In the online business world, we’re interacting and making transactions with people who could be down the street or on the other side of the globe. Isn’t that kind of amazing?
Online business has made it easier than ever to access just about anything you need and serve your audience at the same time.
This same interconnectedness has made for a highly competitive environment and simply being online and providing great service isn’t enough. You gotta be able to prove that you’re legit and deserve your readers’ trust to help them achieve their goals. And you have to do it in a beat.
But how do you prove yourself in the online world without a “real” human interaction?
6 ways to establish trust and credibility with your website
Create a consistent brand experience to foster credibility
A common mistake online biz owners make is skipping the visual branding process when creating an online presence. This might be your case if:
- Your website, social, and other platforms have different design elements (colors, fonts, and even the overall aesthetic).
- Your messaging isn’t cohesive across platforms. This means your wording is different in your social when compared to your website, or maybe you’re using different CTAs in your marketing. Your tone could also vary on different platforms.
- Your logo and photography are disconnected on your different channels.
A unified brand experience on all platforms reinforces your impact on your audience, makes you memorable and gives you a sense of trust and credibility that you’d otherwise miss out on.
To unify your online presence:
- Stick to the same brand colors on every platform. Include variants or add fun accents, but keep your color scheme consistent everywhere for an aligned look.
- Use the same logo as your profile pic, icon, favicon, and any other space your visitor may turn to look for a way to ID you.
- Find a photography style that represents what you want your audience to feel and use it consistently across social, marketing, and your website. This includes stock images, professional headshots, and all other photography. An easy trick? Use specific filters or presets and stick to the same lighting and props to keep things looking cohesive.
Once your ideal client lands on your website, they should have little to no doubts left about who you are and who you serve, and what you can do for them.
Speak clearly about your ideal client’s pain points
To gain your reader’s trust, you need to prove that you understand them.
Both your authority – clearly outlining why you’re the best fit to solve their unique problem – and your empathy – how you can relate to them & why you care about solving their unique problem – need to be clear in your marketing.
A good way to highlight your authority and empathy is to share case studies and client success stories to demonstrate how you’ve helped others solve the same issues your ideal client is going through.
Provide free, abundant value to earn trust
One of the easiest ways to establish authority as an expert is to share value for free. But I’m running a business – not a hobby. Hear me out! The free resources and knowledge you share with your audience are not necessarily your expertise. You can build a solid online community by sharing resources, DIY solutions, and tools to help your audience achieve results on their own. And set them up for success so they can come back and become your clients.
Giving away value isn’t about you, though. This includes the DIYers who likely won’t hire from you at the time, those who are on the fence about hiring you, and anyone in between.
Provide free value to give your readers/audience a peek at how you can help them succeed. You’ll become a reference in your industry and earn trust as a result.
Deliver on your promises
The first step in gaining your visitors’ trust is delivering on your promises to them. This means:
- No clickbait: Write a truly valuable blog post or resource – and give it a realistic title that reflects its content.
- Connect what you do with what they want: Don’t use confusing language or shady offers to promote yourself.
- Truly provide what you’ve offered: If your download is a DIY tool, the person who downloads it should be able to solve a problem with it. Of course, it won’t be the same as hiring a pro, but it shouldn’t be a waste of their time either. They should succeed when implementing it.
Every interaction between your audience and your business is a pinky promise you need to hold.
Protect your visitors’ data and privacy
An unsafe website is a double threat to your business:
- Your visitors will get safety warnings and likely bounce. This means that search engines will rank you lower and your overall SEO will suffer.
- If you’re not investing in keeping your website safe, how can someone trust you with their own business or needs?
A safe website includes an SSL certificate, complying with data and privacy laws and regulations, and respecting users’ wishes when it comes to your marketing; ie, only delivering what’s promised – not using their email address to spam them. taking care of your visitors’ safety means earning their trust and credibility from the get-go.
Not sure where to get started? Read 5 Things You Need to Know to Keep Your Website Safe From Hackers.
Post client or customer reviews
Ultimately, your ideal client is looking for reassurance that you’re the right choice. And they will connect with past reviews better than with you because your past clients are in the same spot as them.
In their minds, if it went well for others working with you, it will likely go well with your reader to work with you.
In the online world, a trustworthy online presence is a make-or-break point for your business to thrive.
Your website is prime real estate to establish your credibility and earn your audience’s trust. This, in turn, turns into a solid relationship beyond a transaction. It acts as your office and you should present it with the same level of care. In fact, many would argue that it’s even more important in the digital world.
A carefully designed website carries your message and helps you establish a solid, trustworthy online presence to gain your visitors’ trust and help them feel at ease hiring you.