Grass for Cambridge copywriting post

What a crooked gardener taught me about trust

Tamsin Henderson B2B, Copywriting


I’ve spent the past three months searching for a gardener to help out with my parents’ relentless, rampaging, soon-to-be out of control garden.

So far, I’ve contacted eleven.

The first swindled my 80-year old mum into paying three months upfront—then vanished. The second turned up when he felt like it (not very often). The third was a narcoleptic (long story) and the rest were too busy to take on more work.


With growing desperation, I hit up The Googles.

But instead of logically leafing through each site, scanning services, evaluating credentials, calculating prices; I nosedived straight for the About pages.

By this point, I didn’t give a rats banana how many letters someone had after their name. I just wanted a straight-shooting, green-fingered someone, who wasn’t going to rip my folks off, stress them out, or leave them high and dry.

Nine times out of ten, there was no bio, no background, no photo… not even an iota of personal info. Just a blob of beige blurb that told me sweet FA about the folks doing the work.

I mean, they could’ve swiped Best Show Garden at Chelsea, but if I couldn’t find a connection point that ticked my trust boxes?

I clicked on to the next.

We all make snap judgements like this to a certain degree.

Whether we’re looking for software services, plumbers, removals companies, marketing agencies, financial advisors, driving instructors, estate agents, IT support, designers, Airbnb hosts, or even somewhere tasty to go for dinner… we’re all subconsciously seeking out signals that give us permission to trust them.

That’s why, when it comes to selling things online, showing your humanity is the fast-track to creating a way more trustworthy website.

Because when our customers are thinking: Can this person build me the website I really want?

What they’re really thinking is: Do I trust this person enough to build me the website I really want?

Testimonials… photos… blogs… social media posts… tone of voice… a spot-on About page… they all paint pictures in your visitors mind—about you. About whether you’re credible, or not.

About whether they’d want to do business with you in person, or not.

You see, without showing your personality…

You’re just another faceless company offering the same thing as a hundred others.

And then choice comes down to who’s offering the lowest price or who answers the phone first. And none of these make for the ideal customer, right?

Just ask David Ogilvy…

“There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.” 

My point is: showing ’em what makes you tick does a lot of the sweaty grub work for you.

How? By filtering out the no-thank-YOU customers and creating super-fans who are sold on your product or service before they’ve even picked up the phone.

Because sometimes (often)… likeability and good relationships are more important than the product or service itself.

The internet is a busy place. If you wanna stand out and create a more trustworthy website? Arm yourself with the one secret weapon that absolutely nobody else has.



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