When’s the last time you bought something from someone you didn’t trust?
If you are in the business of selling your services or products online (and who isn't these days), you know how hard it can be to build trust and relationships with clients. It’s just not the same as meeting someone for coffee and being able to give them a firm handshake. You have less time online to make a good impression, and once you do, you have to make sure you are doing everything to keep it. Building positive, trusting relationships through your website will improve interest and engagement, leading to return visitors and increased lead generation. Here are a few tactics that will not only help people trust you and your services, but will help people connect with you too.
1. Use Pictures on your website.
Make sure you have friendly pictures of yourself displayed on your website, or your products website. People want to see faces. We can all hide behind a computer, but once we put ourselves out there, potential clients see the real person they are interacting with. This gives them peace of mind because your face is like a signature. You are telling people you not only own, but you represent your business and all responsibilities. Video of yourself would be a great addition as well.
2. Be Responsive.
When someone posts a comment, sends an email or likes your Facebook post, you need to engage with them. People want to be acknowledged, and this interaction is how you develop a relationship that can drive more traffic to your website and ultimately get you more business.
3. Write Like You Speak.
It’s okay to use contractions. It’s how we talk! The goal here is not to sound stiff and uninviting. People want to hear your stories and be engaged after reading your about page.
4. Start a Blog
Implementing a blog in your website design, is a great way to interact first hand with your client base. You can share details of special offers, promote events and connect with your audience in a whole new, personal way. This level of connectivity will build trust between you and your customers and generate more excitement and interest around your products or services.
5. Be An Open Book.
The more of you that is on your website and in your website design, the better off you’ll be. Clients want to know where you came from, how you got into the business, what your passions are outside of the job. If you have a favorite movie quote, add it somewhere. If you are obsessed with chocolate, do tell. Those little snippets into your life are inviting and draw people in.
6. Admit Your Limitations.
Everyone makes mistakes, and it is okay to tell someone you screwed up. You can repair that if the person trusts you, and you have built a positive working relationship with them. In fact, they will probably appreciate your honesty. Of course, you should have a solution in place so when you explain the situation too them, they know you are already on top of it.
7. Add Testimonials, Portfolios, and Awards.
You need to brag about yourself a little to show that you are confident. Be sure to add all sorts of goodness about you, your company, your client list and all that you’ve achieved. Having past successes is a great way to gain the trust of future clients.
8. Give Everyone Respect.
The phrase “word of mouth” has never been truer with people sharing their experiences through social media, blogs, various websites and online reviews. So if you want people to tweet about how great you are, make sure you are treating them with respect; no matter how obnoxious they can be. It doesn’t take long for word to spread, so if someone is giving you a hard time, don’t be afraid to turn down their business. Just make sure you are doing it in polite email, rather than a Facebook rant.
9. Make It Last.
When it comes to trust, the ultimate goal should not be to gain it, but to keep it. Once you have established a positive relationship with a client, keep it and your business will thrive.