Tips For Building Trust in Your Startup – Online and Offline
Whether you’re a brand-spanking-new startup or an age-old well-established business, the one fundamental principle of successful sustainment is trust. Building trust in your stakeholders is pivotal for businesses to mature into promising brands and eventually, long-living legacies.
However, building trust for your business is a two-fold activity. For your business to find success and stand the test of time, you need to build trust both online and offline. If your customers and prospects feel that something is amiss on your website, they will not buy from you.
Similarly, trust plays a major role in offline situations. For instance, a startup entrepreneur looking to convince investors to come on board or an entrepreneur looking to fix certain production delays and convince partners and stakeholders to support him/her can benefit significantly if everybody trusts the business.
In this post, we shall deep dive into how a startup can build trust online and offline.
Building Trust Online
Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure or HTTPS is a crucial security feature for websites nowadays. Which is why having HTTPS has become a prime indicator of a secure website. HTTPS protects your website visitors from being robbed off sensitive data.
HTTPS secure websites have ‘HTTPS Secure’ written in the URL bar supported with a padlock symbol just before the web address. A secure website is a safe website and that means your visitors will trust your business online.
Figure out who your online target audience is Every business is different. The online strategy for a handmade soap store is not going to look the same as the online strategy for a motorcycle retailer. First, you need to figure out who your target market is and how best to reach them.
Pick a Smart Domain Name
Your website address is one of the first touchpoints for your stakeholders to get an indication of what to expect when they land on your website. A long and awkward web address is not only hard to type but will make your website come across as a bogus entity.
An easy to type, simple, and definitive domain name that is free of any lingual errors will not only help in building trust for your business but will also contribute immensely towards building a strong brand.
Some of the domain extensions that you should explore are:
- .TECH for technology
- .STORE for retail and eCommerce
- .PRESS for media, journalism, content
- .ONLINE for online businesses, blogs
- .FUN for entertainment, travel, leisure
- .SITE for small businesses
Display Testimonials and Reviews
The best and probably the most effective way to build trust on your website or social media is to showcase positive testimonials and reviews from other happy customers. Since you are new to the market, testimonials and reviews from others will play a major role in influencing new customers to make a purchase decision.
Displaying customer testimonials and product reviews assist new visitors and first-time browsers to get a sense of who you are and how you’ve performed and delivered in the past.
Don’t feel shy to flaunt customer advocacies and raving reviews on third-party or aggregator websites such as your social media pages or on Quora. Engaging social media posts are a great way to get people to talk about what you do and to get them to share their positive experiences with your brand.
Showcase Social Proof
People will trust your business online if you display numbers that can stir their minds. For instance, if your startup has 45,000 Twitter followers and 68,000 likes on Facebook, you should display it on your website. Today, people gauge a brand by the number of people it engages with on social media.
Parading this number on your website contributes to building trust in your business. The logic behind this is that since so many people already engage with your brand, people who stumble upon your will not hesitate before trusting your business.
Eshan Pancholi Social Proof is a powerful marketing tool. It's no wonder that major eCommerce brands such as Amazon and Alibaba use it on their website. Social proof has a significant impact on the way your potential customers and browsers perceive your brand.
Don’t hide contact information
Include your office address or a contact form or a feedback section or an email id or a phone number on your website or all of them. This shows that your business is legitimate, and people can trust that you are not going to disappear or cheat them. In addition, consider including a page that talks about your team members along with the respective LinkedIn profiles.
Sport a Slick Web Design
A website that is hard to navigate about or one that isn’t responsive or one that has an outdated and complicated design doesn’t do much to build trust for your business. What you need is a clean, smart, and super-fast website design to stand out from the noise and come across as a confident new business.
It’s easy to find several intuitive web design templates on leading website builders such as WordPress. Pick one that is in sync with your brand guidelines and that has the potential to engage your customers.
Building Trust Offline
Showing empathy for your customers and sensitivity towards your team of people goes a long way in building trust. Understanding what your customers want and delivering outstanding service to them is the best way to build a solid reputation and a strong brand image. This means you put yourself in the shoes of your customers to truly understand their desires and needs.
The fundamental way to build trust for your business offline is to be honest with your stakeholders and yourself. Dishonesty with your people will instantly kill any credibility that you have and will crush all your efforts of building trust online as well.
It’s simple, your stakeholders in the like of customers, partners, investors, and others expect complete transparency from you. Being manipulative and sly will not work in the long run to build trust and so it is important that you be straightforward about the business and your goals.
Today, technology drives business. And the world of business is flooded with startups galore. In all this noise of innovation and tech, startups often find it hard to create a name for themselves and carve a niche for their business. Winning at startup marketing is a serious challenge.
Another fundamental pillar for building trust for your business is to be sincere in your work and your goals. Sincerity will allow your work to flourish and will keep you humble and grounded. These qualities reflect in your investor and customer pitches and they contribute towards people trusting your business.
While having the skills necessary to accomplish your goals is important, being knowledgeable in your field and having a clear understanding of your market will instill confidence in your investors and customers. Pursuing knowledge and conducting a thorough research to find answers goes a long way to build trust for your business and to put your stakeholders at ease.
While all of these tips are great for building trust and credibility for your business, you must remember that it takes years to build a name for your business.