Practically all the money that I save goes back into two things: our house in Portugal (a.k.a. Casa de Moneypit) or surfboards and surf-related expenses.

This means that I’m constantly browsing for both new and old surfboards online. And that as a copywriter, I gravitate more towards the detailed descriptions of the boards than the images.

In case you didn’t know, how surfboards from major shapers are released these days is radically different from how it was done even 10 years ago.

Growing up, a new surfboard model released by someone like Channel Islands might get a small press release distributed to their stockists.

These days (due to social media and the exponential growth in surfing), new surfboard models are released with more fanfare than a vehicle company launching a new car. There’s still a press release. But there are also multiple teaser posts on Instagram, behind-the-scenes clips, endorsements from pros, posters in surf shops and even films or skits all about the board in question.

It’s all very slick. And it works.

But there’s one thing I’ve noticed about the descriptions of new surfboards. And based on the reviews of these particular boards, talking with mates who ride them and the comments on Instagram posts and Youtube videos, I believe it’s damaging the credibility of surfboard brands.

Surfboards that can do it all?

Tell me: have you ever looked at a newly released surfboard model, whether it’s from a major brand or your local shaper, and seen that the board can “do it all” or that it’s “perfect for everyone – from beginners to pros”?

Admittedly, boards are more user-friendly these days and are therefore able to be ridden by a wider audience. But the truth is this.

Some boards work best for beginners, others work best for intermediates. And then there are a few models that are strictly for experts or pros.

In reality, not many models could be considered perfect for all three skill levels. And I think that marketing them as such, only for the buyer to be let down when they try to ride the board, is setting up a false expectation.

Wouldn’t you rather be a surfboard maker that’s known for being straight up with your customers?

The importance of building credibility with your audience

After all, building credibility can only come from being honest.

And honesty is how you build trust, which is the most critical factor in determining whether or not a customer or guest will choose you over a competitor.

Think about it.

In a world where we can buy surfboards from anywhere (hello, global economy) why should someone choose your product over another? It’s not just about price. It’s also about whether or not they trust you to be honest about the performance of the boards you are selling.

If a customer takes a chance on a board that is marketed as all-in-one and it doesn’t fit their needs, do you think they’ll come back for more? Not likely.

Being honest with your audience is essential if you want to build credibility and establish yourself as an authority in the industry. And this will in turn help customers make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing a board that best fits their skill level and goals.

Tips for establishing trust with your customers

Of course, operating with integrity is the overarching goal, but how exactly do you go about establishing trust with your customers? Here are a few tips that I’ve found work well for me.

Be transparent

Be honest and transparent in all of your dealings with customers. Don’t make false claims or promises, and always provide accurate descriptions of the products you are selling. Also, don’t over-exaggerate your features and benefits section. Be direct and truthful.

Be open to feedback

Make sure to listen to customer feedback – both positive and negative. Use it to inform product decisions and ensure that the customer experience is as good as possible every time.

Give without expectation

Provide helpful information on how to use your products correctly and safely, as well as advice on how they can improve their skills over time. This shows that you care about more than just making a sale.

Clearly communicate your authority

Showcase your knowledge and expertise in the industry through social media, blog posts, videos, and other content with zero BS or sugarcoating. This will help to establish you as an authority and build trust with your customers.

At the end of the day, when it comes to building credibility as a surf business, honesty is key. Be honest with your customers and they will likely turn into lifelong fans.

I’ll certainly be cheering you on!

Contact me here today for more help on how to build trust with your audience.