Your professional credibility must be expressed through your website and through everything else that you do online. There are several qualities that are necessary to make your business succeed. Getting other people to trust you is one of them. Another is getting people to consider you a subject matter expert. The third one (and some people feel that this is the most important one of all) is getting other people to believe that you are credible. That applies to your website and the other elements of your online presence.
The importance of credibility
No matter what size business you own, credibility will always be critical for you. If people don’t find you credible, they won’t want to interact with you and you won’t be able to develop a relationship with them. When a person visits your website, that credibility must come through clearly. There is no doubt that you have the potential to make mistakes along the way. The reason for that is that you are human, just like the rest of us. However, if you are honest and you show that you consistently try to do the best possible job each and every time, people won’t judge you based on the mistakes that you have made. In fact, that will hopefully bring you closer to them because being human is an endearing quality and one that other people can relate to. It touches the other person’s heart. Of course, that is only true if you are able to succeed in spite of whatever went wrong. As you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and proceed, you will want to keep some important things in mind.
Make sure that your website is fresh and current: There is nothing worse than a stagnant website. Other people can always tell and it says a lot about you and your business.
That may not even really be the case but that is the perception that other people will have. It also says that you haven’t put your website (and thus, your business) at the top of your priority list. It isn’t as important to you as other things are or you would be paying more attention to it. Of course, that is the perception talking again. It is your responsibility to get rid of that perception and create a new, more accurate one.
Pay close attention to metrics: Although you may thing that they are not important, metrics are directly tied to your success and the success of your business. Tracking what works and what doesn’t work is, in fact, critical to your success. It is relatively easy to gather the metrics and there is generally no cost involved. There are a few analytics tools available online (such as Google Analytics), which are free and they work very effectively. If you track the metrics, you can quite easily tell what is working for you and what is not working. This will allow you to adjust and revise as you see fit and it may make all of the difference in the world to your results.
Pay attention to the back end of your website: If you don’t have much (or any) knowledge of development, it is a really smart idea to work with someone who does possess that knowledge. Nowadays, more and more people are building their website (or having their website built) on a blogging platform (such as WordPress.com or WordPress.org). If you do it yourself or you get someone else to work on the development end of your website, the blogging platform is a really sensible idea. There will be a lot of plugins offered of which you can take advantage but only you can decide which ones will work well for your particular business. It is definitely recommended that you look at each and every plugin to figure out which ones you need.
Take advantage of the mobile device trend: As you are probably well aware, the majority of people in business today don’t just sit behind a desk all day long, five days a week. Many people are on the move. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t stay connected. It is just that they get their information in a different way–on a mobile device. That means that you need to step up and accommodate those mobile device users.
It is not just a thing of the future. It is here now and if you don’t embrace the concept, you will be missing out on tremendous opportunities for your business. There are certain adjustments that you will have to make so that it is compatible with mobile devices. It will be well worth the time and effort.
Let the content stand on its own: There is no doubt whatsoever that your brand and your products and/or services are amazing and that there isn’t a person around who shouldn’t own what you are selling. However, if you don’t express that to the right people, they won’t know about it and they may not realize that they can’t live without it. That is where you come in.
Of course, it goes without saying that your content must be extremely well written. It must also be compelling, valuable, educational, helpful, it must satisfy the needs and wants of the other person, and it must have the ability to solve the other person’s problems. If you can accomplish all of that with your content, you will be golden.
Social media is one of the best tools in your repository: If you are going to succeed, you must understand that social media will be an important tool to help you do just that. Social media affords you opportunities to reach people in ways that you could not even have imagined in the past. It is important that you recognize its value. It is important that you remember how important it is to consistently connect with other people online. They need the benefit of your expertise and you have a need to share it with those people.
Stay away from the hard sell: Ultimately, as a business owner, you have the same goal as everyone else. To sell your products and/or services. That doesn’t mean that you will not need to sell your offerings at some point. It just means that you should take that approach initially. The only thing that should concern you in the beginning is giving the person the benefit of your expertise and building your credibility. Once you have done that, the rest will follow naturally and easily.
When you first start to establish a relationship with the other person, you are essentially starting with a blank sheet of paper. You need to build trust and credibility, which you will do over time. If you do it correctly, that credibility will come through on your website as well as on the other facets of your online presence. The more you put into the relationship with the other person, the more you will get out of it and it will certainly be well worth the effort.
Remember, it is extremely important that you connect with the other person on an emotional level so that you can start to build trust and credibility right away. They are essential building blocks. Another important contributing factor to your credibility and that of your business is getting your connections to tell other people about what you can do. All of these factors are important and you can’t do without any one of them if you are to succeed.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Latest posts by Michael Cohn (see all)
- Using Content Marketing to Sell Online - March 20, 2017
- Optimizing Your Keywords for Selling Your Products and Services - March 16, 2017
- Establishing Credibility and Value on LinkedIn - March 9, 2017
- Getting More People to Retweet Your Tweets - February 23, 2017
- Influencer Marketing and Its Myths - February 16, 2017