You might have a business or brand with an online presence and decent social media strategy but when it comes time to closing the sale, what is the number one reason a great product or service isn’t getting the cash?
In a word: trust
If your visitors don’t trust you, they will never give you a dime. They probably won’t even give you their email! You could have a dynamite website, slick graphic design and a cool logo but that all doesn’t matter unless they believe you are reliable, trustworthy and legit.
It’s a very realistic and reasonable concern to think about which companies are legitimate online and which ones are not. Some might be somewhere between where they follow through on the service but do a very poor job, leaving evidence that their flashy site was simply bait (and you took it).
If you are on a website or checking out a business on social media sites and they don’t have the following, consider it a major red flag:
- Picture(s) of company owners
- Phone number
- Professional email
- Specific names of company owners and/or senior management
If a business isn’t willing to display this simple information, than they could very well be hiding something. Whether they are hiding the fact that they don’t have any real experience or a bad reputation is unknown to you without some information available to do some due diligence.
When people see a name and a smiling face prominently featured on your website, that immediately says a few very important things:
- You have nothing to hide
- You personally stand behind your brand
- You seem like a nice person
You might think I’m kidding about the last point but I’m not. Unless you have a creepy or unsettling look (if so, you should probably sort that out first), you give people a great first impression with a nice, professional headshot with you smiling.
People want to see that a real person is running the company they are giving money to. They want to be able to Google you or check you out on LinkedIn to see what people are saying about you. If you screwed up, they will find out and see how you handled it. The distant voices of disgruntled former customers are quickly amplified with a simple Google search.
Who Are You Giving Your Money To?
How many faceless businesses do you give your money to? That’s right…not many, if any at all! The most successful companies in the world have a face attached to them and if they don’t, they have likely hired one to do the job!
Who do you think of when you think of Apple…of course Steve Jobs comes to mind.
What about Microsoft, instantly Bill Gates comes to mind. The same is true with KFC and Colonel Sanders, and Virgin and Richard Branson.
Even companies like Zappos have very prominent and well-known CEOs that have helped define the brand. If it’s this important with major brands, how much more important do you think it is for smaller businesses that no one has heard of?
Whether you are a large brand, a startup, small business, consultant or advisor adding a personal touch will dramatically increase the “know, like and trust” factor for you and your business.
I recently had someone reach out to me via social media to help them out with their social media strategy and realized soon after that they were pretty famous. What struck me as strange is how much trust they had for me without ever meeting me in person as they were in a different country.
I needed their password to update their LinkedIn profile and they had absolutely no reservations about giving it to me right away. The reasons why are actually quite obvious:
- I’m easily found on Google and LinkedIn
- My face is just about everywhere I promote my company
- I regularly publish content that positions me as an expert
There was no referral of any kind, they found me and made the decision entirely on their own judgment. If you research me, you will see that I actively do what I claim to do and find an abundance of recommendations from real clients on my LinkedIn profile.
Any real business should be doing the same thing if the goal is to attract more business online. I could have spent more time talking about why you need a phone number and contact info on your website but that stuff is obvious.
If you want a social media strategy that will drive real results, you need to seriously consider putting that face of yours center stage.
Hire a professional photographer (not the closest kid with Instagram) and get a great headshot taken. Your success with your social media strategy could depend on it!