These days a lot of attention is being placed on gaining the trust of your site’s visitors and the followers of your brand. But the Internet can be a fickle place. While building and cultivating that trust can take a tremendous amount of time and work, it can be destroyed in an instant by one careless act. To avoid watching all of your hard work come crashing down make sure you stay away from these five credibility destroyers online:
1. Your online profile is a mess. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “which online profile? I have many of them.” Really, I am referring to all of them. It’s the profiles you have on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, G+, and Twitter, it’s the profile on your website and that displays on the websites of others whenever you guest post, and it’s the profiles connected to any commenting system, such as Intense Debate. You should make an effort to ensure that these profiles are complete, consistent, and professional across all platforms.
2. Producing or being associated with low quality content. Content is definitely king when it comes to how people will view you and your business online. And what many people don’t realize is that it will define your online image as much as your profile picture and your stated education and experiences. If you produce low-quality or irrelevant content, then people will see you and your business in the same light.
3. Hanging out in Shady places. If you are trying to be high profile or attract clients online then expect that the majority of people will at least do a Google search for you to see what comes up and what sites you have a presence on. So watch where you hang out online. If you really want to frequent some potentially damaging sites, then make sure it’s with an alias.
4. Inconsistent or professional communications. When communicating with customers, peers, or other businesses, you should make an effort to maintain a consistent and professional voice. Messages that are ms-spelled, laden with bad grammar, or contain street language, may turn away a lot of people. This is all the more important if you are using a virtual assistant to handle some of your emails and social media activity. You should make it a point to screen such people and monitor the messages they posting on your behalf.
5. Claiming to be an expert in areas you don’t know about. Hand in hand with credibility goes the concept of authority- or how much expertise and knowledge you have on a given subject. Just claiming that you are an expert won’t get you very far today online. You have to prove your expertise with quality content, recommendations, and a social network that can vouch for you.
In short, if you have to play the credibility game to successfully do business online, then make sure you make an effort to come out a winner.