Like we think of the Frye Festival, right?
- Yeah, yeah, the Fyre Festival.
- However they say it.
And all these other, you know,
influencers quote unquote out there that are just,
they've been paid a small amount of money
and they're just going out and saying this is amazing.
And now consumers, everyday people who are viewing
this content or reading this content,
now have a little bit of skeptikism.
How do I know this is real?
How do I know this isn't a scam?
How do I know I can even trust?
As a matter of fact, most of the stuff
we see on social media these days
isn't even from friends anymore, right?
- Right.
- It's from people we don't even know who the heck they are.
Like about TikTok and reels,
it's all about just random YouTube people that come up.
So I would imagine it's only gonna become more important
also because it's so easy
for anyone to create content, right?
- Well, yeah, exactly.
And that's, I mean,
I think that's part of the skeptikism too,
is like we all know, you know,
with a couple hours and a couple bucks,
you can spin up a website, social media platforms,
a logo and make something look really legit.
So, you know, it's easy to get conned in.
I mean, nobody's proud of it happening,
but it happens to all of us.
Like most people have a story of, you know,
I ordered a product and it never came, or, you know,
I thought it was the real brand website,
but there was a typo in the url,
and they're very clever at copying.
You know, things like that happen all the time.
So it's, it's important, you know,
people are gonna continue to look for those things
and just become more and more aware.
- When you do it right, and we're gonna tok a little bit
about it later, what's the upside?
tok to me about the upside when done well.
- I mean, this is one of those that's like,
really difficult to overstate because the reality
is that pretty much anything that you are measuring
as a brand, as a marketer, as a sales professional,
like trust is a precursor.
People aren't gonna download from places
and companies they don't trust.
They're not gonna schedule a call
with somebody they don't trust.
They're not gonna buy a product
and give their credit card information
to somebody they don't trust, right?
So when you go that extra mile,
when you're providing proof through content,
you are really giving yourself a leg up on anything else
that you're doing as an organization.
So, I don't mean to sound dramatik by saying like,
everything is at stake.
You know, like the world, your entire future is at stake,
but truthfully, you know, you should start to see
that when you're doing a better job of establishing
that trust, honestly, most of your metrics,
most of your key performance indicators,
you should start to see over time rolling benefits there,
where the more people trust you,
the more loyal they're gonna become,
the more they are gonna recommend you to others.
You know, it's gonna continue to impact
all of your business and your growth down the line.
- Well, and I love that because it's true
that this concept of no, like trust,
we tok about in marketing,
we've been toking about it forever.
People do business to those whom they know,
they like and they trust, right?
I mean, I might know you and like you,
but if I don't trust you,
I can guarantee you I'm not giving you a dollar.
- Not a chance.
And I might not even give you my email to be honest, right?
Like, I'm not even gonna opt in.
- Yeah, yeah, you'll give some sort of email that is like,
a trash email that you don't care about
because you don't trust yet,
you haven't established that trust.
So if there's a way we can actually positively
establish trust in this era, where distrust seems
to be the predisposition, the state of normalcy,
you know, then so much can happen.
So let's tok about your strategy.
What is, at a high level, the strategy that we,
as marketers, need to be thinking about
when it comes to establishing trust?
- So, you know, what we call it is essentially,
the prove it method, right?
I've hinted at this a little bit.
What we're toking about is the fact
that if you are out there making claims as a business owner,
as a marketer, you know,
you need to be backing those claims up.
You need to be providing proof
because just saying it is not enough anymore.
So essentially what you wanna be doing
is looking through the lens of all the content
you're creating and truthfully auditing the content
you've already created in all forms,
to say, what am I claiming?
What am I saying that I will do?
What am I saying that I have experience with?
What am I saying that I will perform,
the results that I will get them?
You know, what are all those promises,
guarantees, claims that you are making?
And are you providing enough evidence
to allow someone to actually trust that it's true?
Because I think the general mindset for the last while,
you know, last many years, has been, well,
if I tell them that I'm the greenest or the most, you know,
most sustainable, I'm the longest running,
the most trusted, that that's enough, right?
Like I've told them, don't worry, I'm the most trusted,
but now people are asking according to who?
Like most trusted for what, right?
There's follow up questions and so we need to provide
the proof that goes beyond just making these claims.
And it's kind of a mindset shift of you know,
making sure that you're backing these things up
and not just letting you know copy run away and get,
you know, really throw in lots of adjectives,
lots of promises in there about how wonderful you are.
You've actually gotta be providing the follow up proof.
- Got it, okay, so it's called the prove it method
and we were toking before and we were prepping for this,
that there's three different steps or stages or types.
So let's start with the very first one.
What is it and let's dive in a little bit.
- Yeah, so the first one is corroboration.
So to corroborate your content, your claims.
So basically when you create content that corroborates,
and again, content can be copy on your website,
it can be social copy, it could be anything, right,
anywhere that you're communicating with your audience,
you wanna be backing it up
with other people's opinions, right?
