Trust is the cornerstone of business. Consumers will buy from the same company time and time again because they have trust in their products. Clients will use your service because they have trust in your skills, expertise and ability to meet deadlines.
But when you go to a business's website, it's often difficult to find trust.
A lot of businesses are getting smarter and building trust, but there are still plenty of websites that have walls of spam text filling their landing pages. Badly written and serving no purpose, these pages leave potential consumers turned off at the prospect of working with a business.
I know that even the faintest indication of unprofessionalism will lead me to a phone call with a competitor.
Your website needs to build trust.
It's time to dare to be different.
1. Certification or Licensing
Service professionals need to be, well, professional. When you have little to provide in the way of reviews or testimonials, you'll need to build trust through your education and experience. People are willing to give bright minds a try.
Two key areas where you can use your credentials are:
If you're trying to find a certified electrician, that electrician better:
- Mention that they're certified on their website
- Promote their certification
Dealing with someone that isn't certified may mean that they have less training and experience to get the job done right. Never chance working with a professional that doesn’t meet certification or licensing requirements.
Business owners need to work hard to earn these credentials, so display them proudly everywhere you can: websites, marketing materials, business cards and so on.
Listing any professional associations or groups that you may be part of can help, too. This is especially true when using badges or logos of the group or association.
2. Neighbor Reviews and Map
But there is also trust building when Mary down the street uses your service and recommends it to friends.
This is difficult to translate on a website, but this electrician did something innovative: provided a map with:
I could see that several of my neighbors used the service and rated it well. This is a great way to build trust and it works extremely well.
Knowing that other people in the community have used and rate a service well made me trust an electrician I didn't know anything about.
3. Video Testimonials
Statistics suggest that video testimonials are than traditional testimonials. This is huge. Testimonials are used to build trust, and if you don't have them or reviews, it's going to be very difficult to build trust.
Written testimonials and reviews are a great start.
But if you want to make a lasting impression, you need to hire a videographer, set up a session with clients and shoot video testimonials. When done on a local level, these testimonials will be very powerful.
- Everyone knows Mary down the street, and when they see her talking on your website, they'll listen.
- Validity is given to a testimonial when a real person is giving it.
- People actually watch video and would rather watch video than read testimonials.
You will need to spend money on these testimonials, and a good way to make sure that the testimonials are good is to ask for written versions first. For example, if a client leaves a review on Facebook that you like, you can call them and ask if they would like to repeat their testimonial in a video on your website.
Host the videos on YouTube to save money.
I would also recommend promoting these videos everywhere you can: social media, websites and newsletters.
One word of caution is that you'll want to have the client sign a release form for the video. This means that you'll have exclusive ownership over the video and have permission from the subjects to use the video.
It sounds extra cautious, but it's a must-do for videos and images.