Especially for small businesses, building credibility and trust is the foundation to succeeding when taking your business online. If you want to sell online and suceed in doing so, it requires that you are not only trustworthy, you need to appear so. With many scammers and tales of woe of people who placed orders, paid for products and but never got the products they paid for, it is important to your build the credibility online. While most people are looking for how to get their businesses to sell online throughtheir target audience are looking for signs and proofs that tell them whether your business is credible. Even as a business professional, people are looking online to check your history, what other people are saying about you and how this translates into credibility for you.
Suceeding with the internet not only requires that your business be trustworthy, authoritative and convincing, you need to look more credible than the competition online.
Most buying decisions begin with an online search
Most people are turning to Google and other search engines as their first port of call when making a buying decision. The outcomes of such a query has an impact on whether they buy and who they buy from. It is one thing for your business to own a website, it is another thing to be found through internet search. Once found, the typical buyer goes online to compare quality, cost and service delivery by going through competitions, price-comparing websites, online comments and updates about the business and its service delivery. What they come up with helps them decide to buy with you or skip you for the competition.
Quick Smart Tips on Building your Credibility
Idea #1 – Have an updated Social Media Profile
Most times it is important to have an updated social media profile because you do not know who is checking you out. Especially for people who are looking to move upward in their career ladder, updating your social profile improves your chances of being called by headhunters looking for passive candidates. Before people decide whether they’ll do business with you or not, they may Google your name, your business name, social media profiles all in order to ascertain your credibility and trustworthiness.
Idea #2 – Run a Informative Blog
For both businesses and professionals, creating and running a blog is becoming increasingly important. In fact for small business and professionals, blogs are the fastest ways to become an authority on the subject matter or within the industry. Most especially when updated and relevant information and media content from Africa and particularly Nigeria is very difficult to find, running a blog about your business and industry is a great way to build credibility.
While having a blog is one thing, regularly updating the content is another. With so many crapy content online, you need to properly plan this especially in relation to resources needed to sustain it – both financial and personnel.
Idea #3 – Include and request for testimonials
Internet research has continued to prove that people hardly believe what you say about what you or your business advertises and promotes about itself. Today’s highly connnected consumer is more likely to search online for what others have said about you in blog articles, comments, status updates and tweets and are likely to believe them without asking for your side of the story.
People do not need encouragement to share negative stories about you, they do so willingly. You however need to get people to share their positive experiences about you and your business online. In fact, a customer and testimonials page on your website brings home the endorsement of others for your products or services.
Idea #5 – Guest blog on top industry blogs
Guest blogging is one of the most popular and powerful means to build credibility and trust. Not only does it help you demostrate your knowledge, it helps you drive traffic to your website, access the industry audience and in reverse shows the website’s endorsement on your work and business.
Guest articles need to be sound and prove valuable to the reading audience. The more depth and relevance you showcase the more competent your business is percieved.
Idea #6 – Start a “how to” YouTube channel
The amount of YouTube videos hitting the internet from businesses is increasing and you need to get in on this trend. As the cost of data in Nigeria continues to drop, you need to not only post blog articles, you need to demonstrate it through videos. The internet is replete with small business like Blendtec and people like Park Jae-sang (Gangnam Style) who moved from a local champions into a global superstars through the use of videos that went viral. It doesn’t have to be of DisneyWorld standard, though well processed and creative videos get more share and credibility from viewers.
‘How to’ videos are great because they directly address what people are looking for online and in turn build your credibility.
Idea #7 – Conduct Industry Research
With few Government Departments and Agencies coordinating and releasing industry reports, conducting and releasing industry research reports are a great way of promoting your name, business, products and services online. With several online tools like Poll Daddy and Google Docs, creating an online poll is no more rocket science. All you need is a set of questions that impact and resolve major industry issues and concerns.
Not only does this get your credibilty out, it positions your business as an industry leader.
Idea #8 – Apply for Industry Awards and Press features
With several platforms organizing industry awards and online awards, getting you or your business to win mght begin by you submitting entries. With so much going on in your business, there is hardly any time for anyone to followup on awards and press features. It is however important as awards and press mentions are a proof of your crediblity and authority in your industry.
Leveraging the internet has become the fastest way to establish credibility online. However with more and more people claiming to be ‘experts’, it is becoming easier for credible people to stand out and that begins by not only becoming credible but also sharing the story of what makes your brand awesome on the internet.