So the two examples,
the most common kind would be like an expert.
So that's someone outside of your organization
who has experience, degrees, awards, broad recognition
as like, this is a person who knows
what they're toking about on this subject.
Get them to add a quote, get them to back you up,
to endorse you to be an influencer.
Find a way to get outside experts to validate
whatever it is you are saying,
and then the other way you can corroborate,
the other way you can add in other voices to back up
what you're saying is to go for more of like,
a witness approach.
So they're not necessarily experts, you know,
they're not like, you know, professors or researchers
or industry giants, they're everyday people
who have seen you do what you say you're gonna do.
So that could be like clients, customers, your employees,
you know, it depends on the claim that you're making.
But the question to ask there is like,
who has experienced this being true?
Because those are the folks who are gonna be able to give,
whether it's testimonials or customer stories or reviews,
they're gonna be able to say,
look, they're not blowing smoke.
Like, they really did do this for me.
I really did get those results, or they really do benefit,
and that's gonna go a long way toward making sure
it's not just you saying, you know,
trust me, take my word for it, here's what we do.
You've got other folks,
experts and witnesses chiming in to back you up.
- This is kind of interesting because looking at the books
for those that are watching the video behind you,
we can see that you have got a couple of books there.
You might have a quote on the cover of one of those books
from someone who's well known and if you don't,
I can tell you I do on one of my books, you know,
and this idea of reaching out to someone who's known,
in the industry and getting their quote
and stiking it on the cover, 'cause Guy Kawasaki,
for example, is on the cover of one of my books.
- That's a good one.
- Seth Goden, you know, is inside the flap
on some of my books, right?
So the idea here is that we kind of understand this
from a marketing perspective, 'cause like,
if you think about how people used to buy books,
they'd walk into a store, look at the cover of the book,
and if they saw something that attracted them
and they would open up the book.
First, what they typically see
is the rest of the testimonials
from people that they may not know,
but underneath them it would say who they are,
what company founded, right?
So this is kind of a tried and true methodology, is it not?
- Certainly is and I think it's something we think about,
you know, as an author, you know,
one of the blanks you have to fill is like,
whose name is going on the cover?
Who's gonna help me sell this thing?
But I think we don't ne have that same mindset
or that same focus when we're putting out a blog post
or we're running a new campaign or you know,
you're putting together a video
of how well your event went this year.
You know, we don't necessarily always think of bringing in
an expert to back us up on those things
and it's something we can do on a more regular basis,
not just for the special, you know,
once every other year book releases.
- Do you have any tips on how in the world
to get the experts to give you the quotes
and also do you have some examples?
Let's tok about this.
- Yeah, so my recommendation honestly,
is always to look for academics who can weigh in on it.
You know, folks who are professors, researchers, you know,
professor emeritus, like someone who is in academia.
And the reason this works well, there's a couple reasons.
One, is these folks have chosen by far
the least paying version of whatever their profession is
because they care about educating people.
So these are folks who are generally like passionate
about sharing their knowledge and toking to people
about their topic of expertise.
But also, especially if they're at a public university,
their contact information's usually pretty easy
to track down.
You know, whether it's on like a staff page
or a faculty page, they may have a faculty profile
on the school site where you can see their email
or their phone number.
So I think, you know,
academics are some of the most generous with their knowledge
and time and easy to track down.
So that's always my first recommendation
if you're looking for experts to weigh in.
- So tok about when we use customer testimonials
versus when we use expert testimonials,
because I can imagine there's different reasons
to use each one, right?
And I would imagine in some regards,
one might be even more powerful than the other.
Like my gut tells me that if it's on a sales page
and there's an actual customer who experienced the product,
that's gonna be way more powerful than some expert saying,
Melanie Deziel's the best thing since slice bread.
- Yeah, well you're onto something there
and I think experience is the exact right word to use.
So if you are toking about an experience, then the most,
you know, the best qualified person to speak to that
is someone who's had that experience.
So that's where the customer, client, employees, et cetera,
come into play because like they've been there,
they know that it's true because they experienced it.
When you're toking about information and you need them,
you know, I'm saying to you that this is an important thing
for your business.
Here's an expert who's also saying
it's important for your business.
You know, it's great if you also have a customer who says,
this was very important for my business
when I worked with them.
That's the experience.
But that information, that fact,
it's often better to have more of a qualified expert
weigh in on those things.
But I will say, it's really difficult to find a place
where having someone, whether it's an expert or a witness,
weigh in on something is not helpful, right?
Because at the end of the day,
anything else that's not being corroborated is just like,
take my word for it, right?
So in general, take whoever you can get to back you up
to corroborate you on these things.
But yeah, they're, if you're toking about experiences
that people have had, then you know, those witnesses,
those customers and clients, are gonna be your best bet.
