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There Are No Shortcuts to Building Trust

Posted by Kevin Kleitches on January 21, 2015

Business and Entrepreneurship

I checked my Instagram this morning and found a comment on a photo I posted yesterday:

there are no shortcuts to building trust

Comments like this one are pervasive in the social media world, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. The people who post them are short-sighted; they assume that the brute-force method is the best way to build a following.

It’s not.

The first thing my brain told me when I read the above comment? “Spam.” Notice their very generic “compliment” followed by an immediate request for me to check out their stuff. This method might earn them a few visitors, but it’s virtually guaranteed not to be worthwhile or profitable for them in the long run.

Whether you’re an artist or a business person (or both), the worst thing you can do is come across as spammy or insincere. Today, more brands and organizations are taking note from industry leaders who choose to do business in a transparent, authentic way. There’s a reason this approach yields success — it’s because people value sincerity.

Being sincere means building trust, and you can’t shortcut that. If you want people to notice your work, you first have to engage them and earn their attention. Stand out from the millions of people who plaster the same generic message all over the internet, hoping to convert someone into becoming their fan.

So how do you promote your own work without being a sleazy, spammy, internet marketer?

Become more of a giver than a taker. Post comments, give feedback, connect with people who have the same interests as you. Be genuinely interested in the stuff they’re putting out. Then, when the time is right, invite them to check out the work you’ve created.

The bottom line is this: People are smart. They can detect self-interest from a mile away. Show an appreciation for things other than your fan base and your bottom-line. Give without immediately asking for something in return. Be genuine. Let these be your guiding principles and you’ll find that people will usually want to learn more about you as a result.