In order to build a successful online business, you also need to build your credibility. Credibility is the quality one possesses that enables potential customers to trust and believe in them. This credibility will certainly extend to your business as well.
People need to be able to trust in your expertise and integrity when dealing with you. For some people, their credibility is their most valuable business asset. But unfortunately inexperience can cause many people to chip away at their credibility without even realizing it. If you are regularly or repeatedly doing any of the following, you might want to reconsider and refine your business activities.
1. Taking Your Customers for Granted – This is surprising, but I see so many people taking their customers for granted and not realizing how important each and every one of them are – even if they do not make a purchase right away. Take the time to really listen to your customers. Do not get locked into the “I have to get the sale” trap. First you have to make the connection, build the trust and then chances are the sale will come. Put the customer and their needs first, not the sale.
2. Not Taking Responsibility – When something goes wrong with your sales transaction or other business matter, be sure to step up and accept responsibility. Do not try to place blame elsewhere or make excuses. People will see through this and a chunk of your credibility will fall away. You may think that trying to convince the customer that it was not your fault will help but it shows a lack of responsibility and commitment. Apologizing and doing everything you can to rectify the situation will go much farther in building your credibility.
3. Being too Pushy and Aggressive – The days of the pushy forceful salesman are gone. People want someone who can work with them, listen to them and offer them a solution. Show your customers you are that person and let them know you can give them what they need.
4. Being Inconsistent – To have a successful business you need to be consistent and regular. For example: If you send out a weekly mailing to your mailing list, be sure to send it out weekly. I, unfortunately, know a few online business owners who will send out a mailing here and there. I also know some websites that advertise new products daily but many times I have visited and nothing. These are exactly the types of mistakes that could destroy your credibility and drive away your potential customers. When you say you are going to do something, Do It!
5. Pushing Your Personal Life – In this day and age with the internet and social media, you can reach more people than ever thought possible. But unfortunately, many people get way too personal. When you are running a business and trying to connect with people you need to share insights, resources and information to help build your credibility, not your personal problems. You will need to listen to your customer’s problems but when a person comes to you for a solution to their problem, do not talk to them about your problems with the kids or how many bills you have to pay. Another chip of credibility will fall away.
6. Website Appearance – Imagine you are looking for a business from which to purchase furniture for your home. You come across this one store with music blaring, inappropriate pictures hanging all around and people sitting around talking about their home life and personal issues and telling jokes that may or may not be offensive. What would you do? Most people would quickly decide to go on and keep looking. This is the same with your website. Be sure your website is clean and appropriate in appearance. Make it easy to use and navigate. Let the visitor know exactly what you offer and how easy it is to get it. Your website appearance will go hand-in hand with your credibility.
7. Hype and Trickery – Many people are under the misconception that flashy hype and misleading marketing methods are the way to get sales. Although they may get some sales, for a lasting customer relationship you need to be straightforward and just be honest. The best example of hype and trickery would be the old-fashioned car salesman with all the glitter, glitz and marketing tricks to get people to buy from them. These practices are no longer viable. People got tired of the flash. They just want to know exactly what you can offer them and if it is what they need or want. Consumers can see through the trickery and a little less credibility for you will be the result.
8. Not Making Yourself Available – Many times I have gone to a website and wanted to ask a question or contact the owner. Unfortunately all I found was a generic contact form. The owner gave no information about themselves, no name, no email, nothing. This always amazes me because if you are in business and do not let people know who you are or how to contact you, how can you realistically expect people to trust you and consider you credible. Always be readily available for your visitors and customers. This is a number one priority when in business. Do not be a ghost on your own website!
9. No About Us Page – Although you do not want to get too personal, you do want to let people know a little about you and for what you stand. Write a simple yet informative About Us page to let people know a little about you. Have a picture of yourself on the page to add a human touch to your website. Let people know who you are and what you can do for them.
10. Not Using Correct Grammar and Spelling – I know this is probably on every list from every article I have written but it is very important. Always be sure to use correct grammar and spelling. Be professional. We all make typos and those can be forgiven but when people repeatedly write sentences like: “my name is martha and I am here to help u lern too be a excellent marketer.” You might think that this is a little extreme but I have seen worse! So, please, be extra careful when writing your website copy. If possible, have someone look it over for you to be sure you didn’t miss anything. Little things like using a or an correctly can help make or break your credibility!
These tips might seem like common knowledge but some people may overlook the simplest of things when trying to build your business. I did not automatically know all of these things when I first came online and reading articles helped me a lot. Experience is a wonderful teacher but being able to have information readily available can be a great help as well.
The above ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your credibility so be sure to tread carefully when it comes to your business. Show your customers you can be trusted by doing things that help them first, not you!
About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 16 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips and How to Market Your Online Business for Free: http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com