7 Secrets To Building Your Online Credibility

In a​ way,​ the​ Internet may be compared to​ the​ Wild Wild West. (Where do you​ think the​ acronym 'WWW' came from?) There is​ no real central authority that is​ in​ charge and many scam artists take full advantage of​ this. Especially as​ a​ small business owner with no large company name behind yours,​ building credibility in​ the​ prospect’s mind becomes crucial.

Here are seven ways to​ build your online credibility.

1. you​ may find it​ beneficial to​ place your picture (even a​ smugshot) on​ your website.

Brick and mortar stores have the​ advantage since the​ clerk has a​ direct face-to-face conversation with the​ customer. it​ is​ therefore easier to​ ‘connect’ and form a​ relationship.

I recently read an​ interesting thread on​ a​ marketing forum message board with several people giving their opinions on​ the​ pros and cons of​ placing your picture on​ your site. Most of​ the​ fears expressed were that people might be turned off by the​ owner’s ethnicity. Even though this is​ a​ real fear I think that the​ best reaction I read on​ this point came from an​ Italian-American small business owner. She said that she would not want to​ do business with someone who was prejudiced against her anyway – I thought to​ myself – “Problem solved!”

Your photo helps your visitor to​ reach across the​ great chasm of​ the​ Internet and touch your customer -– right from their monitors. Why do you​ think cellular phone customers are trading in​ their ‘old phones’ for the​ new ‘talk-to-me-and-see-me-at-the-same-time’ models?

2. Provide an​ audio message in​ your own voice.

This is​ closely tied to​ the​ former tip. it​ all has to​ do with feeling connected and human. We are not computers – we just use them. We have emotions and use them to​ communicate. There is​ nothing that can communicate emotions like the​ human voice.

I can still fondly remember those days before my family could afford a​ television. as​ children we often listened to​ those radio dramas. you​ were there in​ the​ center of​ the​ action. ‘The Loooooonee RRRRanger!” the​ gallop of​ the​ horses,​ the​ crackle of​ gunfire … trust me,​ you​ were there. you​ smelled the​ gunpowder and rode those horses!

What can you​ use your voice to​ do? at​ least it​ can say,​ “There is​ a​ REAL person behind this website”. in​ this our automated age REAL counts.

3. Place your PHYSICAL address and contact information on​ every page.

Here again you​ are being transparent and in​ the​ open about your identity and how you​ may be contacted. you​ have nothing to​ hide,​ and you​ do not intend to​ take their money and close down your website the​ next day.

Your address also adds a​ sense of​ structure to​ the​ very fluid environment of​ the​ Internet. it​ is​ much like the​ sign on​ a​ brick and mortar store – this is​ where I’m located. That is​ why just a​ post office box number would not suffice.

Can you​ be reached by fax,​ landline phone,​ email,​ and mobile phone? This information adds to​ your credibility,​ not to​ mention your perceived availability.

4. Do not use a​ free email or​ hosting service as​ your main site.

Tied closely to​ credibility are the​ perceptions that you​ create of​ your business. Some say that in​ business image is​ everything. That may be taking it​ a​ little too far but you​ are NOT who you​ think you​ are but what the​ customer perceives you​ to​ be!

If you​ use a​ free email service such as​ hotmail.com what does this say about you? you​ are so successful but you​ cannot even afford a​ paid email service? Most spammers use these free email accounts anyway – that’s another count against you. it​ may be best to​ use the​ account associated with your paid website’s domain. I think that almost all web hosting services provide POP email accounts.

5. Have an​ ‘About’ page.

When a​ surfer appears at​ your site for the​ first time it​ is​ like going on​ a​ blind date. the​ visitor may have heard a​ little about you​ and know where to​ find you​ but she is​ practically just window-shopping. the​ ‘About’ page gives her a​ good chance to​ get a​ quick background check on​ you. She can then know if​ you​ are the​ one she really wants to​ build a​ relationship with.

Information you​ should place on​ this page includes:
- a​ personal and professional biography,​
- maybe a​ photograph of​ yourself,​
- name,​ address and telephone number,​
- your company objectives,​
- a​ comprehensive description of​ you​ and your company.

Just knowing this ‘outline’ of​ who you​ are places the​ visitor at​ ease and most of​ the​ nervous jitter hopefully disappears. Why? She sees you​ are not afraid to​ be checked out.

6. Include a​ ‘Privacy Statement’.

Internet users are becoming more and more sensitive to​ how their personal information is​ being used. This makes it​ almost imperative for you​ to​ provide a​ page with your privacy policy.

General concerns that would have to​ be addressed are:
*How you​ use the​ information that is​ collected.
*Is the​ information shared with a​ third party?
*Let them know how they can opt out of​ any mailing list they sign up for.
*Why you​ track their IP address.

For a​ more detailed discussion on​ website privacy you​ may check: http://www.truste.org/

7. Use your customers’ unsolicited testimonials and product reviews.

What you​ say about your product or​ service is​ not really taken seriously. I mean what are you​ expected to​ say anyway? It’s your product ... duh. What carry the​ greater weight are the​ opinions of​ other experts in​ your field. But what carries the​ greatest weight is​ what the​ customers themselves say.

This means that you​ can get instant credibility if​ you​ present the​ unsolicited testimonials of​ your satisfied customers. These testimonials should be accompanied with the​ email address or​ website and full name of​ the​ customer. the​ less information you​ give about the​ customer who is​ providing the​ testimonial the​ less believable it​ is. I have had visitors who actually contacted these customers to​ confirm that the​ testimonials were real.

So pour on​ the​ testimonials – too much is​ not enough.

There you​ had it. Use all these strategies to​ help build your credibility online and see more customers willing to​ open their wallets and their hearts.
7 Secrets To Building Your Online Credibility 7 Secrets To Building Your Online Credibility Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 27, 2018 Rating: 5

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