Do You Trust Yourself?
During a discussion of The Difference Between Begging for and Building Influence a a few weeks ago, @StevePlunkett asked me to do a long think about credibility and reach. I’ve been doing just that and now I’m writing another post his challenge inspired.
The Pulitzer Prize Paper, Reach, and Engagement
Once upon a time, I subscribed to the Chicago Tribune. (I apologize to the New York Times and my friends who Yankees fans. I also live in Wrigleyville.) I subscribed to daily delivery during the period that the Tribune won 11 Pulitzer Prizes. I’m not certain that I read any of the winning articles. Though the paper came as promised, with a job in the city, my schedule often didn’t offer me the time I wished to read it. Even when it did loosen a bit, I didn’t read every word of it.
So though the paper reached me. I wasn’t exposed it. I was on their list and I would bet that I was counted in their ad fees based on circulation.
My point is that reach only meant I was paying for it.
I don’t watch television, so I don’t need a TIVO to skip the commercials. On the rare occasion that a television movie or event might attract me back to the huge screen monitor that we usually use as a computer, we end up talking through the ads or channel surfing just because we can.
I know a number of people online who own online tools that charge small fees and send out informational mailing lists. I know thousands more that belong to social sites and read blogs that carry ads. Whenever I ask about the ads, I find that we’re becoming advertising blind … except when we’re shopping or looking to see what sort of ads our friends are using.
So, technically those ads are reaching me, but they’re equivalent to a sales rep who knocks on my door but never gets an answer.
Then a new algorithm emerges from social media. If I pay close attention and “prune” my power network just right, I should be able to connect to the perfect 150 power people who have each also connected to another 150 power people and so on outward. A mere two generations out would be a network of 3,375,000 power people. But just to hedge the bet, perhaps I should connect to 150,000.
Thing is any message I send to my own group only gets read the same as the Tribune did … when they have time. Probably less than that, because I don’t have 11 Pulitzer Prizes behind what I’m saying.
Let’s not even talk about the email newsletters and direct mail that gets pitched without being opened.
Reach is not a guarantee of engagement, participation or even exposure.
Reach is merely a possibility.
“For decades, PR has been seen by many marketeers as âcheap reach via editorialâ â in other words, the goal of PR was to gain editorial coverage that provided the greatest number of opportunities to see â at a significantly lower cost than advertising.”
But even cheap is expensive if no one is paying attention.
And even when I do pay attention, can you assume that I trust what you’re saying?
No. Not unless I know you.
Reach and Trust
We interact with thousands of people through our lives and if we’re a corporation that number of interactions can grow to millions. Still the fact remains that people prefer to work with people we know and business moves faster, more easily, and with fewer micro-decisions when we can depend on people we trust.
The ability to reach millions with our message means hardly anything if they don’t trust the people or place the message is coming from. Now that we work online even Google has been trying to figure out how to trust.
A good marketer should always be able to reach more people. A great marketer knows that ideal customers who share the marketers’ values might actually pay more for products and services that incorporate those values in everything. An irresistible marketer knows and trusts those customers.
Reach is not nearly as powerful as attraction.
What Moves People to Trust You and Your Brand?
Trust … credibility … authenticity … transparency These words have become key terms in the social business lexicon. But they’re not new to business. Relationships have been the foundation of solid partnerships since growing businesses started growing. Ask any number of successful Venture Capitalists, if they have to choose, they will tell you that they will put their money on the team they can trust.
What moves us to trust?
Steven M. R. Covey, who wrote the book on Trust, points to 4 Cores of Credibility — So that’s where I went to start my think on credibility, with his words. integrity, intent, capability, and results. Together they carry the four reasons we trust ourselves, our friends and the people and companies with whom we choose to work.
And we’re finding that social business has made it more complicated than we might think.
It’s no longer about only about how far our message can reach or how many people will receive and consume it. The question is whether a credible message can travel that far and still be believed.
