The internet….It’s like the wild, wild west out there.

I’m sure you have heard a story of some poor unsuspecting person who was scammed by an imposter and ended up losing their life savings.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking “I would never fall for that”… and sure, you probably wouldn’t – because you know how to be street-smart online.

You know what signs to look for…like the little inconsistencies, poor quality websites, lack of reviews, no direct contact details and empty social media accounts.

Things like this raise your inner alarm bell before you reach for the credit card. But did you ever think that your customers have the same hang-ups as you?

Could you be unknowingly sending them the wrong signals? The ones that raise their alarm bells and push them away?

 

Step Outside Your Own Perspective

Sometimes it can be difficult to step outside of your own point of view and see things from your perfect potential customer’s perspective.

The value and integrity of what you offer are so obvious to you and anybody who knows you. You don’t see how anyone could not see that as well.

You don’t like tooting your own horn either – you prefer your work to speak for itself.

While these are all great and admirable things, they can be undermining your success.

If you haven’t built a seamless online and email presence that engages your leads while showcasing your expertise, values, and trustworthiness then your potential customers won’t take you as seriously as they should.

To overcome this, you need to step into your potential customer’s shoes and follow their journey through your online presence.

While in their shoes, look for and note the things which give you confidence as well as the things which undermine confidence in your business.

This is easier said than done! Many people will find they have trouble with this, and if you do you can try approaching it a different way. Try to think about a business that you recently bought something from online.

Now revisit that decision-making process, and the steps you took and what you thought along the way. Make notes of what subconscious cues – know, like and trust factors – you picked up and what information helped you make the decision to buy.

Once you have done this, compare the things which you liked, and which gave you confidence with that of your own online presence. Hopefully, you should be able to have a clear understanding of how you can improve your online credibility.

But it doesn’t stop there. There are many things you can do to build a halo effect of authority and persuasion around your personal brand or business.

 

6 Ways to Improve Your Online Authority

 

1. Let your X-Factor Shine
Your X-Factor goes hand in hand with your authority. Your “X-Factor” is what makes you stand out in your market.  If you don’t distinguish yourself, then why should your perfect potential customers care about doing business with you? By clearly showing and illustrating to the world why you do what you do best, you separate yourself into a whole new class – one where other players can’t compete with you.

2. Keep your brand look and communication consistent

Make sure the way you look and communicate is always on point. This doesn’t mean you have to have the slickest website or corporate wording.

What it means is the communication you put out needs to be correct, harmonious and highlight your X-Factor while staying true to what your perfect potential customers expect of you – so yes, it’s perfectly fine to be casual if that’s what suits you.

3. Provide valuable content and external links
Content marketing is a great way to build trust by educating and showcasing your expertise. By sharing a mix of your own original content and that of others in your industry, you will quickly develop a reputation as a respected and valued thought leader.  One aspect of this to consider is that to provide value – move your perfect potential customers ONE STEP in the journey of where they need and want to be.  You don’t need to boil the ocean, just give them steps, that is they take them, they’ll see positive movement.

4. Engage in two-way communication
The challenge of doing business online is that it can be impersonal and hard to make connections with people. Sometimes it can seem like you are standing alone on your soapbox, talking to an invisible audience. Try to find ways of engaging your audience through competitions, surveys, challenges or Q&A opportunities. This will create a more genuine and valuable relationship for both you and your audience.  When you combine this with what we call “listening” – you’ll have a secret killer combo in the works!  To learn more about listening – download our “scoop”:

5. Encourage reviews and share recognition
You can strive to be the best at what you do, but if nobody knows it does it matter?
It’s a bit like the riddle of the tree in the empty forest, if it falls with no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Make sure you share your acknowledgment for others to see. Awards, citations, mentions, associations, endorsements and press coverage are excellent ways to do this. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews and testimonials as most people are happy to give them.

6. Show you are real (events, networking, pictures, and stories)
Even if you put in place everything above, nothing can beat the power of showing the real human side of yourself or your business. People prefer doing business with people they like or feel a connection to.

Provide opportunities for them to see your human side by inviting them to real or virtual events, sharing video content, offer personal touchpoints like live calls or demos and sharing stories and pictures of you and your business in the real world.

Now over to you! We’d love to hear what ideas for improving your know, like, trust factor you’ve had after reading this article? Or better yet, do you have something that sets off your alarm bells whenever you see it? Share in the comments below.