Building trust online is crucial to the success of your business and for your individual credibility. There is no doubt that in order to achieve any degree of long-term success as an online entrepreneur you must take the time to build trust with your target audience.
Nothing’s more valuable than your good name – online. Trust is difficult to quantify– we’ve all heard the saying “I know trust when I see it.”
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. – Golda Meir
Trust is something that must be earned. It is not something that today’s business leaders can take for granted. Once you position yourself as a trustworthy authority in your marketplace you will be amazed at how your profits will increase and your business will grow.
It is important to remember that conversations are being held on the web with or without our consent. That means we can choose whether to be observers or participants. Also, when conversations start on the web, like a forest fire, they travel very fast, especially if they are negative. How Do I Build Trust Online?
1. The first thing you should do is a Google search of yourself, both personally and for your business. It is guaranteed that this is the first thing your potential customers will do. When you Google yourself, make sure you check variations on your name. Do an image search, video search, blog search, and it is a good idea to do the same on Bing , Yahoo, Duck Duck Go and even Keotag.
2. Set up a Google Alert or use Mention or TalkWalker to monitor both your name and your business or brand. The results are aggregated from the top social media sources, such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Twitter and more. Like the other services, you can subscribe to your results by RSS or email.
Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services. It allows you to track mentions of your brand across all of these areas.
3. Online influence is an emerging field that is relying more and more on social scoring. Companies like Klout and Kred are trying to quantify your online trustworthiness. Klout in particular tends to illicit strong emotional reactions: You either love it or hate it. However, many people do tend to care about ones Klout Influence, so it would be a good idea to keep an eye on your Klout Score and who is endorsing your online presence.
4. We highly suggest that you secure a domain name for your business. The cost is minimal and it takes only minutes to register an account.
5. When doing business online it is extremely important that you make a strong first impression on your potential customers. Most of the time this is done from your website or blog. When they first visit your website you have to make sure that they are presented with a page that looks professional and is easy to navigate. Keep in mind that over 70% of online customers use a cell phone, so it is important that your Blog is Mobile Friendly.
6. Be sure to provide your new visitors with timely and relevant information that will catch their attention immediately. It is also very important that you include multiple ways for them to contact and interact with you. With the multitude of social media tools available today is extremely easy to open a line of communication with your visitors, allowing you to connect with them in a way that makes them feel at ease.
7. Make sure you let them know that there are real people behind the curtain, so to speak. You can do this by creating an “About Us” page and providing them with the story behind your company, include a mission statement and some appropriate business related photos.
8. Using statistics on your website is a great way to reassure your visitors that your product or service will meet their needs and effectively solve their problems. Don’t be afraid to use screenshots, graphs or tables when appropriate to help illustrate the effectiveness of your product or service.
9. Another important factor to consider when building online trust is Social Proof. Social Proof is a great way for building online credibility and can be a very effective way to develop your company brand, which also helps build trust.
The best way to establish Social Proof is by using endorsements, testimonials and case studies. They are a great way to verify and demonstrate to your potential customers that your product does what you say it does and that it has helped other people.
Jackie is Featured in the Huffington Post “Twitter Powerhouses Series” created By Sean Gardner Rise Of The Female Geek ..” They use their influence to make an impact, moving humanity in a positive direction and embracing the very best.”
You may want to consider joining this site “Trust Cloud” which interprets universal indicators of Trust such as Credibility, Reliability, Familiarity, and Consideration.
For the most part trust is built by establishing a personal connection with your target audience. This can be done in many different ways like email, instant messaging, and most importantly social networking.
10. We recommend that you establish a presence on these major sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn , Pinterest and Youtube. Make sure to fully fill out your profiles and upload a professional picture of yourself. While you may not be able to spend time on each site every day, it is recommended that you have at least a weekly presence on each site at the very least.
11. Keep private things private, while assuming nothing is truly private. How many times have you read where an unflattering picture posted to Facebook meant only for friends and is being shared virally across the net? Conclusion
Building trust online is hard work and you do not want to it to be destroyed with one wrong move.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Do a Google Search for “Online Reputation” and you see over 32 million searches. A multi-billion dollar industry has evolved around protecting or repairing reputations.
At the heart of every successful business has always been quality customer service. That has never changed over the decades. What has changed is the manner in which we interact with our customers. Nothing can harm your business faster in today’s world than a disgruntled customer. A word of caution.
When it comes to doing business online it is extremely important that you, your product or service do exactly what you claim they do. If you make a promise to deliver it is vital that you keep that promise. The minute you break a promise to a potential customer or client you break that trust as well. Handle the issue quickly and honestly.
In an era of increased online participation and dialogue between brands and customers, online customer service and support is the new normal. Treat you customers with respect and they will become your customer for life.
What are your thoughts on building trust online? Do you have any good examples of companies building trust? If so please share them in the comments! ...