Being a trusted expert

by Gemma Maidment on 1 January 2007

Take a look at Then read the about us page. Sign up for the newsletter as well. If you have a few minutes, pick a product and start the checkout process. If you really like the product, buy it.

While you're doing that, read the copy on each page. And if you buy, read the follow-up e-mails and the printed materials in the box when the product arrives at your home. (Disclaimer: I'm a customer of this site, but don't stand to make a single penny from recommending it. I'm just using the site to make a point.)

Being a trusted expert may sound like a simple task, but it isn't. Before you can write in a way that helps your visitors, you have to recognize and achieve a number of things.

Create a site to compete with The Compounder

How would you do that? How would you compete? The truth is, it's very hard to compete directly with a site like this. There are already other sites where you can buy much of what he sells, maybe at better prices too.

But this site isn't about offering the lowest prices. Nor is it about free shipping offers or bulk discounts. So why do people buy from this site, and not others? The answer is simple. It's because they trust Larry Frieders.

That trust isn't based only on the fact that he is a pharmacist. That trust is also based on him, as an individual. Larry is not only the pharmacist, he's also the writer of the site and the newsletter. You hear his voice in ever line you read.

You don't hear the slick writing of a professional copywriter or marketer. That doesn't mean he doesn't try to make the sale...he does. But every line is real and sincere. His photo is on the site, and on his newsletters. He is making himself personally accountable for every product sold and every word written.

He also makes sure that his readers are provided with all the information they need. He is not only a seller of products, he is also a trustworthy source of information on a variety of important health matters.

And he has been doing the same thing for years...building his site, his list and his base of loyal customers little by little and step by step.

This is a solid, enduring business that should prosper for many years to come. Online trends can come and go. Price wars can flare up and then die down. But unless Larry Frieders makes some big mistakes, or decides to retire, his business is wonderfully insulated against all kinds of competition.

Applying this approach to other businesses

You don't have to be a pharmacist or some other 'trustworthy' professional to make this model work. It's not about the qualification. It's about being there, being honest, being accountable, personally... and offering a product or service that is truly useful or valuable.

You can sell garden equipment. You can sell white papers and guides. You can be a reseller of travel products, financial products. You can consult on technology or business. What you do doesn't matter.

What matters is putting yourself upfront. Write the site in your own words. Make your own promises, personally, one-to-one.When you do that, honestly and completely, you separate yourself from all your competitors.

Concluding thoughts

It may be unfashionable to put the owner of a site dead center on every page. And yes, it can cause problems if you ever choose to sell the site.

But in the online world, where genuine conversation is a currency as valuable as cash, being the accountable, visible and honest heart of your business is extraordinarily powerful.

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