Maybe you already know how to clarify your brand. The critical point is that it's a one-of-a-kind value promise you make to those who matter.

Maybe you already know how to clarify your brand. The critical point is that it’s a one-of-a-kind value promise you make to those who matter.

“It takes twenty years to create a brand reputation and five minutes to destroy it. You’ll do things differently if you think about it.”
— Warren Buffett

After you’ve developed your brand, a critical question is whether others see you the way you want them to. Senior brand leaders should especially take note. Is your reputation consistent with the image you want to project?

When we consider trust and what it entails, we see it spans a wide range of concepts. We use the word “trust” to understand what individuals say and to characterize how they behave. We use it to determine if we are comfortable sharing information and to indicate whether we trust other individuals have our best interests in mind.

Gaining trust with all you say and do is essential for managing your personal brand and reputation. Listed below are some thoughts as to how to establish trust through your personal brand.

The Trust “Formula”

Charles H. Green is the co-author of two publications on trust-building: The Trusted Advisor and Trust-Based Selling. In both works, he explains a model dubbed “The Trust Equation,” which he developed and refined over the course of several years. (Let’s not get into the math for the sake of this post.)

The idea is that there are four variables that contribute to trustworthiness. They are credibility, dependability, closeness, and self-awareness.

How to Establish Personal Trust

Credibility is determined by the language you use, your expertise, your qualifications, and how others see you. The activities you conduct, your predictability, and the manner in which others may rely on you all contribute to your reliability.

Intimacy is the sense of safety or security that people have when they entrust you with something. It’s the degree to which others feel comfortable confiding in you and regard you as discreet and sympathetic.

Your attention is referred to as self-orientation. For instance, if you are preoccupied with yourself or the other person.

People will lose faith in you if they believe you are more concerned with yourself than them.

How to Establish Brand Trust

Unfortunately, you have little influence over whether or not others trust you. However, you may impact it by taking actions to increase your trustworthiness.

Most individuals place a high value on credibility (skill mastery/ credentials). However, it’s the least useful variable in establishing confidence. More skill development will not result in more trustworthy relationships.

Familiarity may be a fantastic method to build a trusting relationship. However, self-orientation is an essential variable in the equation of trust.

A person with a poor self-concept is free to focus entirely and honestly on the other person—not for his own sake, but for the sake of the other. Such a focus is uncommon; the reality is that when you stop attempting to convince others, you establish better connections. The more you focus on helping others, the more people will trust you.

Brand Interactions, Both Online and Offline

Nowadays, we interact in a variety of ways. There is the regular person-to-person interaction that comes with working in an office, meeting people, and networking at events.

There are, however, a plethora of internet outlets. So if you want to further your career beyond your existing network and organization, you should consider these online options.

Social Media: A Two-Edged Sword

On the one side, it encourages depersonalized, surface interactions, which can undermine trust. Conversely, the same level of connection may help you create your own brand and reputation.

The message is not to shun social media; if you are not online, you will be nowhere in the future. However, be wary of “best practices” based on reach and volume. For those prepared to recognize it, the value of social media rests in making the world more personable, not less. You accomplish this by conducting yourself in a trustworthy manner, both online and off.

In comparison to individuals that do not do this, your standing will improve.

Take Initiative

A consistent experience is the only way to build a trust-based reputation, which is the only sort that lasts. If you want that experience to be one of trust, you must concentrate on the other person.

And you must act in ways that demonstrate credibility, reliability, and familiarity. Consider all of the channels through which you engage, both online and offline. Consider how you may change the four important variables and increase your credibility.