Know, Like, And Trust

In the midst of this pandemic, I have found myself engaged with more entrepreneurial talks than ever. In doing so, I’ve realized that most marketing “experts” suggest that in order for one to be “successful” one must employ what is often referred to as the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, it basically argues that people will only buy something from you (or your company), if they know you, like you, and trust you (or your product). More specifically, people will only buy your product or service if they believe that your product or service will help them solve some problem.

As I have been wanting to make changes in my life for quite some time, it dawned on me sometime last week that perhaps the only person I need to be attempting to sell anything to is me. That is, often when I consider a new path in life, instead of diving right in – I hem and haw. I question, doubt, mistrust, and second guess my gut instincts and impulses. Mostly because I don’t know, like, or trust the information I am receiving because it doesn’t look a particular way. And all of this happens because I don’t really know who I am, or really like or trust who I am beyond the surface of what I present to the world.

(Now please note: I am not saying this in any self-demeaning way or as a means to drive attention, sympathy or comfort. I am stating this mostly as an observation based upon my long history of self-improvement strategies. After all, if I fully knew, liked, or trusted who I was at my core essence, I think I would have no need to constantly turn to others for advice or attempt to change, control, or contort who I am, how I feel, or what I like or dislike, in order to feel better about proceeding forward in a given direction in life.)

All of this has led me to ask the following series of questions that I would like to offer to you as possible contemplative points.

Feel free to use or discard any that are not helpful to you wherever you find yourself on your personal journey.

To address the “Know Factor,” various marketers present different strategies that boil down to the idea of getting your face in front of as many people as you can, as often as you can, so that they know who you are. Here, what such experts stress are frequency, consistency, and the manner in which one shows up.

Applying this concept to life outside of marketing, some questions might be: How frequently, consistently, and in what manner are you showing up within your relationships, your job, your health, your physical activities, your finances, and your hobbies?

Looking at the next factor, i.e. the ” Like Factor,” marketers stress the importance of appearing to be an authentic normal person just like the person you’re attempting to sell to (i.e. your avatar client). Again, the thought is that the more people have a change to get to see and know you, the more they have the opportunity to like you – “the real you.” The challenge of course is that for anyone to know you, “the real you” you have to allow them to see the real you. That is, you need a certain degree of honesty, authenticity, and transparency. All of which sort of boil down to my favorite word thanks to Brene Brown – VULNERABILITY!

So relating this concept to life outside of marketing, it seems that in order to really begin to make a connection with a particular person, an activity, a profession, or a state of being, one is required to spend time whole-heartedly engaging with that person, activity, profession, or state of being – REGARDLESS of what the outcome or what one’s appearances may be.

The questions related to this are: How fully do you allow yourself to be seen by you, your peers, your loved ones, your colleagues? How often do you share your joys and triumphs, as well as your sorrows and set backs? And what are the motivations you have behind those omissions or shares?

(Now here I must admit: I am not into that false humility BS that is often suggested by Marketing “experts.” Like most, I feel I can smell that BS a mile a way and it turns me off instantly! And this is true even when I am having my own internal pity party of one.)

The third factor in all this is the “Trust Factor.” And again, the general concept here is that when potential customers know you and your products or services, and like you and your products or services, they are more likely to buy your products or services because they trust you and/or your products or services.

In applying this notion to life outside of marketing, and most specifically to the relationship that we have with ourselves, the questions that come to mind are: how fully do you know yourself (i.e. your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, dreams, fears, joys, and sorrows)? How fully do you like that perfectly imperfect creature that you see and don’t see so clearly? And lastly, how genuinely do you share that perfectly imperfect creature with the external world? That is, how often are you able to be that person without attempting to manipulate, control, or distort that unique being’s unique needs, gifts, challenges, and strengths?

Now mind you, this concept sort of popped up out of mid air one day in a completely unrelated context, so I haven’t figured out the answers or solutions to many of these questions yet. However, I do think that with time, consistency, and genuine persistence, I will hopefully develop a greater sense of love, appreciation, and trust, in the unique being that I am and by doing so be better able to help and serve the person who most needs my products or services.