What is the Know, Like, and Trust factor and how does it impact your marketing? Jennifer Agee, founder of Counseling Community, Inc., takes a look at each of these 3 elements and gives practical tips on how to incorporate this marketing strategy to grow your audience.
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Jennifer Agee: Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I am your host, Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor. Before we dive into our topic today, I want to invite you to come to Portugal with me. We have created a marketing retreat for therapists. If you are looking to grow your brand, increase calls coming in, and just need some help with marketing, this retreat in Portugal was designed with you in mind. It's being held in October of 2023. All the information can be found on my website at counselingcommunity.com, and I hope to see you there.
All right, let's dive into our topic today. We are gonna be talking about the know, like, and trust factor when it comes to marketing. Know, like, and trust is a common phrase that you'll hear in marketing, and it's an important one for you to get to understand a little bit. Your audience needs to know that you are an expert, a subject expert, on what you're speaking about. They need to like, feel comfortable with you, your personality, and who you are. And they need to trust that the information that you're sharing is important and relevant and that you're gonna do what you said you're gonna do.
I wanna break it down and give you some specific examples of what that might look like so that you can integrate those into your marketing. Let's get going. Ways to increase your know factor. I want you to get clear on who your audience is. Who are you speaking with? Who are you wanting to target your messages to?
If you were speaking to a very general population, it's likely that you are not gonna come across as a subject expert because you're, you are using too wide of a, of an approach and it's not gonna be landing with your ideal client. So, get clear on who you are speaking with in your marketing.
Make sure that you are asserting yourself as an expert, an expert in your very specific niche market. Niche marketing is one of those things where we both love it and hate it, right, especially those of us, as therapists, who like variety in our schedule, and I am one of them. I fight against, um, niche marketing sometimes because I don't like pigeonholing myself.
But the truth is I do have a niche. My niche is really helping therapists become excellent clinicians and solid practice owners. So, owning that, there's a lot of wiggle room in that that I can move around in and still be operating when I speak within my niche. So, what is your, your niche or your niche, if you wanna be fancy, and who is the audience that will be interested in that niche?
Then I want you to start creating good quality content that supports and shows that you understand this topic. Those are some very basic things that are really gonna help you improve your know factor. Do you know what you're talking about, this specific topic? Can you show that you are a subject expert or have experience in this area?
Do you have relationships or bring people on your podcasts or things that are also experts in that area to increase your trust factor? You can also begin to create blogs, for example, that are um, on your websites that are really gonna help with your SEO, but speak to a specific audience, speak about a specific niche so that people will know that you're a subject expert.
This is actually really gonna help you as well with your SEO because Google looks at whether or not you're a subject expert to decide whether or not to push your content to the top of a search. In order to do that, blogging is an essential part of that. Write down all of the things that you typically say within your area of focus and to your target audience, and then create just three-paragraph blogs. They don't have to be super long. Make sure the heading is good so that Google will know that you are a subject expert because multiple blogs on your page focus on this one topic showing that you have a high, um, interest and knowledge-base on a specific topic.
All right, let's get into likability. Likability is whether or not people really wanna interact with you. It's that simple. The number one way that I know to do that is to be authentically who you are. You've heard me talk on this podcast about times that I have swung and missed, you know, things that I've done that have not worked out so well in relationships or with business.
I do those because that's me being authentically me. I'm not putting on airs. I'm not pretending to be anyone that I'm not. I'm showing you who I am, so when you choose to work with me or do coaching with me or come to a retreat, you know what you're gonna get. When you see me in real life and we have those experiences together, you already know me a little bit because you have experienced me through my different social media platforms, and the way that I communicate, the way that I share stories, the way that I share successes, the way I share, really my fail forwards sometimes as well. Be authentic. There's nobody but you that is you.
Be authentically who you are and trust that you are going to attract the right audience. Be real and have a personality. If you come across as just reading off cue cards or you're dull, faceless kind of a person, you are really not going to be drawing people to you, right? We are attracted to authenticity.
One of the biggest shifts that I have noticed in social media is, especially within the therapy field, therapists do not want to interact with other therapists' professional pages. We want to interact with you as an individual. We are building a relationship with you as an individual therapist. And based on that relationship, we're gonna decide whether or not we choose to purchase your content, we choose to go to your retreats, we choose to refer clients to you. We don't wanna get to know your business. We wanna get to know you. And if we become comfortable with you, if we see what you put out on social media and your content, does it feel like us? Is it relatable? Does it feel fake? People have a great eye for spotting someone who is just being a phony.
I really don't think the old way of trying to make everything look perfect is working anymore. I, I mean, we, we spot it. I know for me, when I am on a social media page and I see that everything is perfect, I immediately do not relate to that person. I do not feel like they're my people, and I probably won't purchase their stuff because I feel like when I go meet with them in person, let's say it's for, it's for coaching or consulting, the feeling that I have in advance is that they're not gonna be genuine with me. They're either gonna be trying to sell me, manipulate me, uh, market to me the whole time, or act like they're perfect, in which case I ain't got time for that and neither do you, because the fact is nobody is perfect.
