Trust Funnel

"Success is not about being the smartest guy (or gal) in the room, it’s not about being the first to discover the ‘perfect opportunity,’ and it’s not about having the best tools for the job (although great tools certainly don’t hurt). Rather, success is about assessing opportunity, creating a plan of action to achieve a desired outcome, and prioritizing daily efforts to meet that goal."

- Trust Funnel, page 2

The world of online business is booming, but for every successful business there are countless ones that don’t make a dime. In Trust Funnel, Brian G. Johnson shares his immense online business experience to provide readers with a map for running a successful niche business. Johnson says that although driving traffic to the website is important, trust is even more important. He suggests that there is a progression of important factors: like, trust, business.

Trust Funnel is focused, online marketing advice for anyone who is interested in starting a niche business. Johnson walks readers through the process of identifying what niche to be in, how to set up a website, how to produce content for the website, and various ways that they can monetize their site.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Build Your Audience’s Trust

"When it comes to Web marketing, you’re either adding value or you’re annoying people."
- Trust Funnel, page 48

In order for any aspects of the business to work well, you need to gain and build your audience’s trust. Johnson suggests that audience trust is developed through a couple of key factors:

  • Visibility online – Are you easy to find on different social media sites? Do you have a substantial following? These are a couple of questions to consider about online visibility.
  • Ranking on Google – In many ways, Google helps pre-determine who we should trust online based on ranking. The higher the ranking, the more reputable a site and person are perceived to be.
  • Quality and consistent content – When a site is publishing quality content on a consistent basis, we recognize them as being a great authority.
  • Personal brand – Aside from the company, people want to be able to relate to the people behind the company. In this sense your personal brand matter just as much as the company’s.

Johnson goes on to expand on the topic of content throughout the book, noting that content is key to building audience trust, website traffic and sales. One of the key mediums that Johnson suggests using is YouTube. “I urge you to take inventory of what you’re doing day to day, how you’re spending your time, and modify your workflow to produce more video based on the needs and wants of those in your market”.  There are a couple of technical reasons why Johnson recommends this. 1) YouTube is the third most popular website on the plant, and the second largest search engine. 2) Making yourself visible to your audience in multimedia form helps them get to know you better.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Mindset Matters

"It’s human nature to come up with reasons why you’re not ready, capable or in a position to share."
- Trust Funnel, page 22

Johnson includes a great chapter early on in the book about the importance of your mindset. In your business or work, mindset is the combination of your principles, outlook, vision and beliefs. It is the thing that helps drive you forward towards your goals. And ultimately, if you don’t have the right mindset then it can be difficult to move forward. Each person’s mindset is unique as we are all motivated differently. But what Johnson underscores for readers is that it is important to be self-reflective. Johnson sums this up as embracing who you are and striving to be the very best you.

Additionally, there are a few key things that you can do on your path to success:

  • Know your goals, and have a plan of action and a vision as to how you will reach your desired goals.
  • Don’t allow naysayers to dictate your future.
  • Chose to narrow your focus. You don’t have to do everything all at once. In fact it’s more productive to focus on a few key projects that help you work towards your primary goal.
  • Develop daily routines to help you get the important work done.

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Stay Audience and Customer Focused

"Find out what people want, and give it to them. This rule applies to everything that impacts your online marketing…"
- Trust Funnel, page 29

One of the common ideas that Johnson returned to in the book was adding value to your audience and customers. By focusing on adding values, you establish yourself as a go-to person on a certain topic. The other benefit is that you show them that you care. That’s not just about you and your success. It’s about them and their success. In order to do this well, it is absolutely necessary to stay in touch with your audience and customer. Listen through social media. Read their blog comments. Ask them questions. This will provide you with valuable data points that will show you what your audience really wants from you, that in turn can help you develop better products and content.

Johnson has packed Trust Funnel with an incredible number of useful tips, tricks, how tos and ideas. As someone who has been running an online business for several years, I found Trust Funnel to be a great refresher on the basics that also includes a number of advanced gems.

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Vanessa Chase

ABOUT Vanessa Chase

I am a fundraising strategist and copywriter, and run the non-profit resource website, Philanthropy For All. Through my work, my goal is to help passionate non-profit folks better articulate their non-profit’s impact and work is a way that translates to engaged philanthropic communities...
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