3 ways to gain trust online (+ grow your client base)

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The key to a healthy and viable business is trust. Your potential customers and clients need to trust you before they can buy from you or hire you. Trust is such an important part of business and something that is so easily established if you know these 3 basic changes.



1. Add an SSL Certificate if you sell products


An SSL Certificate is something you’ve probably come across multiple times a day, and definitely whenever you’ve bought anything online. It’s a Secure Sockets Layer and when a website has one, a small lock icon pops up next to the url in your browser indicating that any information you enter on that website is stored safely. If you’re using Squarespace, luckily they’ve got you covered. Something that used to cost hundreds of dollars a year is now included in their plans so there are no excuses. Why do you need one if you sell products? Because if you’re storing sensitive customer data such as credit card information and passwords, your customers need to trust you. Data breaches happen all the time and your business is just as susceptible if you aren’t taking the right precautions. If your website is on Squarespace and you want to set up your SSL Certificate, click here to see how it’s done.


2. Don’t forget to give your full contact information

Have you ever bought from a website that doesn’t have any contact information? Probably not. You want to make it easy for your potential customers and clients to find and contact you. If it takes more than 2 clicks to find out how to contact you, you’ve already lost them. Place your full contact information in the footer of your website and have a dedicated contact page on your site as well. If you’re a freelancer and don’t want to put your address online for all to see, that’s totally reasonable. Instead, put the city you operate out of so that your potential clients know what to expect with regards to potential difference in time zones. It also helps to put your office hours with your contact info as well so that people know when they can expect to hear back from you. I know spammers take the fun out of putting your email address up so you might be tempted to leave just a contact form for visitors to fill out. But it’s even more annoying when you click through and it opens another page or application. Or if your visitors need to fill out 10 form fields to simply ask one question, that makes them likely to contact you and you’ve lost a potential sale. If you don't want to put your email address as a link so people can easily contact you, then make sure that your contact form doesn't have too many required fields. One exception is your contact form for asking about a potential service, because the more information you have, the quicker you can get in touch with a potential customer. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you.



Think of social media and your website as complementing one another, not competing against one another.


3. Maintain a consistent social media presence

Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay and if your business has no social media presence, people will most likely click away. It takes about 7 interactions between a potential customer and a business before they are ready to purchase from you so your website alone will probably not lead sales automatically. It’s necessary to engage and interact with your audience on social media (but don’t blast them with your products all the time). There’s a fine art to selling on social and that’s a whole other blog post. In the meantime, all you need to do is choose one or two social media platforms where your audience hangs out and you enjoy using, and post consistently and on brand. Reach out to your audience, ask questions, answer questions, and feature happy customers. The more active and consistent you are on social media, the more your audience sees you’re a legit business, thus building more trust. Think of social media and your website as complementing one another, not competing against one another. No customer buys from a business that only posts on social but has no website; and on the other hand, nobody will buy if you only have a website but have no other online presence. Don’t forget to link your social media profiles in the footer of your website so visitors can click through to follow you.


What do you like seeing a business do that makes you trust them? Share it in the comments below!