- Integrity. A guy runs up to you on the beach, opens his coat and says, “Wanna buy a watch?” Your response is likely to be negative. It’s hard to believe that watch is the deal that he says it is. A man of integrity probably wouldn’t choose that form of work.
Integrity is the ultimate of walking your talk. he etymology of integrity is “wholeness, soundness” from the Latin, *intetritatern* “sense of uncorrupted virtue.” It makes a foundation upon which a person’s true character can stand. It’s a person’s character who gives “his word,” shakes a hand. makes a promise, and signs a contract.
Integrity is what we rely on when we say that a person (or a company) will never lie to you, that he has no hidden agenda, that her behavior is stellar, that they will always make good on what say they will do.
Whether we’re acting as a company or an individual looking in the mirror is what we say we believe totally in line with our standards? Integrity is the conviction to stand up for what is true and valuable to you and to trust yourself to always choose for your values no matter what people are around you. Integrity builds trust and respect in its Have we the personal and professional strength to say “no” to deals and relationships with people who stay sitting down.
Do you show up as the same person everywhere people find you?
Do you live your company’s message with the people you work with and with your customers?
Do you ever keep promises to yourself, your friends, your family, and the people you work with?
Do you tell the hard truth as easily and with as much love as you tell the great things?
Decide to BE what you believe. Stand for something.
How do your actions demonstrate what you believe?
- Intent. Ever get an email or a request from a friend that sounded like it was just for you, only to find out that it was a sales pitch and he or she send the exact words to a whole list of people? A person of pure intent would never set up a situation that would make you wonder about what his or her agenda might be.
People and companies live with intent. They lean forward and stretch toward building open relationship before promoting self-interest. It’s good intent to understand the power in partnership that is forthright and mutually beneficial. Think of Warren Buffet and the respect he has earned. He’s a great combination of integrity and intent. And through good intent, Warren Buffet accomplishes many things that benefit others and his own companies.
Do you reflect on what motivates you and how that might work for others?
Do you move yourself outside the center to get a more balanced view of world?
Do you make the success of other people mission critical to our own success?
Do state your true intentions to yourself and to others before you act?
Share your plan and your purpose. Focus on mutual benefits.
How do you make it easy to see what you’re up to?
- Capabilities. Think of the leaders who inspire. They have knowledge, talent, skills, ethics, attitudes, and identity. They’re not just smart and visible, but they attract us to follow them because they know where they’re doing. They have means and the confidence to do the job and the way they talk about their capabilities raises everyone on their team.
Do you know your strengths, talents, what comes naturally, and why people follow you?
Do you have the expertise to do what you set out to do?
Does your style attract and encourage relationships and learning?
Do you establish a culture that is open and supportive?
Be constantly learning. Know what value only you can bring. Do the same for others.
How do you use your abilities to inspire confidence and leadership?
- Results. Talent and skills are nothing, if we don’t do, produce, and respond to the right things. People and companies we trust focus on delivering the right results to meet the highest expectations. They bring all of their resources to fulfill their promises — faster, easier, and more meaningfully than anyone might have imagined. Their record for results precedes them.
Do you show up, make clear decision, and put your best work into all you do?
Do seek out a team of people who are smarter and more experienced than you?
Do you focus on delivering outstanding satisfaction to every customer?
Do you look to consistently raise the bar higher?
Be engaged. Take responsibility with intent to win.
How do you make outstanding and successful things happen?
The difference between reach and credibility is the difference between sending a message out to everyone who might listen and communicating integrity, shared intent, competent commitment, and consistent performance.
What all of us wish for is to be able to trust without fear or worry of the wrong results. We prepare for negative consequences because positive outcomes don’t hurt us. In those relationships where trust is truly present, we’re relieved of the burden of having to build extra safety nets because we know that you are looking out for our best interests — we know you’ll be standing beside us if something goes wrong.
The huge gap between reach and trust is that with trust I believe …
I will always be able to say I bet on you and I won?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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