I was at a business event last year (pre-COVID) and an interesting thing happened. A few of us were chatting, when a woman came up to us with a great idea: “Let’s pass our business cards around, take photos of them, and share them on our social media accounts!“
While I’m happy to recommend businesses that I trust, I didn’t really know these people very well and couldn’t vouch for them yet. Beyond that, randomly posting a business card on Facebook with no context seemed really weird.
Here’s a random business card
This particular person continues to do that, and my trust of her recommendations is now roughly zero. I love her heart behind the idea, trying to help businesses promote one another, but the execution isn’t there. Without the trust factor, the recommendations are meaningless.
I trust Big Peach Running Company because of their return policy. I trust Liberty Mutual because I have a human there that I can rely on. I trust Carter’s Automotive and Snodental because they don’t try to upsell unnecessary things for my cars or my teeth.
Helping to promote local businesses is a great thing to do, but doing it in a way that erodes the trust that others see in you is generally a bad way to go about it.