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In our digital world, personalization is key. But when the majority of outreach takes place online, it can be difficult for consumers to connect with and trust brands. How can your brand cut through the noise?

You need to humanize your brand.

Humanizing your brand shows consumers the real people behind your business’s front. And, it’s easier to connect with people than businesses.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, only 54% of people trust U.S. brands—that leaves 46% of people who are skeptical. On the other hand, 75% of employees trust their employers, aka the key people behind the business. You need to build that same level of trust with your consumers.

Are you ready to connect with your customers? Let’s get started. Check out these six steps to humanize your brand.

1. Develop a relatable online voice

How do you communicate with customers? You may use your website, blog, social media pages, online review sites, direct email, email campaigns, and online chats. And, what do all of these examples have in common? They’re all online.

With so much taking place on the web, you need to develop a relatable online voice. Without one, consumers won’t know whether they’re interacting with a robot or a live person. If you want to humanize your business, write like you’re a person. Personalize messages to customers, use humor, show empathy, and be yourself. Talk to customers like you already know them to create lasting relationships.

Once you develop your brand’s voice, keep it consistent across platforms. Relate to your audience regardless of whether you’re engaging customers on social media or your business blog.

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2. Keep your startup story real

Rome wasn’t built in a day—and most likely, neither was your business. You probably had some setbacks, failures, and frustrations when starting your company. Unless you were very lucky, your startup wasn’t a bed of roses.

And that’s OK! Having a rough startup story humanizes your business. Whether you sell to businesses or consumers, your audience wants the real story that highlights the people who worked to make your dream a reality.

Let’s look at my payroll and accounting software company, Patriot Software. Its startup was not glamorous. We started in the basement of a factory. We were hot from no air conditioning, cold from no heat, and wet from flooded floors. Can you picture it? (If you can’t, here’s a video to give you a better visual.)

We, the people in the day-to-day trenches, learned from trial and error. My startup story isn’t perfect because nobody is perfect. And that’s what business is—an extension of the people who operate it and work within it.

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3. Ensure transparency is alive and well

If you want to humanize your brand, make it transparent. Consumers demand transparency from the businesses they buy from. Nine out of 10 customers would likely stop buying from a business if they weren’t transparent.

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