Establishing credibility and a professional reputation for your business is essential to get ahead and maintain success in just about any field or industry. Unfortunately, many small businesses miss opportunities to build a credible image. In some cases, these missed opportunities can actually be quite embarrassing.
Create an Official Website
I am shocked that some websites still hold onto pre-Y2K web design formats. Dark, awkward colors with clunky navigation is an image killer!
Graduate your web design into 2014:
- Leave the side bars clear and clean. Preferably white.
- Absolutely no 3D gradient buttons. You want a flat web design.
- Have a blog on your website and use it to produce engaging content.
When clients and investors look for your business, they should find a quality website that communicates clear purpose, and is rich with engaging content.
Get Certified as a Reputable Business
You can seek out organizations that evaluate companies for their overall quality of product and services. Make active efforts to be found by these agencies. Displaying certifications helps with your average consumers but it will also boost your commercial business significantly. This is especially useful for plumbing, HVAC, building contractors, and other trade labor companies.
For example: Academy Mechanical in Edmonton has been awarded the Canadian Consumer Choice Award three years in a row. This award is displayed beautifully on the company website and secures the credible image that they put off. These business evaluation agencies won’t find you on their own. You must identify the agencies you want to be noticed by and take proactive measures to get noticed by them!
Establish an Online Presence
Creating an online presence is no longer about having a single static website with your business logo and contact information. Businesses should be leveraging content to build their company image. Getting actively engaged with social media communities such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Again, when clients and investors come looking for your company, you want them to see a plethora of quality content available through your site and social media.
Get Your Website in Top Search Engines
Getting your website into top search engines can be done by submitting your URL various engines including Google, Yahoo! and even Bing. Don’t get beat out by your competitors in when it comes to search engines! Example:
This Toyota car dealership in Provo, UT is beat out by competition in Google AdWords campaigns. This damages your credibility as a business. The way Google ranks you has a huge impact on how the rest of us see your business. Learning more about SEO, or search engine optimization, is crucial to boosting visibility and your brand’s overall credibility within popular search engine results.
Request Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Requesting customer reviews and testimonials with the permission to share them publicly isn’t just another way to build credibility while boosting your professional image and reputation: Customer reviews are the future of online business.
I don’t buy anything online without studying the reviews. An online customer will see your rave reviews but will also intentionally dig up those who’ve trashed you. How will your company handle what others put out there about your business?
Asking customers and users for input as well as their own reviews of products can quickly help to also build customer loyalty while appealing to individuals who have never used your services or purchased products from your company in the past. You cannot afford to ignore customer reviews!
Provide Updates and Information Consistently
It is essential to provide information to visitors, followers and even customers consistently. Leverage email campaigns, social followings, and other channels to your advantage. Update with important, relevant and interesting news to keep your visitors and potential customers coming back for more in the future.
Building a reputation and establishing credibility for small businesses is not always easy, but it is possible with an understanding of the audience or demographic you want to reach as well as the number of tools and services that are currently available to use. Boosting the credibility of your business and brand as a whole is a way for you to ensure you are getting as much positive exposure as possible.