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Achieving Online Professionalism and Trustworthiness

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The US Department of Labor describes professionalism as”…conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence”. Trustworthiness, on the other hand, is a characteristic that inspires reliability, and is the foundation of any successful business relationship. When customers trust you, they feel confident in your ability to deliver on your promises and are more likely to choose your products or services over those of your competitors. When writing website content, you need to reflect your professionalism with both what you say, and how you say it. That is, be true to yourself.

I remember about 20 years ago I had spent a few hours looking at résumé for a senior management role. Looking at one of the résumés, the writer presented himself as a wide-boy, almost con-artist; it was completely inappropriate to the job in hand. After the role was filled, I spent half an hour chatting to him about the résumé and his job hunting, and he was the polar opposite to the document that he sent us a few weeks below. It turned out that, instead of writing it himself, he had used an online résumé writing company who had taken into account neither his personality nor his target audience.

The following watchwords should be a part of your overall website design:

  • clarity
  • conciseness

Here are some essential content types to include on your website:

About Us Page

Your About Us page provides an opportunity to share the story behind your business, your mission, and your values. If you are able to, provide examples of your past experience that is relevant to your current business. By offering up information about who you are and what drives you, you can establish a personal connection with your audience and build trust.

Testimonials and Reviews

Displaying testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers adds credibility to your business and reassures potential customers that they can trust you. Authentic feedback from real customers can go a long way in building trust and confidence in your brand. There are different levels of testimonials that you can aim for. From most useful:

Detailed case studies

These are the best way to show your credibility. You can provide in-depth stories of how you solved a specific problem for a customer. You could provide photography, video and statistics to illustrate the customer’s problem, the processes and/or products that you used to negate that problem, and outcomes. In this way, you can built trust through transparency. One thing though, if your case study is long, consider adding an ‘executive summary’ at the top so that your visitor can determine whether it’s relevant to them. Traditional quotes from your client can also be added to this page for more authenticity.

Video Testimonials

These allow your visitors to see and hear real clients/customers sharing their experiences, creating an em0otional connection. You need to ensure that your video is the highest quality that you can manage. If possible, use a video content creator, but if you can’t run to that, you can always create a video yourself. If you do do it yourself, ensure that the subject is well lit, and that they are not talking in a room that echoes. As you can imagine, there are a lot of videos on YouTube about creating professional videos.

Short Quotes

The most common type of testimonial for small businesses. Even within this category, not all short quotes are created equal. The more of the following attributes that you can check off for each quote, the more authentic it will look:

  • photograph of the client
  • full name of the client
  • client’s company
  • client’s role

Obviously some of these are only useful for business to business websites.

Contact Information

Google prefers it if you make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you by providing clear contact information on your website. When providing your contact details, have a thought about how you want people to contact you. For example, don’t put your phone number in the header of the website if you never answer your phone!  Apart from the usual email address, phone number, and physical address (if applicable), you should consider any other platforms that you have a presence on, such as Whatsapp, Facebook, X, Discord, Instagram, etc.

Blog or Resources Section

To help show how professional you are, you could write a blog or resources section where you can share valuable knowledge, tips, and industry news with your audience. You could also create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. FAQs are great for two reasons: they provide additional proof of your knowledge and experience, and they reduce the number of phone calls you might get that you would consider more basic information, leaving you free to run your business and talk to more advanced clients.

Using Appropriate Email Addresses

When communicating with customers via email, it’s essential to use professional email addresses that reflect your business name or domain instead of using Gmail and Outlook addresses, or worse still, email addresses tied to your internet provider. Professional email addresses tied to your website domain instill:

  • Brand Consistency: They help customers recognize and remember your business.
  • Credibility: It shows that you are willing to spend time and money on your business.

Let’s Elevate Your Online Presence

Are you ready to take your online presence to the next level? Whether you’re looking to launch a new website or revamp your existing one, I’m here to help. Email me today at jason@chillidesigns.ca to discuss your new website project. Together, we can create a professional and trustworthy online presence that reflects the integrity of your business.

Contact me