- Do you have any examples of clients or businesses
that you think are doing this really well
that people might wanna just think about?
- You know, I think when you look at B2B companies
especially do a really good job and you know,
I'm sure there are exceptions out there,
but as a general rule, if you look at the sales page
on a B2B service provider of any kind, you know,
a SAS company especially,
you will find so many witness testimonials, right?
So they're gonna come in and they're gonna tell you,
you know, this helped our productivity 15%,
our sales at such and such company, you know,
were so much higher the first quarter we used them.
You'll find plenty of that.
But generally, you will also find at least one expert way
and it tends to be a non-human expert,
like a study or a research thing, where they're like,
studies have shown that, you know,
following up with customers as quickly as possible
increases such and such, right?
So they're also giving you like, science backs the way
that we're doing this thing or the the process
were helping you do, that kind of thing.
You, you generally find a pretty good combination on B2B
and especially SAS sales pages.
- And for all of our B2C friends,
'cause there's a big chunk of them listening,
I mean you see it in like cosmetiks and related stuff,
but what about all the other industries?
They have an opportunity here, don't they?
- A huge opportunity and like I said,
I think that B2B we're kind of conditioned,
we always need to say like, we've helped a company like you.
Like, that's a pretty common proof point you need to make.
So this happens a lot there.
But any B2C I think you're in the same boat.
You know, especially if it's an industry
where trust is really important.
So, you know, anything heavily regulated,
anything with big risks, you know, finance, insurance,
pharma, you know, any of those things, medical,
where people are making big important decisions
or very high price point decisions,
then the more testimonials, the more, you know,
corroboration you can bring in,
hopefully the better it's gonna be and I think speaking
to your customers is a great way to figure out
who they would trust.
You know, if you're like,
I don't know who the trusted person is in insurance sales,
you know, I don't know who the big voice is.
Like, your customers probably do, who would they trust?
- Yeah and you know, let's just say that maybe
you're not a really expensive product,
but maybe let's say you're one
of the more expensive products in your category, right?
Like, let's say you have premium coffee for example, right,
and you cost twice as much as everybody else's coffee.
Well, then you're gonna need a heck of a lot
of coffee experts to say, well there's something special
about where this coffee is sourced from
and maybe even customers saying this is the best cup
of coffee they've ever had, maybe even on video, right?
- Oh yeah.
I mean, an expert can go a long way there too, right,
to say that, you know,
studies show that if there's fewer parts per million
of such and such, you know, acidity,
then you know it's gonna taste this much better
or cause less heartburn.
I don't know, I'm not a coffee expert apparently,
but, you know, or that, you know,
we have this proof that fair trade beans,
you know, are better for the local economy and so, you know,
getting them sourced from here is better
for this place as well as for us.
I think those kinds of things can really go a long way.
You know, even if you're not the most expensive
in your category, you know, really just trying to say
that there's a reason for all these things that we're doing
and here's some of those reasons.
- Awesome, so we toked about corroboration,
which is a bit of a tongue twister, right?
- It is, it is.
- Which expert witnesses and generally--
- Expert and witnesses, yeah.
- Experts and witnesses, okay.
So what's the second part of the process?
- The second one is documentation.
So the way I like to think of it is this,
the corroboration is like they hear it,
they're hearing it from someone else, a witness,
and you know, it doesn't have to be hearing literally audio,
but you know, they're hearing the voice of someone else
backing you up.
Documentation is really about seeing it, right?
So it's really about showing them so that they don't have to
take anyone's word for it.
They can experience it themselves
and we do that in a couple different ways,
through stories and through documentation or, you know,
through documentation.
So that would be like--
- You mean? - Yeah, yeah, exactly.
So our example of the coffee,
I'll keep rolling with the coffee thing,
I don't know why 'cause I'm not a coffee expert,
but here we go.
So stories would be maybe if you're, again,
trying to point out the coffee's more expensive
because we do it fair trade and you know,
we treat our workers better than anyone else.
Then you wanna find one of those farmers
who can tell the story of like, look,
here we are on my farm, like I'm able to pay my workers
a better wage and you know, we're healthier,
we have better cleaning standards.
Like show them, let them see it
and then documentation would be the same thing,
typically showing a process.
So this might be to show how it's made
is like my favorite example of this, right?
Where you can like watch a process happen and you're like,
well that clearly looks like safe or clean
or detailed or whatever else, right?
You witness it yourself.
And the other great example of documentation
to like show it is to demonstrate it with like
how like an infomercial does.
You know, you have those like side by side comparisons.
where you have like, it absorbs times as much water
and they like dunk both of them into a tub of water,
and then you can clearly see with your own eyeballs
that like, this one still has a ton of water left
and this one absorbed all of it.
So maybe an infomercial side by side is not always
the way to go, depending on your product.
But you can also do like a checkbox matrix version of this.
Like, here's the things that we do
and here's the things that they do
or here's the differences between the things we do.
