The phrase “triangle of trust” was first coined by the famous (and to some, infamous) Frank Kern. For those that don’t know, Frank got in fairly early to the whole Internet thing, but thanks to the boneheaded actions of someone he had zero control over, got noticed by the FTC.
When I say “got noticed,” what I really mean is that they showed up at his door and basically demanded that he give them literally every single penny and valuable possession he had, or else they were going to arrest him for running a pyramid scheme.
Now most people would have given up. Instead, ol’ Frank went on to create websites in a bunch of niche markets. He didn’t spend much on them, and did nearly zero advertising, but ended up making even more than he was “pre-FTC nightmare.”
He currently makes about half of his total online income from teaching others how to do what he did, and seriously, some of his stuff is deep. He gets into buyer psychology in ways that no one else does. He’s also an all-around great guy, and I recommend that you check him out.
Anyway, all of that was a long way of saying that Frank Kern is wrong about the “triangle of trust.”
Now you may be wondering why I would pump the guy up in one breath just to call him wrong in the next. Well, there’s a reason. Let me explain.
Frank calls it the “triangle of trust” when you create a video (spot one on the triangle), post it to your blog (spot two), and then send an email to your list saying little more than “check out this video I just posted to the blog” (which is spot three).
The reason he calls that the “triangle of trust” is that, even to this day, most people who run real blogs don’t put sales messages of any kind on their blogs. Further, people generally prefer video over written content. I don’t fall into that second category, but the overwhelming majority of the English-speaking population does. So, when you send a short email like that, telling people to watch a video on a blog, they do.
He uses that as a way of building up trust, readership in his email list, and getting people used to clicking on the links in email he sends out. It’s pretty darn smart, and it works like crazy.
He’s still wrong though.
The reason I say that he’s still wrong isn’t that it doesn’t work. It’s just that there’s another way of doing things that is so much better.
Call it “the more powerful, super-improved triangle of trust on steroids” or the MPSITOTOS for short (or something like that…)
The three components of the MPSITOTOS are:
1. Your blog
2. Your email list
3. A content-based mobile app
Now let me explain why these three working together are so much better.
First, there aren’t many “experts” in any space (yet) that are using mobile apps as part of their “authority generation strategy.” That means you can very quickly separate yourself from the pack simply by providing an app that further demonstrates your expertise in your field.
Throw in some very easy Facebook integration (they even provide an SDK for this) so that people can share some of the great content from your app via Google+ and Facebook — complete with links back to your app — and you’ll get a level of content sharing over which everyone else in your industry will go positively green with envy.
Not only that, but by “segmenting your expertise” and putting certain categories of that expertise on your app, other categories on your blog, and still different categories in your mailing list, you get the chance for people to consume content from you across three different platforms, with three different frames of mind. This allows you to “penetrate their mind deeper” and further instill in them the sense that you are the expert to be followed, listened to, and most importantly, purchased from.
You see, people are in different frames of mind when they are using their mobile devices, compared to when they are on email, compared to when they are on a website or reading a blog. What they are looking to accomplish, how they are looking to accomplish it, and the timeframe they have to consume information are all wildly different. By mixing these up and allowing someone to “access your expertise” across these three different mediums, in both text and video on each of those three, you hit “multiple modalities.” That’s a fancy way of saying “they’ll think you’re cooler and want to buy from you.”
Plus, because mobile users are proving to be much more likely to share/talk about content from their device, your message spreads much quicker. Above I talked about this helping your search positioning (which it does), but this also gets you a TON of traffic.
Obviously your email list and blog are both “dynamic” in nature, meaning that when you send something by email or post something to your blog, it shows up right away. This is very easy to do with mobile apps as well.
Imagine that you’re really smart, and your blog is mobile friendly. Now when you post something to your blog, you can tell your email list and mobile app downloaders about it. When you put something new into the mobile app, you can post that to the blog and the email list. Create a new special report and share that only with your email list … and then tell your blog readers and mobile app folks that all they have to do is fill out the simple form right there to join the mailing list and they’ll get that special report (along with any others you’ve created in the past) sent to their email box right away.
Again, it’s about “multiple touch points” to every single person. The authority this will generate is almost difficult to describe. However, “authority isn’t a business model.” At the end of the day, you have to make money or none of this is worth it.
So let me boil it down like this. The MPSITOTOS “triangle of trust” will get you better search rankings through more links and more social media sharing. It will get you more traffic through more links, more social media sharing, and better search positioning.
It will get you more sales, because of the additional authority and expertise you demonstrate in your market and the massively improved search positioning and traffic you are getting.
Better search position, more traffic, more sales … now that’s a triangle of trust I want!
You can read more of my work at http://mattgoffrey.blogspot.com.