A Recipe to Build Awareness


How can I buy from you if I'm not aware of what you do? I may have a great need for what you do. If I don't know about you, I will keep looking for someone who can meet my need.

All marketing begins with building awareness. We must first become known for what we do. Your website must be known. If you have a book, it must be known. Your audience must have a clear awareness of how you meet needs.

Awareness is necessary but not sufficient. What do you want your audience to do? Buy something? Attend a meeting? Donate to you?

Most marketing efforts are directed to build behavior intentions. We must find our name and product on a customer's shopping list. All marketing efforts must move potential customers from awareness of you to an intention to buy from you.

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Perhaps you've heard of the path, "know–like–trust." This is a simple recipe to build awareness and move someone to intend to buy from you. Marketers have long held that we first work to make ourselves known to our target audience. We build awareness. Then hopefully, because of how we do what we do, people like us. They stick around and keep an eye on us. And hopefully, we build trust with our audience based on our actions.

I think most marketers misunderstand the recipe. Know–like–trust is almost one word to some. The process becomes watered down into a one-word mantra. We might even hear the process spoken as one word. The evidence is clear in the marketing of check-the-box awareness builders. On their home pages, their writing attempts to drag a customer all the way from know–like–trust to the cash register and credit card swipe. There isn't a process to the process.

I'm often asked to describe what takes place during the process of building know–like–trust. I truly believe that a deep understanding of the know–like–trust path is transformational. Many marketers see the process as a transaction..."Can we ship it to you today?"

What follows is a quick recap of how to think about and what to DO along the path. (Look for more training from me on this topic in podcasts and upcoming webinars.)


Sadly, many marketers "lose them at hello." We make our "know-phase" all about us. Again, the wrong version of know–like–trust is to speed-date. There should never, ever be a sprint on the path to conversion. Slow-cooking is good.

The "know" stage is not about you, your degrees, time in business, or how many pets you have at home. It's all about knowing how you help your tribe.

Whom do you serve? How do you serve them? What transformation do you cause? What gifts did God give you for this calling?

The foundation of this stage is to develop a powerful customer needs analysis system. How do you learn about your customers? How can you make your knowledge gathering a process flow?

When you KNOW these things, your writing changes. Your web pages change. Everything about how you do what you do will change.

Work hard to know whom you serve and how you serve them. As you clearly define your tribe, you will probably feel like your audience size dwindles. Good! Serve those who need you.


Why do people like you? Is it a superficial like? Or is it the kind of like we reserve for people who make a difference in our lives?

Surely, like is more than a thumbs-up button.

We like people who help us. I once was blind, but because of your help, I can see. We build like along the path by being there. We show up every day and offer content. We are consistent. If we promise a weekly blog or podcast, we do it. Our audience learns we do what we say we will do.

Our goal is simply to create content that is liked. People who like our content probably experience some level of need. They keep coming back to learn from us. Every time they come back to our content, they move further along the path.


Trust builds as like deepens. We have shown up over and over. Our content has been helpful. We've probably told stories about how we have helped others. We have shared our track record.

Trust is earned through content, first. Your message is what matters to people. It's how you help them. When your content connects with their heart, trust is sure to follow.

Resist opportunities to share off-topic content. Stay true and focused on your message. Build trust every day.

Follow the path of know–like–trust. Awareness will build. Intent to buy will increase.

Do what you are called to do. Be clear about whom you are called to serve. Show up every day.

To know–like–trust you is to buy from you.

Set up an appointment with Nick Beecher by emailing him at nick.beecher@charismamedia.com if you'd like help building your brand and becoming known in your target audience.

Love Leads book coverDr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Download his Greenelines podcast at cpnshows.com

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