Recent years, many websites and social networks like Facebook has been trying hard to encourage the use of real identity, many netizens however prefer to be anonymous or create an alternative identity to hide themselves. This behaviour results majority of the netizens doubt the credibility of the internet identity, making it harder for online business to engage them. I would like to share some key points for individuals or business owners that want to know how to be trustworthy on the web, in order improve their personal appearance and their internet branding.
How To Be Trustworthy On The Web
Ever since internet exist, many business try hard to create their presences on the internet. Trustworthy is the key in all e-commerce activities especially when the customer won’t be able to see the product or meet the sales person face to face. In most cases, potential customers don’t even know you. There are way too many scammers and cheating websites everywhere. So how to stand out and prove that you are trustworthy? These are some tips and key elements that will help visitors to know you or your business better.
Use Real Name
“Hello, I’m Ellem.” It is normal to introduce myself with my real name when I meet a person for the first time. Are you doing the same on the web? By using real name, it shows that your are honest and friendly. In comparison, “love_angel<3" will only makes you suspicious.
This also apply to business and organization. Talking to a brand name does sounds very unfriendly, even more when it only gives standard PR reply. Imagine you walk into a Nike shop and the customer service officer says “Hello, I’m Nike”. It lacks personal touch. You might not agree to this point but many business are adapting this friendly culture. A little bit personal touch will helps your visitors and it will translate into sales conversion.
Put Real Photo
It is about personal touch and getting the visitors to know you. Talking to logo or a chicken avatar won’t help much. That’s why the some company specifically hire good looking person as customer service officer, and they don’t wear mask with company logo.
You can apply this on your avatar in forums, social network profiles, blogs and even your corporate website. As for business branding, take photos of your company events and upload them to the company blog. Make it as happening as possible where it will encourage your visitors to join you.
Have A Physical Meeting Place or Outlet
To e-commerce business owners, this is one of the main reasons many potential customers don’t click the check out button. It takes a lot of courage for them to visit a new site, select the item they want and key in their credit card information, wait for your confirmation email, wait for you to deliver the item and hope that the item is 100% as what they expected.
With a physical outlet / store, you provides them an alternative, safer method to purchase the item and they get to meet you face to face. For those who buy online, at least they know you have lower chance to disappear overnight. It also works as a service center and gathering spot for your visitors to communicate with you. If the business just started or there is budget constraint, try weekly flea market booth instead of retail outlet. The key is to make a physical appearance and communicate with your potential customers.
Have A Website With Proper Design
It is all about branding, there is a need for proper web design, else you might be losing many potential customers. Everyone like to dine in a bright, neat, clean and comfortable restaurant. Retail owners have invested millions and millions to decorate their outlet so customers will walk in. Same thing applies to your website, how much have you invested? Or you are using blogspot template? If it doesn’t shows that you are legit, better do something about it.
Remove all the cute stars are animal animated gif and those 10 years old clip arts, those “cute add ons” will only make your site looks horrible. Also don’t use rainbow colour for text. It does nothing but turn off your visitors. If possible, get a professional designer to create a proper design to boost your cooperate image. Low in budget? At least get a good domain name and a neat free theme for your site. And a proper logo will definitely help.
Still thinking that web design is unnecessary cost and meant to be cheap and free? Good luck getting customer in this highly competitive market. Ugly website will hardly stand a chance to win the game.
Have A Frequent Updated Blog
Running a blog is a good way to tell visitors that you have been around and active in the internet world for a good period of time. Remember to talk more about your product, benefits or your professional services. You don’t have to update them everyday, depending on your niche, even one post per week will do.
Another additional benefits is that a frequent updated blog will generate some organic traffic from search engines like Google. It helps you to rank better and higher, bringing more exposure of your product or service to more people. This is not magic potion, it takes time and it requires long term effort to see the result.
Blog can be a personal ground for you to show off what you know about the niche. The more professional the better. Don’t keep all the secret to yourself, share them and teach your customers how to understand your products better! In the same time, the blog will become a automated sales person by educating your customers without you repeat the same thing again and again.
Gain reputation & recommendation from others
What can be more powerful than recommendation from mass media, real customers and credible professionals? Get your friends and loyal customer to write you a testimonial regarding your service or products. You can include their names and photos, or make a video recording of how your products / service helped them achieve their goal.
If you ever appear in any mass media like newspaper, tv or websites, make sure to include them to your website. These will ease the anxiety of your visitors. Once they are confident, it is easy to close the deal.
Participate in forum, Linkedin, Quora, Yahoo! Answers
Forum is a great place for professionals to hang around and solve problem together. By contributing your professional knowledge, people will appreciate your effort as an expert in your area. In the same time you get the exposures to a new group of people which can be your potential clients
Q & A sites have been around for quite some time. It is a platform for users to post a question and other people will try to solve it. Overall the features aren’t as impressive as forum but the user group of such websites is usually much bigger and their question usually ranked very well in the search engine. My recommendation for good Q & A site will be Quora, Linkedin and Yahoo! Answers.
Embrace Social Network
I believe most of you should have a Facebook account by now. Try to update your profile page with your detailed work experience or your skill sets. If you happen to have a Faceboook fan page, remember to promote it and check the wall from time to time. Try your best to communicate with your existing customer and follow up by sharing tips, chit chat or season greetings.
My favourite is Linkedin.com, a social network website that focuses on professional relationship. It is very powerful when it comes to gaining professional recommendation. Add your colleagues, schoolmates and clients to your network and ask them to write you a recommendation if they are comfortable with you. The more you get, the better you are.
Building your trustworthy reputation on the web
Internet is a whole new world where everyone in the globe is competing with each other. Information is sharing at incredible speed every second, netizens need to carefully identify those reliable and trustworthy sources. Once you gain their trust, you are closer to the success of your business goal. But bear in mind that the above points are just guidelines and it takes time to get the best out of them. If you have any good point to improve credibility on the web, add into the comment area!