n Take off the lab coat! (Or: How to inspire people to trust you) | The Anti-Marketing Manifesto

Does wearing certain clothes make people trust you more?

I would argue that the clothes you wear are completely irrelevant when it comes to whether or not people trust you and your expertise as a business owner / service provider / whatever.

In order for someone to trust you, they must first trust themselves.

That’s the bottom line.

I’m a copywriter and marketer who works from home on my laptop. I wear tank tops, jeans, and work barefoot (I hate socks). I’m a total gym rat and can often be found running errands in workout clothes and tennis shoes.

But what I wear has nothing to do with whether or not my clients trust me.

My best clients have extended a huge amount of trust in my direction (which I’m honored by), and it’s largely because they trust themselves. They trust themselves to make the right decision as to whether or not to hire me. (I assume by several years’ worth of repeat orders, they’re happy with their decision.)

So when I see “professionals” trying to exert trustworthiness by wearing fancy clothes (think: lab coats, suits, ties, awkward “work casual” clothing), I laugh.

Those are just costumes.

They don’t get to the root of the issue, which is: in order for someone to trust you, they must first trust themselves.

I used to write copy for holistic doctors, and some of them were so fearful about potential patients not trusting them. Instead of addressing their fear, they wasted months (sometimes even years) fiddling around with their website copy or LinkedIn profiles – trying to express how professional they were by talking about their various certifications, degrees, titles, etc.

No one gives a shit! Those things have nothing to do with how to inspire trust.

All those things (letters behind your name, etc.) are fine, but they’re ultimately just another form of costume.

Some of the smartest, richest, awesomest people I know have no college degrees. Yet they’re massively successful, because they focus on helping others get the results they want. They help people learn to trust themselves.

The costume needs to come off. I mean, you can keep it on, but why would you want to?!?

People aren’t going to trust you based on whether or not your suit is perfectly pressed with no wrinkles. They’ll trust you only IF you can inspire them to trust themselves.

How to Inspire Trust

We’ve entered into a new paradigm where in order to be empowered, people must learn to trust themselves. They must learn to pay attention to what makes them feel like shit, versus what makes them feel energetic, healthy, alive, and happy – so they can then make accurate decisions and create the results they want.

The route to inspiring trust is NOT littered with awkward costumes.

Rather, it’s a route rich with human quirks (i.e., your own) that you voluntary share: flaws, pet peeves, colorful language, personal stories, mistakes, vices, saying what you actually think, and (gasp) being emotional!

In order for people to trust you, simply be human. Be imperfect. Take off the mask.

What’s your “costume” hiding?

Your costume might literally be a lab coat. Or a suit and tie. Or heels. Or army fatigues. Or anything else that makes you feel like a puffed up or fraudulent version of yourself.

(If you actually LOVE wearing that stuff, then this doesn’t apply to you.)

Your costume might be “corporate speak.” Or excessive politeness. Or political correctness. Or holding back out of a fear of offending someone.

If you’re gonna wear something, wear it because you love it. If you’re gonna say something, say it because that’s what you’re actually thinking and believe in.

Don’t wear, say, or do anything because you think others will view you in a certain way. That’s prostitution.

Loving a piece of clothing is the only valid reason for wearing it. Hell, even I have clothes that are 8-10 years old, still in good shape, and I still wear them today because I love them.

If you show your true self in your marketing and someone still doesn’t trust you, move on. They probably have trust issues regardless. That’s their problem, not yours – and they’d probably turn out to be a pain in the ass customer anyway. Your ideal peeps will trust you without the costume.

About the Author

Michelle Lopez Boggs is a copywriter, editor, and author of The Anti-Marketing Manifesto: How to Sell Without Being a Sellout. She writes for 8-figure brands and teaches her clients follow the MEI(S) principle: motivate, educate, inspire, and sell. To download a FREE copy of her book, click here.

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