When you search for an answer to your problem, what makes the difference to you between a site that looks like one that’s an industry authority, and one that looks like a dud?
It may be hard to pinpoint if you don’t know the art behind proving your credibility, but there is definitely a formula for it. You’re about to learn what makes a site go from zero to hero in your visitor’s eyes.
1) Your website design can’t suck.
I’ve said it countless times before but you need to have the kind of website that you’re PROUD to show off. You may not “hate” your design but are you head over heels in love with it? If you just thought ‘no’ then how on Earth do you expect others to be drawn to what you’re offering? (Read: Professionally Branded WordPress Websites)
2) Your About page needs to say it all.
Did you know your About page is usually one of the most clicked on pages in your entire website? 90% of About pages I’ve seen are doing the site owner more harm than good. Your about page should showcase your experience, build up your authority, and give people confidence in you. (View: Amber’s About page)
3) Critical! You must update your website regularly.
If your last blog post was a year ago… If your copyright date says 2009… If your Events page is still promoting that stale event from last year you must wake up to the fact that this is absolutely hurting your credibility and results. I update my websites every single week if not more often than that. (This also helps with your SEO by the way!)
4) Testimonials are great social proof.
There are some critics of testimonials out there because unethical people post fake endorsements. That said, I still believe in the good of people and say you should absolutely post ALL testimonials that showcase you as the expert giving your customers real results. I have hundreds of rave reviews collected over the years and post them on my website sidebars, footers, in content – everywhere! Don’t forget to add these bad boys to email marketing, social media, products, etc. The more social proof that you’re a rockstar the more solid your credibility is.
5) Prove you are current and connected.
You see that pretty little rotating slideshow in my right sidebar that flashes through all of the industry authorities I’m friends with? These are not just connections where I snapped a quick photo in a hallway – they are true relationships I nurture. When you are seen with other industry authorities, and are talking about trends people see you are current (not just a has been) and you automatically become relevant and respected. (Speakers, don’t forget to post photos of you on stage too! – Read: Speaking Tips for Speakers Who Are Just Getting Started)
6) Be totally authentic, transparent and honest.
This one shouldn’t even need to be said, but when you are honest, people notice. You’ve probably heard that people buy from people they know, like and trust. Being authentic and transparent aids in getting people to know and like you (for sure). Being honest (doing what you say you’re going to do, not show boating or bloating the truth…) gets people to trust you. Building a loyal following is king in the online world. When you are authentic, transparent and honest you will stand apart from the crowd BIG TIME – talk about a credibility booster!
7) Activity, activity, activity.
Want to show the world you’re credible and an industry authority? Generate activity on your website and you’ve achieved your goal! Blogging is one of the best ways to do this. When you regularly blog, you get lots of traffic (from search engines and social media). The more traffic you get the more comments and social media shares you get (this is visible on your website!). Also, adding new Events to your event calendar for speaking engagements next year is a great way to show you’re active. What about adding interview links to all the places you’ve been interviewed? The more content you build on your website, the more active it looks like you are (bonus!) and the more active your audience will be in engaging with you (double bonus!).
These are easy changes you can implement in less than one day on your website. The key is to build it over time, but don’t loose sight of always updating your website to showcase the most current information possible. Now, go get some street cred!