It's really just kind of showing,
allowing them again to see it with their own eyes.
How can I let them experience this
so that they don't have to take anyone's word for it?
- I love this.
Chipotle a while back decided they were gonna go fully like,
organic with all of their food
and they started actually taking video crews
to the farms where they actually sourced the materials from.
And they were telling like short little two minute videos
about like, where the beans are coming from,
for example, right,
or where the avocados are coming from,
just to kind of give people a little bit
of the behind the scenes that like they source them from,
like legit places and these are real small local farmers,
generally speaking, where they source like stuff from
and I think that's an example of a story.
How else could we use story?
Do we have to use our vendors as part of the story?
Could we use our employees as part of the story?
tok to me a little bit about that.
- 100%
I think it really depends on the claim that you're making.
You know, one great example,
since I've got coffee on the brain,
Starbucks makes a point of emphasizing
how well they treat employees in many cases, right?
That they provide funds to help you go back to school,
that they pay higher than minimum wage,
all these sorts of things.
So if you're trying to prove out that claim,
like no, it really is a good place to work,
it's not just lip service then, you know,
telling the story of one of your employees
who then went back to school and now you know,
maybe they've moved on somewhere else
and you were able to enable that, you know,
new life path for them.
toking about a veteran who, you know, you've been able
to bring back into the workforce, you know,
given the challenges they may have been facing.
By showing those stories, you know,
it's your employees that you're toking about,
but it's really making a case,
not only to potential employees, but you know,
showing your values a little bit.
Like here's, here's how we take care of our people you know.
- You know, I see a lot of internet marketing people
using the stories of their customers, you know,
where they'll ask a customer like,
what was your experience before you use this service
or product and what is it now?
Do you think those are super effective also?
- Yeah, 100% and I think you make a good point.
Sometimes people bring up like,
well, what's the difference between like,
a witness and then a story, right,
if I have my customers as a witness or customers as a story
and I think the difference is often the level of depth
that you're going to.
If I'm telling a story in general about how great
my product is and I've got a little quote that says,
Johnny so-and-so customer agreed that this was
a great purchase for them or something,
that's different than, here's the story of Johnny
and what they were doing beforehand
and how it wasn't working and what they're doing now
and why it's different and what was at stake
in that decision and here's a photo
of them enjoying that result.
You know, really going into some depth in telling a story
versus just a little sneak peek with a quote or a snippet.
- One thing that we did at Social Media Examiner,
which is kind of fun that I think other people could model,
is that we did a contest where we asked people
who attended Social Media Marketing World
to go ahead and create a video toking
about how it transformed their business.
The winner was going to get a free tiket to the conference
that they could use for themselves or give to a friend
and we ended up embedding the winning video
on our testimonials page, you know.
Awesome example of how this guy's Roger Wakefield,
who's a plumber out of Texas,
how his life was completely transformed
as a result of walking into Social Media Marketing World
and walking out with a new YouTube channel that blew up,
and then he went on to be like,
one of the most recognized plumbers in America, you know,
and he started trade stuff and, and like that's a,
that's a fun way you could incentivize someone.
You ever heard of anything like that,
where you maybe just encourage people
to do something like that?
- No, but I think that UGC, like user generated content,
like that is a really smart way to gather stories.
What I have seen a lot of is people finding stories
on social media.
So maybe like someone tags them in a post or something
and they're like, wait, this is genius.
Like, have our team reach out to them,
we gotta get more detail, we gotta get photos, right?
We see that, but I actually like that you kind of flipped it
on its head and you're like, give us your stories,
and I think if you're in a position
where you have a big enough audience that you can ask that
of, or partikularly, I mean I will say,
you had a little bit of a head start there
because everyone who was there knew the value of creating
that kind of content and probably now had access
to the knowledge and tools to do it, right.
That may have been tougher for the plumber to do himself,
to email all of his customers and say,
send me a video of how great your toilet is now.
You know, like that may not have have been
quite as fruitful, but.
- However, I wouldn't be surprised if there's some people
at the end that would, if they're smart,
you show up on site and you pull out your camera
and you just say, tell me what your challenge is
and at the end you, you videotape them again,
how do you feel now?
All of a sudden you've got the content in exchange
for giving 'em a discount or something like that, right.
- Exactly, yeah, and I think this is also a spot
where you may be able to take a lesson from journalism.
You know, my background is as a journalist
and we were often having to ask people questions
about things that they might not wanna tok about.
Like, you know, I imagine if you're in pest control,
for example, you may have a tough time getting people
to like admit that they had an infestation
or something like that, right?
Or when you're in healthcare and people may not wanna tok
about their personal health issues.
One of the things we find is asking people
how much they are comfortable toking about
and letting them guide the conversation.
