10 Ways To Create Trust Online And Be More Famous Than Santa

When it comes to doing business online trust is vital as people are handing over their hard earned cash and are taking a risk by dealing with you whether that be for services or products.

On The Internet Nobody Knows You Are A Dog

On the Internet nobody knows you are a dog”  is an adage which began as a caption of a cartoon by Peter Steiner and published in the “New Yorker” on July 5, 1993.

The potentially anonymous nature of the internet  makes it difficult for a person to know if you are real or not and whether they should trust you and consequently buy that product or service online from you.

Your job as an online brand is to provide multiple ways to create and nuture trust when dealing with potential customers on the web with your personal and business brand.

So what are 10 ways you can build that trust online?

1. Responsiveness

If a potential customer asks you a question online and they are requesting more information and you either don’t get back to them or you take a week to respond, it is sending the wrong signals to your potential customer or reader.

2. Thought Leader

Especially in the B2B space with complicated or high value purchases there is a need to postion you and your company as experts and thought leaders to create trust that you are the company to deal with because you know what you are talking about and are passionate about your industry. An expert according to the Edelman Study is more likely to be trusted. A blog with great unique content and articles will help you with creating a position as an expert

3. Everywhere

If customers search for you on Google and they find your brand everywhere such as your website, blog, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and referenced on other sites then it creates a feeling of substance and presence that takes trust to a new level. Surveys have revealed that people need to to hear something about your company 3-5 times before they  believe its veracity. If they can’t find you or there are very few references to you online then trust will be low.

4. Online Video

Video provides a way for people to see the personal side of your organisation and your employees that you cannot easily fake. It provides an insight into your brand and takes the trust factor up another notch. Video bloggers such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Ian Watt display the passion and personaility that a text blog can never achieve.

5. Recommended

If a top blogger or expert in your industry recommends you and your company then that make a large difference in creating trust. You see this all the time as bloggers and authors appear are interviewed on social and mainstream media to vouch for the authors new book or product.

6. Association

Hanging with other established people and brands creates trust. So appearing at a speaking engagement or being associated in different ways with other respected people will go a long way to building trust.

7. Using Trusted Payment Services

Paypal  have created a global business by taking the risk out of people buying online from you if you are an online store. They provide a trust factor where they take the risk out of the buying transaction from an ecommerce transaction around the corner or from the other side of the world.

8. Attention Quantification

Social media provides a means of quantifying attention. Attention quantification can be evidenced by how many times your blog post has been reetweeted or Facebook shared by having these buttons on your blog or website.  This social proof provides another layer of trust by displaying your brands popularity.

9. Awards

Awards that are exhibited on your site that are linked to the award site go a long way towards building trust. Nothing like a bit of obvious respect from your peers and independent associations to create another brick in the wall of trust.

10.  Be Patient and Persistent Like Santa

Remember Santa didn’t become trusted and famous overnight, it has taken him a couple of hundred years. So start building that trust now and persist. Santa built trust by delivering presents on time, every year.

How have you built trust online?


  • http://www.experiate.net Paul Flanigan


    The two ways I feel like I have built trust online is by:

    a) responding to people on Twitter and absolutely no automated messaging – DM or follow back – of any kind. I have gotten notes from people saying, “Wow! Thank you!” Like they’re surprised a human would actually type something in.

    b) by sharing – I’m not sure about @chrisbrogan’s 12:1 rule, but I definitely share the good stuff, and I share people. When someone follows me on twitter and I think they’re worth letting others know about, I send out a tweet indicating this. My followers have responded often by saying hello over Twitter to the new follower. Very engaging

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment and I do like the additional elements that you have added to the the post.
      Thanks for the insights. Cheers Jeff

  • Guido

    Great article, Jeff!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Guido :)

  • http://www.marybuergindogportraits.com Mary

    i would respond, but I’m really just a dog :))

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    This is my first conversation with a dog in English :)

  • http://twitter.com/aschottmuller Angie Schottmuller

    Wasn’t Santa assassinated?

  • http://blog.esimplestudios.com Gabriele Maidecchi

    As my company manages several ecommerce systems, I can safely say a trusted payment method goes a long way, but it really depends on single countries as well. For example, in Italy Paypal has gained ground just in the recent 2-3 year, with other systems, sponsored by Bank associations, have always the higher end of customers.
    Nobody trusts shady companies after all.

  • http://www.mutuellesmutuelle.com/mutuelle-fonctionnaire.php mutuelle fonctionnaire

    Interesting point of view.

  • forlan

    Most people is not patient. They must ask until when we have to be patient?

  • http://twitter.com/rossmac2310 Ross Macdonald

    We are helping to create trust online by providing a cool new SAAS authentication solution that is easily obtainable as a mashup online that can be used to protect identities and create trust between parties wanting to transact. Whether it be a website, a mobile app or any service that requires partis to identify themselves or assert credentials. Check it out at http://www.liveensure.com

    • jeffbullas

      Thanks for you comment Ross I will check it out

  • http://twitter.com/rajmalikdc Raj Malik


    Very good article.  I think one other thing is using the information and data about yourself to convey that you and/or your business is trustworthy.  We have created a business around that and it is called KikScore.  Feel free to check us out. We take information about your website, financial track record, business policies, certifications, and management and make that transparent to website visitors.  Here is a link to a presentation we put together on the issue of online trust and what businesses can do to help themselves show they are trustworthy and credible: http://bit.ly/pf9V9U.


  • Anonymous

    Live chat widgets like Zopim helped me a great deal in becoming as “human” as possible. Apart from that, taken from CDBaby, personalize each and every physical product that is shipped out of the warehouse (handwritten notes go all the way today).

  • http://twitter.com/Hudali15 Ali Anani

    Great post. I enjoy reading it having published two days ago a presentation on slideshare “Rust without Trust”. Well-done