The Birth of a
Successful Internet Business
Part nine of ten -- Developing Your Credibility
By Shelley Lowery
An important part of building
a successful Internet business, is developing your credibility.
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 business elsewhere.
-> 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
• 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
Can you see the difference? The second testimonial is much more
believable and will have a much greater impact on your potential
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 professionalism.
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 you.
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
-> 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
-> 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:
• Writing Articles
• Providing Free Tutorials
• Offering Free Courses
• Writing Reports
• 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 Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web
http://www.webdesignmastery.com And, Ebook Starter - Give Your
Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book.
http://www.ebookstarter.com Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a
complimentary subscription to Etips and receive a copy of the acclaimed
ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print,
in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author
bylines are included.
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