And I spent more than $25, 000 doing it.
Here’s why I did it (and of course what you can learn from my experience).
They Thought I Was A Con Artist…
Someone I know, a friend of my friend, asked my friend “Is what Derek does legit?”
Let’s forget about the fact that I knew this person for years… When they asked, they were genuinely curious. Is Social Triggers and “Derek Halpern” a scam?
I know. Ridiculous. I could have taken it as an insult, but I didn’t.
Just a few months prior, I was being considered for an article in a major mainstream publication. An editor nixed the idea, warning the writer to be careful citing Derek (ME) as an expert.
And a few months before that, one of my employees was talking to a friend about Social Triggers. The friend had the same reaction. “Is this a scam?”
What’s going on here?
I mean, you’ve been a reader here for quite some time. You know what they’re saying is not true. That’s why you’re subscribed after all – even if you saw the old site.
So just what is going on?
And more important: why do people judge what you do with such skepticism? And how can you prevent the same thing from happening to you?
I Looked Like A Scam
I’ve got 200, 000+ subscribers who believe in what I do, and they know that I’m here to help, and that I’m “legit.”
They’ve joined me for live events, saw my helpful YouTube videos (which have reached millions around the world), and had a beer with me at one of my meet-ups.
They know that I give away 99% of my content, and when I do sell something, it’s something I truly believe in.
But the people who were outside of my community – in some cases, people who knew me personally but didn’t know Social Triggers – thought I was a scam.
BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS HOME PAGE.
It says NOTHING.
You see some random guy promising you something you want on the internet…
…and that looks like a scam.
It gets worse, too.
Last month I was having lunch in West Palm Beach. I meta struggling dog trainer who said they weren’t able to find enough clients. She then mentioned a website where she could post her services, but her husband interjected: “Yea, and that’s how they get you! They let you post your services after you buy $25.00 in credits. I know how they make money. Those websites are such scams!”
I’m unfamiliar with the site, and whether or not the site could actually help people. But I also know the husband was just as unfamiliar with it. The only thing he knew about it was that it charged money to get listed – AND THAT’S WHY IT’S A SCAM!
I tried reasoning with him.
But it didn’t matter.
His mind was made up.
And when someone makes their mind up, it’s almost impossible to change it.
That was happening on my site. People would stumble on it, think it was a scam, and bam. I’m done. And they’ll never trust me again.
But all hope is not lost…
There’s something I call credibility triggers. They are little things that make people think, “Yep, this is the real deal!”
And if I had them on my site, I could combat that gut-level defensive reaction.
But I didn’t have them. I mean, I had them, I Just didn’t have them on my site. And that’s the main reason why people were so skeptical.
So, I needed a new web design and to use these credibility triggers on my site.
You should too.
The best part?
You don’t need a large audience. Or a lot of revenue. Or a New York Times best-selling book. You just need to add these credibility triggers – and you’re set.
The Tug-Of-War Between Trust And Skepticism
You must put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Especially if you’re selling products and services online like I do.
And he’s right.
Con artists sell dreams. And they milk people for everything they’ve got. They lead with something we want – like money, love, health, power, or success – and offer to sell it to us for a price.
And that’s how scams work. Here’s what you want. Pay me and I’ll help you get it.
But is pushing someone to realize their dreams, and offering to show them how to do it for a price, a big con?
Yes, it’s a dream, but is it always a scam?
If you want to speak in front of large audiences, a coach can help you with that. How will that coach get your attention? He’ll make a promise and offer to show you how for a price.
Your kid is bad at math, a tutor can help with that. How will that tutor get your attention? Don’t fail math! Hire me!
That’s how you get attention and persuade people to buy.
And that’s the problem.
I was in an industry that looked like a scam because the same tactics the scammers use to get attention are the same tactics successful businesses MUST use to get the same attention.
So, even if you’re the bright spot in a murky industry, you must be aware that your industry colors you the color that your prospects see…
…and luckily credibility triggers help you stand out in the right way.
How Credibility Triggers Help You Build Trust Online
Have you ever had someone judge the work you did in a negative way? And later felt, “Well, that was completely unjustified. They don’t even know me!”
Well, you didn’t give those people a REASON to believe you.
Below are things you can start doing to build the trust.
And then I’ll show you how I implemented each of them on my new website that cost $25, 000+.
Credibility Trigger #1: Show Off Your Personality
If you watch my YouTube videos, you’ll know that I don’t take things TOO seriously.
Heck, if you ever saw my initial Social Triggers trailer, you’ll see that I led with a bunch of funny bloopers.
The problem was, you didn’t see any of that on my site.
You occasionally saw me post a funny picture of myself, but that’s it.
And that’s a mistake.
Personality persuades. Especially NOW. Every big box store feels like cookie cutter copies of one another. Maybe they have different products, and maybe they have different look and feels, but it’s all the same. It’s BORING.
And people don’t remember boring.
I always say that “What stands out gets remembered. What blends in gets forgotten. Go do something different.” It’s what’s best for you – and your business.
And my old website had NONE of that.
It was just a plain white design with a stock photography image of a brain. Sure, the content was memorable. But when new people came to my site and made a snap judgment about whether or not to trust me, they never even gave the content a chance. They saw the design and slammed the back button.
Quick Tip For You:
Don’t overdo it. I’m a New Yorker, and I’m actually louder, and curse a whole lot more in person. But you’ll never see me curse on my site. Why? No one wakes up and says, “I only buy from people who curse, ” but there are plenty of people who say, “I’ll never buy from someone who curses.”
The goal here is this: When you show off your personality, show off things about your life that you believe your customer will identify with – or aspire to. If you’re a business consultant, don’t talk about how unorganized you are all the time. It detracts from your credibility. Yes, you want to be transparent, but don’t be painfully transparent.
Credibility Trigger #2: Your Clothing Matters
For a while I did the whole casual thing on Social Triggers. It was working fine, and all. But one day I got the bright idea to start “split testing” what I wore to speaking engagements.
I tried dressing down like I did in my videos. I tried dressing up in a full suit. I then tried some clever mix of the two. What did I find?
When I dressed down, people would look at me as some loud New Yorker punk. I mean, look at him. He’s younger than me, and he’s wearing a t-shirt.
Curses on photo spells