The Birth of a Successful
Part nine of ten -- Developing Your Credibility
part of building a successful Internet business, is developing your
Although the Internet has opened a whole New World of opportunity for all
of us, it has also created a breeding ground for scam artists. Internet users
are very reluctant to order online and share their personal information.
For this reason, you must take every opportunity to build your credibility.
-> Domain Name
The first step in establishing a credible Internet business, is to invest
in a domain name. This will instantly convey to your visitors that you take
your business very seriously.
Websites hosted on free servers are not taken seriously and will suffer a
serious loss of business. Your visitors may feel that if you don't have your
own domain, you may not be a credible company. They'll simply take their
-> Contact Information
It is very important that you provide your visitors with your complete contact
information. This information should include your "real" postal address and
not a Post Office box number. A business that hides behind a PO box loses
credibility. It's perfectly acceptable to use a PO box as long as you also
include your postal address.
A great way to display your information is to create an "About" page. Your
"About" page should include all of the following:
A personal or professional biography
A photograph of yourself
A complete description of you and/or your company
Your website and/or company objectives
Your name, address, phone number and email address
An "About" page is a very important part of building your credibility --
especially if you're selling a product or service. You must do everything
in your power to put your potential customers' mind at ease.
-> Privacy Statement
A credible business should let their visitors know exactly what their policies
are in regard to the personal information they collect.
A great way to disclose your policies is to create a "Privacy" page. Your
"Privacy" page should include all of the following that apply:
How do you plan on using your visitors' information?
Is your visitors' information sold or shared with a third party?
Why do you collect your visitors' email address and how will it be
Why do you track your visitors' IP address?
Let your visitors know that you're not responsible for the privacy
issues of any outside websites you may be linking to.
Do you run contests and what do you do with the information?
Do you have a discussion forum or message board? Let your visitors
know that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public
information and caution should be taken.
Do you have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse
and alteration of the information under your control? If so, let your visitors
Let your visitors know how they can opt out of your mailing lists.
Provide your visitors with your contact information, should they have
any questions in regard to your privacy policies.
A great way to convey your credibility to your potential customers is to
display customer testimonials. Your testimonials should include your customers'
name and web address. In addition, try to avoid using testimonials that you
have to ask for. For example, instead of using a testimonial like this:
"John is a great web designer and I have been very happy with his
Display unsolicited testimonials like this:
"John, your web
design services are absolutely fantastic! My sales increased 200% the first
day! Thank you so much for providing such an exceptional service."
Can you see the difference? The second testimonial is much more believable
and will have a much greater impact on your potential customers.
Make sure you always ask permission to use your customers' words prior to
displaying their testimonial.
You can find a nice script that will rotate your testimonials each day
-> Money Back Guarantee
In order to put your potential customers' mind at ease, you must completely
remove their risk. Provide them with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee.
This will not only build your credibility and put their mind at ease, but
it will also build their confidence in you and your product. In addition,
you must honor ALL refund requests in a timely manner with complete
No matter what you're selling or how great your product is, you will receive
refund requests. It's just a part of doing business. Don't take it personally
or try to argue the point with your customers -- simply give them a refund.
You may be surprised to learn that the customers who ask for a refund may
purchase other products from you in the future.
Many times, your potential customers will have questions in regard to your
products and services. To further build your credibility, provide your potential
customers with an easy way to contact you. Create a page on your website
called "feedback." Place a form on this page to enable your visitors to contact
It is very important that you answer any questions you may receive as quickly
as possible. Your personal response to your potential customers can literally
determine whether or not you're going to make a sale.
A feedback form will also enable you to gather testimonials and receive
suggestions to assist you in improving your website, products or services.
-> Secure Server
If you're processing your customers' orders online, you must place your order
form on a secure server. This will protect your customers' personal information,
while at the same time, provides them with added confidence in placing an
order with you. In addition, make sure you let your visitors know that their
information will be processed on a secure server.
-> Share Your Expertise
Another great way to develop your credibility is to share your expertise.
You can do this in a number of ways including:
Providing Free Tutorials
Offering Free Courses
Distributing Free Ebooks
Publishing an Ezine
Sharing your expertise will enable you to promote yourself as an expert in
your field. Not only will it assist your potential customers, but it will
also develop your credibility.
By taking the time to build your credibility with your potential customers,
you will increase your Internet sales considerably.
Copyright © Shelley
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design
And, Ebook Starter - Give Your Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book.
Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary subscription to Etips
and receive a copy of the acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print,
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