I’ve been thinking a bit in the past week about scaling trust.

It’s pretty much a prerequisite for scaling growth, right?

The way I prefer to word it, though, is “earning trust at scale.”

Because you can’t just go out and create trust.

You have to earn it.

One opt in, account sign up, and conversion at a time, right?

Until, at some point, you’ve earned enough trust that trust earns you more trust.

The people who trust your brand begin to recommend and vouch for you.

So, how do we earn trust with content?

Well, for starters, here’s what you shouldn’t do:

❌ No click bait headlines with content that falls short of actually being helpful.

❌ No pretending to be an expert when you should have interviewed an expert.

❌ No making claims without sources or proof to back it up.

❌ No copycat content that is the same regurgitated fluff your competitors also publish.

It’s actually about delivering more helpful information than anyone expected you to share and becoming known for it:

✅ Knowing who you are creating for so well that your content can go extra deep and truly help them.

✅ Forging relationships with your audience by pulling back the corporate curtain and using a real human voice to speak for the brand.

✅ Sharing insights backed by actual examples and experiences.

✅ Using direct quotes from credible experts.

✅ Being confident enough to share curated content you didn’t create but that you know will help your audience.

✅ Engaging directly with your audience to learn how they’re responding to what you’re creating and what additional resources they need from you.

Scaling trust requires effectively distributing content that demonstrates expertise and authority.

Who at your organization understands your buyers best?

Could you record them answering tough questions and providing solid advice backed by examples regularly?

Could they engage directly with customers regularly?

Could they disrupt the way your prospects currently understand their challenges and help them see things differently enough to try your product / service?

Get them talking and turn that into content: videos, podcasts, articles, social posts, etc.

To earn trust at scale, first earn trust in ways that don’t (responding to each comment on social media, responding to each newsletter reply, engaging directly with customers to learn what matters to them, over delivering when someone in your ICP asks a question), then use a strong voice (or set of voices) to represent your brand and get the message you want to permeate your market out there.

The customers and prospects you invest in 1:1 will become a part of your trust-building mechanism.

And, of course, BE TRUSTWORTHY.

Ashley Guttuso | Audience Ops  

Newsletter Tips

2 Growth Stories

What works when it comes to list growth? Check out these 2 recent success stories:


The media brand 1440 has grown to over 2 million newsletter subscribers and averages a 53% open rate. It took 4 years to reach 1M but they doubled that to 2M in the 5th year. In a nutshell, here’s how they’ve done it:

  • They narrowed their focus to 3 areas (and they stick to them)
  • They are selective when it comes to advertisers
  • They value trust and do what it takes to maintain it

Chase Dimond

Chase Dimond shared his step-by-step process (y’all, it’s a LinkedIn carousel post made of screen captures of a Tweet) to growing an ecommerce travel-related email list to 500k subscribers in 10 months. The strategy leveraged:

  • cold email
  • giveaways
  • organic social
  • an ambassador channel

My favorite bit is that they prioritized relationship-building before selling. Do you?


Content Marketing


Email Goals: Trust And Growth

Email marketing can be overwhelming, but it helps to focus on your goals and how you’re going to hit them.

Earn Trust

There are few things more important than earning your audience’s trust. Christine Alemany offers these 3 tips for gaining and keeping trust:

  1. Make your privacy and opt-in policies clear
  2. Optimize for humans
  3. Create, test, learn, repeat

Enable Growth

Sumaiya Khalifa offers 5 steps she says will help you grow, even in a recession:

  1. Get creative with your content
  2. Make it easy for users to sign up
  3. Use social media (for list-building)
  4. Offer something of value
  5. Segment your email lists by buyer persona



Audience Ops InsightsAudience Ops Insights

Opt In ChallengeOpt In Challenge

Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy content marketing (and newslettering),

Ashley Guttuso | Audience Ops