November 6, 2012


transparent worldHave you noticed how the world has become transparent? We have instant access to information wherever our smartphones have a signal (and reasonable roaming charges). We no longer have to guess. We can find out when we have a doubt.

As a result, we find example after example of how our trust has been violated. Here are assorted examples from @trustandyou:
Each person, company, or sector looked worthy of trust but betrayed us. In this environment, who do you trust? Who trusts your business? Who trusts you?

Get Started

Building trust was never easy. Building trust in a transparent world is tougher. The process starts with you.

You need to be worthy of trust in the eyes of others. That requires chemistry (people like you), credentials (you can do the work) and congruence (you keep promises).

Your ongoing generosity is a powerful tool to build trust when visible online. Here's why:
  • chemistry: strangers get to know you, which helps them like you and choose you
  • credentials: you demonstrate your up-to-date abilities
  • congruence: you show that the interests of your clients come first (e.g., you advocate for them)

Be Visible

To stand out in a transparent world, you must be visible. Yes, that’s scary but if you hide, you are invisible. You disappear as an easy-to-examine option.

Think of billboards. Companies spend plenty to be visible but they start fading once the ads disappear. Which provider has the great Internet experience? What was that television show with that tough looking guy? Which yogurt has a special ingredient? We forget.

You control how visible you are. You know the basics. Have destinations like your LinkedIn profile or website. Have invitations and reminders to visit your destinations by posting regular updates where your target market can see them (e.g., places like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+).

Your Ingredients

33 universities have partnered with CourseraSince expertise goes stale, you need ways to show that your learning is current and relevant. How are keeping fresh?
You can take free courses from universities like Stanford through Show what you complete on your LinkedIn profile.

What books have you read and which ones are you reading? Show them on LinkedIn via the Reading List by Amazon plugin. Write about the book to verify that you did read it. Perhaps contrast/compare with other books to show deeper mastery. Your entire network gets informed when you update your list.

Reading List by AmazonYou can also learn for free online by doing a Google search. Show what you're finding that's valuable by posting links. I mainly share by LinkedIn and Twitter.

You have other options such as paid courses or personalized coaching. How you learn isn’t as important as showing that you’ve learned.

The best way to show mastery is by applying the lessons. You can create free instantly-accessible samples in the form of text, audio or video. Live presentations also help but reach a much smaller audience unless you also record and post them.


Building trust in a transparent world takes continual effort. The rewards grow as you continue and others quit. What you do adds to what you’ve done. Your digital tapestry makes ever stronger impressions on each new visitor.

You're easier to find than ever before. You're also easier to dismiss.


PS Would you rather go back to the opaque world?

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