HOW TO BUILD CREDIBILITY ONLINE


by Craig Lock

I find this a most interesting and somewhat complex subject, as there has to be TRUST in any business relationship before any exchange is made. This can be quite difficult to achieve, when you have never met your customer (prospect) face to face in another part of the country...or even the world.

Having been on the www over four years, here are a few pointers that we find helpful in the online sales process:

1. Have your OWN DOMAIN NAME (not expensive - less than $20 a year from www.000Domains.com see http://www.craiglock.com )

2. Offer GUARANTEES (money-back) on your products or services

3. BE YOURSELF IN YOUR WRITING (on your web site).

4. OFFER TESTIMONIALS

5. Have a PRIVACY POLICY for your online business.

In this article I'm covering points 3 and 4. When writing copy for your website, we suggest writing down information (valuable) that can inform and most importantly, HELP others. Write in your own UNIQUE and distinctive style - what comes naturally to you. Really BE YOURSELF and "totally honest" in your writing and you will find that the words will flow....and your unique personality and writing style will "shine through in cyberspace". All this adds to your credibility ... and most importantly, INTEGRITY online. Do this and you WILL get sales.

USE TESTIMONIALS

We find using testimonials from customers helps add to our credibility (these are always unsolicited). In addition to having  one's own domain name, we find that PUTTING TESTIMONIALS from satisfied customers on our web sites helps greatly in the sales process - through establishing BELIEVABILITY (a big word, but still shorter than credibility!) in your claims of satisfying customer needs.

The reason: people are naturally reluctant and usually a little apprehensive about spending their hard-earned money on the www. (Well these are still early days in buying products or services online.) Doing this, I believe, adds value to the "perceived quality" of your product or service, through building up the prospect's CONFIDENCE in you and your products. A few more thoughts on this topic of using testimonials ... Be SPECIFIC in how your product helped meet the customer's needs. "This course greatly helped increase my vocabulary, confidence in writing articles, etc". ("hint, hint, plug, plug!") The key result = INCREASED SALES. A final word of advice regarding using your testimonials (note word carefully chosen!) ...

N.B: Publish your customers' names and email addresses at the end, so that they can be contacted as a referral ("if need be"). (Don't forget to obtain their permission first to have their name "up there" on the www; however we do find that most people are very happy to oblige). Because personal endorsements from "real people" are way more trustworthy and they prove that you have fulfilled your promise to other customers - that your product or service actually "does the job " claimed.

Building credibility (trust) comes from using your individual area of expertise (and/or interests) to help others through sharing your unique knowledge and experiences. That is the best part of an online business, I believe - "meeting people and building relationships based on trust" in the magical journey that is life.

Craig Lock

About the Author

Craig Lock has been successfully marketing products online for the past five years. Craig is a writer, who believes in sharing information, as well as encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and accomplish their dreams in life - whatever they may be.

Creative Writing Course http://www.nzenterprise.com/writer/creative.html

For various books and a practical interactive course on internet marketing, click on http://www.novelty-gift.com/ and http://www.bridgeniche.com/CLOCK/zaniestbooks.htm




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