We are all just failed human, flawed human beings, doing our very best to make our way in this world in the best possible way. So, are you showing up authentically in your social media? In the way that you're showing up, if I took away your business name page and the people that were closest to you, like friends and family, if they were to read the things that you posted, would they be able to go like, hey, that's Jen.
I bet that, I bet Jen wrote that, based on your style of writing, or are you trying to write like you're writing a dissertation, right? Show up as you. That is the number one way that you are going to build that likability factor is just by being you. Invite people into conversation. Let them get to know you. And for the love of all that is good and holy, if you friend me on Facebook, you had better not be sliding into my DMs and then instantly inviting me to purchase something that you did. We do not have a relationship for that, and I know, especially being Gen X, we are highly sensitive to manipulation and people trying to get something out of us. You are gonna get an instant no from me, and you probably will have lost, um, the likelihood that we could potentially be friends as well.
So, don't be that guy or gal, please. All right. Another part of likability — and some of you aren't gonna like this — you need to put your face on things. I know a lot of us feel insecure about the way we look or the way we might, um, show up on social media in all of our flawed self, but if people don't put a face to your name, it's gonna decrease their connection to you and your relatability to them.
So, get out there. Put a face to your name. Let people know who you are. Let them know what you're about. Again, that's a part of your authenticity. Show up authentically. Let's talk about trust for a minute. Trust is really doing what you say you're, say you're going to do, and that someone can trust that the information that you're sharing is relevant, it is true, it is going to be helpful. So, one of the ways that I do that is I give away a ton free stuff. I host free webinars on different topics that I'm, um, interested in or that I'm a subject expert in. And people have said to me, why are you giving away so much free stuff? You could actually charge for that.
The reason I do that is because I'm being very intentional with trying to build trust with my audience. I understand that people are always going to need individual attention or focus on their very specific issue, but if they've attended things that I've done, they see my content, and they know that I am, I know what I'm talking about, it increases the likelihood that they'll actually book with me, they'll come to a retreat, they'll come, and they'll do coaching with me, or they'll be a clinical supervisee of mine, because they know that when I put stuff out there, it rings true for them, and they get that I understand what they're going through. Be consistently good at delivering high-quality content. Okay. Not everyone's gonna be a, not every time you get out there is gonna be a 10 outta 10 delivering like this really great information. But on those times when you are just being consistent with engaging with your audience, put your face on there, make sure that people get to know you, show something of your personality, and make sure that you were sprinkling in good quality content as a part of that as well.
If you have done events, trainings, retreats, um, you clinically supervise people, and you can get testimonials, that is an awesome way to build trust within the community without people necessarily having to have had, attended something that you've done first before you can build that. It gives them more comfort knowing that other people have gone, and it turns out you seem like you know what you're talking about, right? So, we can't solicit testimonials from clients. That's a very tricky thing. Most of our ethics, um, strictly forbid that. But we can from other professionals who we have networked with, who we have worked with on different projects or done different trainings with. If you can get those testimonials, and make sure they're not only a part of your website but a part of your Google My Business, putting those in there, let people know that you know what you're talking about and that other people are extending their hand of trust to you because they're vouching for you through these testimonials.
Speak in a real and authentic and a relatable way. That will also help increase your tru- trust factor. I don't know if anyone else remembers back at the beginning of college or grad school when you would literally have to, like, write down words that a professor said and then go, like, look them up later. For me, back in the donkey ages, it was, you know, a dictionary, but now you could Google it. But I don't, I can't tell you how frustrating it was that I was actually paying really good money to be in that seat to have someone speak to me in a way that I didn't even understand sometimes was not really helpful, right? So, make sure that you're speaking in a very real and authentic way. One of the things that I do, a lot of times, if I'm trying to market — not to other therapists 'cause I know that audience well — but if I'm marketing, let's say, to increase client calls in my group practice, I'll have my re- my husband read through things first, because a lot of times he'll say, Jen, quit sounding like a therapist. Just talk like a real person, right? And we need that outside feedback sometimes to help remind us and keep us focused and humble and not using masters-level words on things that don't require masters-level words.
Who are we trying to prove ourselves to, right? So, use language that is easy to understand, that people don't feel like you're putting on airs or that you're, you know, a pompous or anything like that. And then create a space for your audience to just to continue to connect with you. That consistency of getting to know you and spend time in a space with you on your social media platforms, through your blog, your vlogs, TikTok, whatever it is that you're doing, it allows your, your audience to grow and know, like, and trust. Because as you share who you authentically are, that you're a subject expert on what you're talking about, and that you are trustworthy in the content that you share with them, they're going to stay more engaged, and it will increase the likelihood that when you do have an offer, they would be more likely to book with you for client sessions, for coaching, for retreats, for buying your product, whatever it is.
Know, like, and trust. Know it, like it, trust it. You got this. Get out there and live your best dang life.