When starting out, the humble nature of your business can sometimes raise eyebrows. You might be selling an interesting product online, but how do people know they can trust you with their card information? You might be the mascot of your firm, but without good marketing around that, how are they to know? What registrations and security processes do you have? What are your plans for the future? And how might you settle those initial fears to prove that you are who you say you are?
How to Make Your Business Look Legitimate to Your Customers
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Well, there are many methods of demonstrating legitimacy to your prospects and customers, depending on the format of your business. For example, some online stores might begin on eBay, build a collection of positive customer testimonials, and then branch out to their own online storefront. Some might decide to execute an aggressive marketing campaign, getting their name out there through all kinds of social media targeting and advertisements.
Establishing your business as legit and worthy of the sale is not an option, if you want to grow beyond a couple customers. This can be a tough hill to climb, but the more you do so, the more customers are likely to return. It only takes setting up a few choice considerations to help get the ball rolling. So let’s discuss what those might be.
Ensure Website Security & Formatting
If your website looks suspicious, you can be sure that the average time of visit to your page will reduce tenfold. This is not good, because a minimum amount of time is needed to read your “About” section, look at your products, and order them. On top of that, you need to ensure that your website seems reliable in accepting the credit card information of those users.
Ensuring website security is important, so that website visitors feel safe while browsing your site. Applying for an encrypted traffic security certificate can allow most modern browsers to recognize your website as safe. After all, you do not want someone to visit your website and get an “unsafe, proceed with caution” message before they get to check you out.
Furthermore, integrating secure payment processors such as Paypal can enable customers to use secured accounts they already own. This gives them the feeling of extra security right out of the gate.
Ensure Contact Information Is Updated
Let’s say you move your office. Your contact information has changed. A customer finds your out-of-date contact number on your website, calls to inquire about a product, and is met with a dead line. This immediately looks suspicious.
Or perhaps, a prospective customer may use your website contact form to inquire within. If the form doesn’t work, this could leave a bad impression. Or, if they do not get a timely response, they might think you’re not interested in doing business. Again, this leaves a bad impression.
Ensuring that your best means of contact are continually updated, including your branded items, online citations, local business listings, emails, texts and forms, can ensure that everyone is able to reach you. A virtual mail address for postal mail might best be used for small businesses who do not have a physical brick-and mortar location.
Host A ‘Meet The Team!’ Page
A ‘meet the team’ page can help you show the faces behind your business. It gives you the opportunity to share just who the employees or subcontractors might be. Asking these employees for a consented-to picture can show your audience that yes, your team is run by a team of people, and they are there to help you with your audience or purchase. This can work particularly well for small businesses that want to make their branding seem more familiar in the long run, and it’s not hard to see why that’s the case.
Now, if you’re a solopreneur with no team, meaning you’re running the whole show by yourself, do NOT create a false team using stock photos. First, you’ll be found out when someone recognizes your team member on a stock photo site. Second, there’s no reason to inflate your business to something it is not. Many people prefer to hire a solopreneur or freelancer over an agency or larger company, for a variety of reasons.
However, solopreneurs and freelancers can still use this tip. Instead of a “Meet the Team,” you can use your About Page to show potential clients who you are. Or, you can create a distinctive “Meet the <insert title here>” page. For example, I could create a “Meet Your New Strategist” page that shows all of the elements a Meet the Team page might include. My headshot, bio, fun facts about me, where I’m located, etc.
The point is to show people that there is a real person, a human, behind the website.
The old adage, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust,” remains popular because it continues to hold true. With these simple tips, you’re sure to seem like more of a legitimate business to your customers.