How trusted are you? Ways to boost your brand without breaking the bank

Andy Cullwick, head of marketing at First4Lawyers

By Andy Cullwick, head of marketing at Legal Futures Associate First4Lawyers

You can blow your budget on expensive advertising campaigns but, as anyone in business knows, you can’t put a price on trust.

It’s the hard won, intangible asset that persuades potential customers to purchase your product or service. It’s also easily lost, particularly in today’s world where harmful reviews can be instantly posted online.

How trustworthy you’re seen to be as a business may seem difficult to gauge, but the Ipsos Veracity Index 2022 – a long-running poll on trust in professions in Britain – provides a useful barometer.

Fewer than a third (32%) of people surveyed trusted business leaders to tell the truth. Lawyers fared better but were still only trusted by just over half (57%).

The good news is that building trust doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise and is only really what you should already be doing as best practice.


One of the best ways to enhance your credibility is through customer reviews.

Independent review platforms are recognised as a source of genuine and impartial views from others who have used particular products and services. Further, studies show that nearly nine out of 10 people read reviews before making a purchase decision, with almost 90% valuing them as much as a personal recommendation.

Research for our White Paper ‘Trust me, I’m a lawyer – Marketing legal services in 2023’ found that a lot of law firms, for example, are behind the curve on this. Just 37% read reviews about themselves – even fewer did so on a regular basis – and only 38% posted replies.

If left unchecked, this has the potential to seriously damage a brand. Responding to reviews, particularly negative ones, can actually improve your reputation as it shows you are willing to engage with clients and own and learn from your mistakes.


Having a website that works goes a long way to winning trust. That means being responsive, with little or ideally no broken links, and the right security signals which – at the very least – should include an SSL certificate.

You can also use trust signals such as those displayed below, which give prospective customers the confidence that they are doing business with a company that is trusted by independent third parties.


Others include official logos or badges to prove that a business belongs to or is regulated by a particular body, such as law firms and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).


Google prioritises content that is trustworthy and helpful, in that it answers users’ questions and doesn’t send them searching for answers elsewhere.

‘Clickbait’ content that doesn’t fulfil that brief is no longer likely to appear high up the search engine’s rankings, no matter how full of keywords you pack it. Google will now also penalise your entire site rather than just the offending page.

High quality content should also elicit meaningful interactions with users, which can be quantified, for example, by the amount of time they spend looking at the page.  Your authority will also be determined by how many other sites link to yours as a source of trustworthy information.

Quality content and user experience are a big part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and prioritising them should have a positive effect on your engagement and conversion rates.

Get the above three elements right and, while it may not project you to the top of the next Ipsos poll, it will give you a strong foundation for building trust with potential clients.

You may never be deemed as trustworthy as nurses, doctors, scientists and teachers, who all scored above 80%, but there is definite room for improvement.

It basically boils down to doing a good job and being open and transparent. Politicians, languishing in last place with a record low trust rating of 12%, could learn a thing or two.


Associate News is provided by Legal Futures Associates.
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