Being More Transparent & Human = More Online Sales?

 

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  • Our company AutoGrow saw 10 to 12 more tripwire sales daily just from increasing transparency.
  • From blog post content to video series and income reports, read on for tips to increase your own transparency.

Howdy. It’s Matt, the founder of AutoGrow.co, and welcome to another episode of Matt Hacks, where I give you actionable tips to make you more awesome at marketing and accelerate your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

In this video, we’re tackling the concept of transparency and whether making your business more transparent builds trust that translates into sales.

Trust is something that’s hard to gain and easy to lose for companies, but it could be the foundational bedrock to more sales. If you’re thinking about a transparent strategy towards building trust, we’re going to discuss it in this video.

As you know, today we’re living in an age of income reports. This is something we’re also new to as well. We’re kind of throwing our own hat into the fray in our own way.

We publish these AutoGrow reports once per month. Starting this year, we’re doing it monthly. We started publishing these videos as well. This has been a trend, where many startups and even established businesses are trying to be more open, more transparent, more human. Sharing the journey is one way to do that, especially if you are an upstart.

That’s because people want to hear how you’re doing. They want to hear about the struggles. They want to hear about the successes, too.

They don’t want to believe you’re necessarily perfect. After all, people relate to and connect with imperfection.

That’s part of why I don’t use scripts with these videos, because I think it comes off as robotic. I think that too many people who are out there right now who use scripts to make their own videos…it’s too much. There’s a bit of a human element just missing there and it comes off as looking too polished.

How Transparency Grows Your Business

So, we’re in this age of growth reports and income reports, but the question becomes, does being open like this actually grow your business?

From my experience, the answer is yes.

Before I started doing these daily Matt Hack videos, I did a small test. You’ll see in the first two weeks of January of this year, I started adding videos to the blog post we would send out.

I also started recording a video here or there just kind of talking about a certain topic or giving a tip.

I noticed that, specifically with the articles, when there was a video, sales for our tripwire would go up. For example, we’d be making 10 to 12 sales per day and that was even before we started this whole process.

When there was no video, sales would be at a trickle coming in at two to three per day. There was a direct correlation. It was like an on and off switch because there was something about the videos that people were connecting with.

I think it was just seeing me on video, hearing me talk openly about what we were working on, kind of telling the story and giving the tip and people connected with that. That’s why our sales went up, because it worked to humanize our brand and kind of give people a bit of a peek behind the curtain, so to speak, of what’s actually going on with our business.

In many cases, some of the challenges and successes that I was presenting to people that we were facing, people related to, because a lot of people have their own struggles and many people have some of the same struggles with their marketing.

Research on Business Transparency

Let me give you a couple of data points to back up what I’m saying here that aren’t just from our business.

So, here is one that was published on pixelmarketers.com. They give an example of transparent selling from Pat Flynn, where, in one case, he gave people notice that he was putting an affiliate link in his content.

According to research done by Jonathan Fields, he found that 76% of readers chose to go with the affiliate link over the normal link. He said that’s because of several reasons, but the most clear one was that transparent selling means instilling trust in your readers. They will trust you more if you do that, and guess what? Trust equals sales.

Another example comes from housingwire.com, where they explain how transparency drives better sales for homes that are foreclosed on and then go to auction, where buyers bid on them.

The reason wasn’t necessarily trust in this case, but rather transparency gave buyers better data, which in turn allowed buyers to more effectively bid for the properties they were interested in.

Homeowners got a positive benefit out of that because they were better able to sell their homes closer to market rate, basically closer to what they were actually worth.

In the case of these homes, people were able to make better buying decisions, and monetarily, it benefits everyone because the transparency just communicates the information more efficiently. In the case of Pat Flynn, it was an example of building trust, which then leads to more sales.

One Action to Take Right Now

Here’s the one action to take from this video. After you finish this video, write down on a piece of paper ways that you can be transparent to build trust to grow sales. Spend five minutes brainstorming.

It can be something as simple as in your content, where you can give little anecdotes about what’s interesting in your life, maybe hobbies. Don’t talk about negative things necessarily if you’re going to go that route, like sickness or other health issues, I’ve seen people do that, doesn’t look good. It’s not a good look. Stay positive.

So brainstorm ideas like that. You can tell story anecdotes from your life. You can talk about anecdotes related to the business, things that you are personally excited about. The idea, again, is to humanize the brand and maybe share things that are a little bit uncommon.

It’s popular, as I mention, to do growth reports if you’re a startup or in marketing so you can better share the journey with people. You know, a quick example was…and this is actually kind of going the opposite way of what I just said.

I was reading a blog post from a customer of ours recently. He wrote a post, you know, like basically once a day as he was kind of going through our course for the Six-Figure Sales Funnel course that we have. In just like two sentences, he said, “It’s Christmas. I’m alone, but there’s no one here to complain that I’m sitting in front of a computer all the time. And, you know, so since it’s Christmas, I went out, and I got some pizza, and I got back to work.”

There was just something so basic about him saying, “I’m alone. And I went out to get pizza,” that I just like connected with because he wasn’t ashamed of it. Maybe he wasn’t so happy in that situation, I don’t really know, but it was like, “Wow, like I just got a picture in my head of this guy, just another human being, working hard and being focused, and just going through this experience.”

I was in his shoes for a minute there, or just relating to it. I think that’s a good example. So, take five minutes and brainstorm ways that you can be more transparent that will grow your sales and grow trust.

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So, tune in next week. We’re going to be focusing on upsells. That’s the focus for next week. If you’ve been following along, we use our own funnel framework where each week we have a different focus and we share the lessons that we’re learning with you. We share what we’re doing, what works, and what doesn’t.

I try to share interesting story anecdotes to build trust with you guys and tell you just interesting things that you can learn from and that you can apply to your business to just grow, and be more awesome at marketing, and otherwise accelerate your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

So, once again, this closes out another week of Matt Hacks. Our focus this week was sales, and next week is upsells. Tune in for that. It’s going to be a fun ride. There’s a lot more. There are some really big things that we’re working on right now that I’m excited to share with you. So, tune in next time. As always, my name is Matt Ack in the Matt hat, delivering your daily dose of Matt Hacks. Have a great weekend.

Want more sales? Download my 11-Point Perfect Sales Funnel Checklist or invest in our new Rocket Content course, which is currently discounted.

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