So sometimes when you ask really pointed questions,
like if you were to say,
"Tell me how horrible your life was
"when you had your bed bug infestation,"
like you might not get a response like, you know,
it's probably not gonna be super productive,
but if you could say,
"tok to me about what it's like
"to worry about bugs in your home."
Like, give them something general like tok to me about,
or tell me a story about
or can you share more about something pretty general,
and they'll often kind of bring those details up
on their own in a way that they're more comfortable with.
- Yeah and I would imagine if you had to,
you could just have a recorder with you and just say,
I'm recording this anonymously for research, you know,
and then afterwards you could potentially
get their permission to not use their name
but their voice and then you could put B-roll
over the top of it and all of a sudden
you have something kind of fascinating.
Now I wanna ask you about, you know,
we're toking about documentation
and this matrix thing fascinated me
because we've been running split tasks on our sales page
and we found that when we added a matrix that says
this is how we do conferences
and this is how most of the other ones do 'em,
with checklists and stuff,
that really did positively move the needle.
Why does that work?
- I mean, I think it's because we're kind of like,
doing the homework for them, right?
Like, when we list out all the things that are wonderful
about us, the only way they're gonna come
to that same conclusion as they would
with the checkbox comparison is if they also went
to the other websites, many of them probably,
and then had that all in their head.
Like they remembered all the facts
about all these other competitors.
So when you're doing the comparison side by side
with a checklist like that or with some other sort
of comparison method and you're putting it all in one spot,
you make it easy for them to make.
Like you're doing the homework for them.
They can look at that graphic or look at that comparison
and say, well obviously one of these
is better than the other.
I no longer have to do the research.
I no longer have to go to a bunch of other websites
and price compare or you know, comparison shop,
look at the different specs.
Like it's right here.
They made it easy for you.
And even if you may not come out as far ahead
in that kind of comparison,
the fact that you've made it easy
is also brownie points for you.
Like, wow, clearly this is an organization that cares
about their customers, that wants to make things easy,
that's honest and transparent.
Like it goes a long way.
- So we've been toking about this second category,
which is demonstration,
and documentation is part of demonstration.
Is there other ways that we can demonstrate?
Like I could imagine like a,
I've seen these kind of things,
like you kind of mentioned it,
like if you ever watch Shark Tank,
you know they do this a lot, right?
They do an actual demonstration,
but I would imagine you could do the same thing
with illustrations or explainer videos.
What are your thoughts on that kind of stuff?
- Yeah, so that starts to get into the third category,
the third type of content which is education.
- So before we go there then,
what is documentation outside of just stories,
Do you understand? I just wanna make sure I get--
- Yeah, yeah.
So demonstration has the two different categories.
The first is stories, where you're telling someone's story
and then it's the documentation.
Like this is bringing the receipts, right?
So this is showing the side by side,
like in the infomercial.
This is, you know, I don't know if you've had an audit
and you release the audit results or you do an analysis,
you know, some sort of data that says, look,
we punched in all the numbers and like,
here's how it came out, here's how we measured up.
An assessment, an award, like anything that just
is like evidence that they can evaluate themselves,
to say like, oh, alright, well that,
that seems to make sense.
I can see that now.
- Okay, so we've got this first category,
which is corroboration,
which is really like testimonials for lack of better words.
And we've got this second category,
which is demonstration through stories and documentation.
And this third one is?
- Is education.
So I always say, you know, the first one, the corroborating,
is getting someone else to say it so they hear it.
The middle one is our demonstration,
and this is where we're allowing them, the audience,
to see it themselves, and then the third one,
education is where we help them know it, right?
So education, there's really two types of content
you can use as proof here.
The first one is just information.
Sometimes like straight up,
our audience does not have enough information
or understanding or experience to know how to assess
whether our claims are true.
So a great example of this is if you're in any kind of space
where people don't make this purchase many times,
so well hopefully you think of like,
if you're in the wedding industry, right?
Like many times you're dealing with first time customers.
They've never had to plan a wedding before.
They have no clue how much catering
or flowers or whatever else costs, right?
You gotta get them up to speed.
Here's the average budget of this kind of project.
You know, here's some of the questions to consider
as you're deciding what's the right path for you, right?
You're giving them information that says like, look,
I know what I'm toking about and I know all of this stuff,
but I know that you may need more information
in order to evaluate whether my claims are true.
Am I really affordable?
Well, you don't know unless you know
what others cost, right,
unless you know what the average budget is.
So--
- So what are you calling that,
that thing you just toked about,
with these with in the wedding center?
Did you, do you have a label for this?
Is that just general education on what goes into a wedding?
- So I don't, I guess I don't have a name
for that specific type.
That was just an off the cuff example.
But yeah, specifically if you are in a space
where most of your customers are first time customers,
that's something you're gonna wanna rely on heavily.
Another category where this just like straight up
informational content is super valuable,
is if your buyer is not your end user.
So, you know, I may be buying, you know,
I may be engaging your services for tik for my company,
but I'm not the tiknical guy.
