Marketing, unfortunately, often gets a bad rap, and sometimes, deservedly. There are good and bad actors in any profession. Lying, exaggerating (another form of lying), over-promising (lying) is unethical and should never be used by a business that works in good faith and wishes to maintain trust with its customers.

Here are 3 essential marketing tips.

1) Appeal to insecurity (but ethically). If you are selling personal training services, you can emphasize, “As a personal trainer with 15 years of experience, I’ll make sure to work with you to figure out the best, most realistic plan in achieving your goals so you’ll stick to it for the long-term, for good health and happiness. Unrealistic goals are unfair and can lead to someone to quit their journey to a better body.” You need to be careful when selecting one and this one is the right one.

2) Testimonials and those that are specific are best. “She’s great!” is not only vague but sounds fake. However, “Karen is gentle yet truly motivating, which is what I need as someone who started out insecure about my body.” We can all relate to this feeling, right?

3) Turn problems into opportunities. If you’re a plumber, you’d want to apologize for the error, and ask the customer when would be the best time to send someone out as soon as possible. Then, after the work is completed, follow-up the next, day, by a higher level employee if possible, once again acknowledging the issue and making sure the customer is still happy. In some cases, if reoccurring business is likely, offer a refund or credit toward future service. This can go a long way to build trust and provide a STORY for the customer to share with others. Referrals are where service-based businesses get a large portion of their business.