Tag Archives: trust

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup don’t miss Can a photograph be true or false? It’s a a thought-provoking  interview with filmmaker Errol Morris. And if you want to improve your website’s credibility, and who doesn’t,  check out How to Improve Your Website Trust Factor.

  • The Ultimate History Project. “In recent years, an academic job crisis has led many highly trained historians to leave their profession.  The Ultimate History Project draws on the skills of many of these scholars, providing them with an opportunity to publish and promote their scholarship.  The Ultimate History Project also encourages faculty members to write for the general public and it provides a forum for academically trained historians to work alongside avid genealogists, independent historians, and collectors, enabling them all to collaborate and learn from one another.” [Thanks to Francie King of History Keep for alerting me to this item.]
  • Dead Again. “Two decades ago, the Book Review ran an essay, “The End of Books,” in which the novelist Robert Coover questioned whether print could survive the age of “video transmissions, cellular phones, fax machines, computer networks, and in particular out in the humming digitalized precincts of avant-garde computer hackers, cyberpunks and hyperspace freaks.” Was the book as “dead as God”? …Every generation rewrites the book’s epitaph; all that changes is the whodunit.”
  • Hints for Memoir Writers from Woody Allen. “A few months ago, I pulled a page from Bloomberg Businessweek. The article was called, “The Woody Allen School of Productivity” and the author was John Lopez. The premise was that there are valuable lessons in examining a career that has been as successful as Woody Allen’s. Between 1965 and 2012, 47 years, Allen has directed 43 films. Just about one a year…John Lopez researched Allen and came up with eight points. I’ve turned five of these into tips for memoir writers. With thanks to Lopez for this inspiration.”
  • The Last Pictures: A Time-Capsule of Humanity in 100 Images Sent into Space for Eternity. “Inspired by cave paintings, Sagan’s Golden Record, and nuclear waste warning signs, MIT artist-in-residence Trevor Paglen set out to create a collection of 100 images, commissioned by public art organization Creative Time, to be etched onto an ultra-archival, golden silicon disc and sent into orbit onboard the Echostar XVI satellite this month — at once a time-capsule of the present and a message to the future.”
  • How to Improve Your Website Trust Factor. “Is your website harming the trust and credibility of your business? Are people worried or put off when they visit you online? Could your site be working against you rather than working as a business asset? I’m sad to say that this is more common than we would like…The GOOD news is, a lot of the problem areas that cause mistrust or unease in your visitors are easy to fix. Check out these factors and see if improvements can be made in your own site:”

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Encore! 3 Keys to Creating Trust with Potential Clients.

A key factor in whether potential clients will hire us as personal historians is trust. But how to build trust in an introductory meeting?…Read more.

3 Keys to Creating Trust with Potential Clients.

Here’s a shocker! I was reading that a CBS News/New York Times Poll revealed only 30% of respondents believed people in general are trustworthy. Not surprising perhaps but disillusioning.

But all’s not lost. When a  similar group was asked,“What percent of people that you know are trustworthy?”  the response jumped to 70%.  Clearly knowing someone makes a big difference. The more people get to know us, the higher the level of trust. It makes sense.

A key factor in whether potential clients will hire us as personal historians is trust. But how to build trust in an introductory meeting?

I turned to The Oxford Dictionary for help. It defines trust as: a  firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. If we take each of these components of trust, they provide clues to building rapport with a new client.


Reliability begins with the simplest of acts – showing up on time for your meeting. Nothing kills  reliability more than changing an already fixed appointment date or showing up late or early.

It also helps if you’ve been in business for a few years, have a track record,  and have a set of glowing testimonials.

Avoid being needy. It reeks of desperation and raises questions about the health of your business. No one wants to sign a contract with someone who’s about to go under.


Refrain from being somebody you’re not. People can smell phoniness.  You don’t have to adopt a “marketing”  persona or be over solicitous.  Go into your meeting with a new client confident, friendly, and mindful. That’s it, nothing more.

Forgo trying to be all things to all people. For example, if your specialty is producing video biographies, don’t “fudge” things by selling yourself as a book specialist in hopes of  getting the job. You won’t sound convincing. It’s better to recommend a colleague whose expertise is print. You’ll win points for being honest. While you might lose the contract, your good name will spread in the community. And that matters.

We all expect straight answers. Your clients are no different. Questions about your fees, expertise, years of experience, and the time to complete a personal history need to be answered  without obfuscation.


If you’re new to personal histories, you may have little to show prospective clients. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t highlight your previous experience to establish your proficiency.  For example, print and video editing, interviewing, counseling, radio and film producing all require skills that come to play in producing a print or video life story.

Regardless of the number of years  experience, you want to display your interviewing expertise from the moment you meet your prospective client. If you’re friendly, curious, attentive, and  non-judgmental, then you’ll have modeled  good interviewing skills. This is subtle “selling” but it works in establishing trust and rapport.

Photo by iStockphoto

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