I'm just the guy signing the checks, you know what I mean?
So I need you to explain to me why it's important
to have two-factor authentikation or you know,
an SSL certificate or whatever else.
I don't know what those things are.
Are they even important?
Like, you gotta help me figure it out
because I'm not the one who's gonna be implementing
or understanding it at the end.
- I mean, I like this a lot and I mean obviously,
this is right in the wheelhouse
of a lot of content marketers, right?
You toked about coaching.
You wanna tok about that a little bit too
because it sounds almost like the example you gave
with the wedding planner
could be potentially a coach a little bit.
tok about how that works.
- Yeah, so it's kind of a fine line and I always say
the issue for me is less which category
something falls into and more that these categories
are helpful for you thinking of ways you might do it, right?
So information is usually like,
I'm giving you this information.
You can do with it what you will.
Coaching is usually a little more hands on
and this content is helping them through a process.
So I would say with that example before,
the informational is like, here's what the average budget is
for these kinds of things.
The more coaching might be, here's the questions to ask.
Like, I understand you're going through a process
and I'm gonna give you the information to do that.
It could also be anything step by step.
So recipes, how to instructions, you know,
how to make a budget for your wedding, right?
That would be more on the coaching side of things.
Like, I'm gonna give you things to guide you along
your journey and that through that process
you'll come to trust us more.
- You know, as I'm thinking this through,
especially more complex sales, you think about how people
will offer a free audit,
where they'll offer a free coaching session
if they're a coach, right,
and this gives you a taste if you will.
Can this be done with content or 'cause it's not scalable
obviously, if you have a massive amount of people?
I'm just curious is that even an option?
- Oh yeah, 100%!
One of the things that's super helpful in this space,
like I said, is anything that's like steps or tutorials,
instructions, a lot of times one of the best ways this works
is when you are giving instructions
or tutorial for a process.
That process will often show this is way too complicated
for me and I'm just gonna hire them to do it, right?
Like, I don't know,
I've had this system a lot where I'm like,
trying to fix something at home
and I'm watching the tutorial and I'm like,
you hit a certain point where you're just like,
I'm in way over my head.
Like, I gotta call a pro.
So that kind of content can actually convert really well
when you can show fairly, don't exaggerate,
but if you are showing the complexity of something
that can be a great indicator of like,
I don't know what this is,
but they seem to know what they're doing.
So like, let me get them engaged, right,
even if you're showing them the process.
- This is kind of hearkening back to books again
as an example, but white papers even too, right?
Like my very first business,
well one of my earlier businesses was I was a writer.
I wrote a paper called,
"How to Write a White Paper A White Paper on White Papers".
Which I sounds kind of crazy,
but it generated me like a hundred thousand leads
and set my business up and I just taught them the basics
and what to look for when looking for a writer.
And of course, I'm the one that checked all the boxes,
you know, and I told them what the elements of it were
and then eventually, I ended up writing a book called,
"Writing White Papers", my first book,
which got me ridiculous amounts of work.
And this is where a lot of people
in our industry understands, that a book is a great example
of educating but also proving
that you know something, right?
'Cause I think you used to be a consultant,
if I'm not mistaken, right? - I was.
- So your first book served as true proof, did it not?
- 100%, yeah, I was just gonna say that was actually--
So the first book was the "Content Fuel Framework"
and where that came from, to be honest,
all the content in that book is came from workshops
that I was doing.
I was doing these workshops all the time
and a lot of times someone would ask, well like hey,
do you have like a version of this I can give to my boss
or to a colleague or so and so, and I didn't.
It was all just contained in that workshop
and there was some hesitant from folks in my circle
about like, are you really gonna put all the things
from your, you know, very expensive corporate workshop
into this like $20 book?
And it was exactly what we were just toking about.
I said, you know, there are gonna be folks
who could never afford or would never be in a situation
to be in the audience for one of those things
and they will have this to try to guide them.
And then there are gonna be those people who look at it
and go, this is great, I'm not doing it.
Let's get her in here to do it for us, right?
So I wasn't worried about that honestly, 'cause you know,
like I said, there's gonna be the DIYers
and we're never gonna buy with you to begin with.
- Well and and to be honest with you,
when people are show up, they're ready to buy.
Because this happened to me.
I had people lining up waiting months to work with me
because of my book and you know,
there's only so many of these white papers
I could write a month.
But the idea is that by the time they went through
this educational process with the book
and they convinced themselves that they don't wanna do that
'cause that sounds difficult, and they wanna hire x, y, z
person, in this case me,
that is the ultimate, ultimate ease.
I mean, like you, this is why so many book authors
are kind of set as long as it doesn't outdate itself.
They could just basically pick up the phone.
It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
I hate to use that analogy (laughs), but like,
let's take it back to like educational content in general.
Like, how does this work into all of our marketing?
