Trust and reputation are the cornerstones of business. They have been for decades, centuries even. However, in the online sphere, it is much harder to build and manage your reputation. First of all, there are thousands of competitors. Standing tall above them is your first, difficult challenge. From there, it’s a full-time job managing your carefully constructed image and reputation. One wrong move and you’re back where you started.
Build a professional website. – Most web users make an instant judgement about your business within seconds. They take a quick look at your site and decide whether to trust you or not. A professional website with a real domain name and accessible email address is your first job. All sectors will benefit from this, but for some it is more important than others. The healthcare industry, for example, is built on reputation. As a result, medical marketing is focused entirely on building trust. And that all starts with your website. Remember, the first thing any prospective customer will do is Google your name.
Content – Producing content has many benefits. It will intrigue, inform and entertain your audience. Most importantly, it will help position yourself as an expert in your field. It will build your reputation. Use your blog to write passionate think-pieces about your industry and its place in the world. Create tutorials and answer questions. Your audience will slowly realise that you are trustworthy and reliable.
Online reviews – Open source review sites have changed the face of local business. Restaurants, bars, and hotels are all subject to user review on the likes of Tripadvisor. If you’re a tradesman or gardener, you’ll be rated on Yelp. It’s an honest account of your reputation in the real world. Negative reviews can have a real impact on your business. Strive to maintain a positive experience for every customer and client. These reviews now also have an effect on your SEO, so be extra careful!
Social media – Social media has a powerful way of shaping opinion and raising awareness. Engage with your existing community to create a loyal fan base. Customers trust and respect brands that engage with their followers. It shows a level of understanding and openness that people look for.
Positive publicity – As humans, we inherently look to others to confirm we’re doing the right thing! We like to know that others approve of our actions, and that includes buying from a new place. Positive testimonials can make all the difference when it comes to convincing clients. A good write-up on an authority review site or even referrals from others in the community is all it takes. It’s often worth hiring a PR company to help you here.
Deliver results! – For all this fancy internet trickery, there is nothing more effective than delivering results. Exceed people’s expectations and execute your service with precision. Be the best you can be and word will soon spread! Good service doesn’t stay hidden for long.
Trust and reputation are essential qualities of business. Think about how your business is portrayed online and take steps to improve it!