Like, you know, 'cause this is really
kind of the secret sauce I think, right?
- I think so, 100%.
I mean, there's lots of ways that you could work
this kind of stuff into your marketing.
It often plays a really big role
in any SEO that you may be doing.
So if you're looking to search optimize,
a lot of the content you create is based
on the queries of your audience.
How, what are people searching for
and how are you gonna get them to your site for that answer?
So we find a lot of educational content, you know,
and coaching content 'cause people are always searching
how do I or how to stuff.
You know, that kind of content works really well
for search as long as you have some sort of, you know,
search strategy going on as well
and you're not just arbitrarily creating stuff,
although that probably helps a little bit too.
- So let's kind of sew this all together, you know,
'cause it seems to me as if in some cases
you could just get away with doing education
because that proves it, right?
You know, depending on how you do it.
If you do it on video, they're gonna get to know you,
they're gonna understand your cadence,
they can tell if you're reading the script
versus actually being authentik.
So like, tie all three of these together
and tell me how they all work collaboratively
and sometimes how they might wanna work
independently of each other.
- Yeah, so this is not something
that you need to do all at once.
It's not something where you need to do every single type
exactly like you said.
You will find that there are instances
where you understand like, I just need to help them
understand this a little bit better.
Or the biggest barrier to buying from us
is not knowing what to do.
So let's educate them on the process.
Let's coach 'em through it, right.
Other times people are asking you for more examples.
Well, can you tell me more?
I just, I'm not sure if this is a good fit.
Like, that's a good indication that some corroboration
might be helpful or some demonstration.
Show them so that they're convinced.
So I think you'll start to see
once you understand the three types of content
you can create and how they serve to earn that trust, right,
by helping them hear it from other people,
helping them see it themselves
and helping them better understand
the claim in the first place, you know,
you'll start to see which ones are gonna be a good fit
for certain sales situations.
For certain types of customers
you might use different content
for different parts of your segment.
Like we often see educational content works really well
top of funnel and then, you know,
as they get further down they need more
of that demonstration and corroboration,
'cause they're getting ready to make the decision.
So it's more is at stake, right.
So you, I mean this stuff can fit in at different parts
of your sales process.
You can use some for margin, some for sales,
depending on again, those common objections.
That's one of the things that I actually think
is a great source of what kind of proof
you should be creating is to tok to your sales team,
whatever that is for your organization.
What are the objections
that these customer facing people get?
What are people worried about
or not sure about or misunderstanding?
Like that's a good opportunity for you to understand like,
this is a spot where we need to provide more proof.
We need to help earn their trust on this partikular issue.
- You know, I'm gonna share a little story with you
and I want to hear your thoughts on on
how you would do it because those that follow me closely
know that I have another show called Crypto Business
and I have a conference recording coming up
in a couple weeks as of this recording.
So what I decided to do, first of all,
was I began to understand very quickly
that a big chunk of my audience did not understand
what the heck Web3 was and NFTs and social tokens
after doing a survey and they really frankly,
weren't interested in it, right?
So one of the first things I did was I started a podcast
and I started interviewing people
that were way smarter than I am, and then eventually,
I decided to do a spaces
called Web3 for Beginners on Twitter.
And I got a co-host, Heather Parody,
and we just assumed everybody was complete beginners
and we brought on people and we just met
literally online for an hour, literally for like months
and we just recently ended that.
That was all our way of kind of educating
and throughout that educational content we would say things
like, hey, if you wanna go deeper, if you wanna be early,
then we've got this event, you know.
Then the challenge was once we got people to the sales page,
we didn't have, we experimented with this quite a bit.
There was a lot of people going to the sales page
from Social Media Examiner proper
that did not understand what Web3 was, right.
So we had the sales page be really educational
about what is Web1, Web2, three,
and then eventually we were testing it
and we finally came to the point,
where as we got closer to the event,
that we had to be a little bit more
of a direct selling of the event.
We had to use testimonials that more
were advocating the you know,
the reputation of Social Media Examiner and myself.
You know what I mean?
This was new, but we finally figured out the way to do it.
We had this, are you new to Web three, click here,
right up the top of the sales letter
and that's where people could go deeper
and kind of get a background on it.
But it was a struggle because in this case,
we got nobody who's experienced any of our products
'cause we didn't, it was brand new.
We were completely riding on the reputation
of myself and my company.
And I would imagine there's a lot of people
listening right now that are like thinking the same thing.
They're, maybe it's brand new tiknology,
brand new innovation, like how do they even do,
'cause this has been a struggle,
I'm not gonna lie.
Like we didn't as we wanted
and it, you know,
we're gonna have a couple hundred people there.
We were hoping for a couple thousand.
We're just getting started.
We look at this as an investment in the future
of the couple hundred who decided to come.
It's rough when you don't, when you're not known for this
and you don't have a lot of the kinds of things
that we're toking about here
because it's totally new, you know?
Thoughts on that?
- Yeah, so I would say in this phase,
what you probably wanna do is find experts,
but not experts necessarily in what you are doing,
but experts in their respective areas.
So you find someone in real estate who's gonna tok about
the importance of Web 3 for real estate
and that's helping their audience get an expert opinion
that this is something to pay attention to.
You find someone in sales, you find someone in sports.
I don't know what the different categories might be, right,
but the places where Web 3 is super important.
Find those category sort of sub-industry experts
and have them tok to their audience
about how important this is and why it's something relevant
to learn about, why it's something they need
to be concerned about for their business.
You know, why it's an opportunity.
And by having them share their expert opinion
to their audience, it sort of lends that credibility
over to you to say, you know,
whether they're affiliates or referrals or you know,
paid ads, whatever it is, finding those industry experts
outside of your space to kind of refer people in
with their expertise is probably a good way to go.
- Well, and one of the things that we did do
is we did get experts on my podcast.
Those that listened to the podcast
had plenty of demonstration of that
because could hear the wisdom.
Those are the people that are teaching on the stage.
We even sponsored one of the other shows
that's one of the bigger shows, right,
and they were advocating for us every day on their show.
But I think the big opportunity
for someone who's experiencing something like me,
is once you get the customers
and they have a great experience,
you capture those testimonials, right,
for the next time, right?
And sometimes this is an investment
that's going to take time, is it not?
- Yeah, absolutely, you make it an awesome point.
So you toked about how effective it was
for you to ask for those transformational stories
from Social Media Marketing World.
A very similar approach can work.
What, how is this changing the way you run your business?
What difference do you think attending
will make for your business?
You know, what's something that has changed
the way you think about X, Y, Z?
That kind of stuff will go a long way
next year for the next event,
or you know, something even sooner, right,
just for building an audience for the podcast,
even that that's gonna go a long way.
So as you're starting out, you may find that you need
to rely more on demonstration or experts.
You know, there's, I'm sure as you were toking about this,
I mean essentially every guest on your podcast
was you bringing in experts to tok about
why this stuff is important, right?
- Correct.
- So even if you're in a new space,
you can find experts who speak to the problem,
even if there aren't experts who speak to your solution yet.
Right, so I'm trying to think, I mean,
I can't think of something that's not.
- No, I mean that's perfect answer
and that's exactly, and that's where I wanted to,
that's where I want deep on education, right,
because big steep learning curve in this space
and education is what we're all about.
And I know sometimes it takes time,
just like when people are on Shark Tank
and they say, you got a problem.
You gotta educate the whole world
on this new tiknology, right?
And sometimes it takes time,
but eventually you're gonna get experts who, like you said,
maybe from academia that can stand to testify
that this tiknology innovation or whatever is hot and new.
Eventually you're gonna have clients,
even if they're beta testers,
who can witness to the amazing facts of what you're doing.
Eventually you'll be able to put these check boxes together
and say, here's the old way of doing it,
here's the new way of doing it
and here's the advantages, right,
and you'll be able to tell those stories
and just all this kind of works itself together, right?
- Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah and I think just like you said,
every stage of your business,
you might find yourself relying on different things.
You know, as you're,
you may use types of podcasts than you do
to drive registration for the event,
than you do to drive re-engagement
with those folks in retention than you do, you know,
for whatever else it is you do.
You're gonna find that this stuff can be useful
in a bunch of different contexts
and it's just really important to be asking the question
like, how can I build trust in this scenario
or for this audience or on this platform,
and then use those types of content
to go ahead and earn that trust.
- Tell everybody what they can expect inside your book,
"Prove it" and then also tell 'em where they can find you
if they wanna connect with you on the socials.
- Yeah, so if you wanna learn more about "Prove It",
our website is peoplewhoproveit.com.
But essentially, the book really walks through
the five different common types of claims
that your business may be making and then explains
how you can use those three types of content
that we toked about here to go ahead
and prove those different types of claims.
Because different types of content works better
for different types of claims.
You know, you may be claiming convenience
or competence or something else.
So it's really, it's super tactikal, it's a quick read.
That's sort of my M.O..
I don't wanna sell you fluff.
Like, I just want you to get what you need
so you can go out and and make a difference.
So "Prove It Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust",
hopefully gets you everything you need
to go out there and prove it yourself.
- And then if they wanna reach out to you on the socials,
do you have preferred platform?
- Yeah, so I mean, lucky for me, I'm very search optimized,
so if you search for Melanie Deziel,
you'll find me on your platform of choice.
But I spend the most time on Twitter, where I'm Mdeziel,
and then again my website is storyfuel.co.
Storyfuel, that C-O is sort of the the home base
for everything else.
- Melanie Deziel,
thank you so much for answering my litany of questions.
Hopefully a lot of wheels are moving in the minds
of our audience.
We really appreciate your time today.
- Thanks for letting me share my story.