by Lauren Lambie
It is still possible to successfully launch a new online business in 2015, but to do so you need to take a different approach to the traditional model of breakthrough technology, high traffic goals, and a feature rich website. Nowadays, if you really want to win over customers with a new business, there is a far more elegant approach, and it can be summarized in two words: authenticity and integrity.
Although online consumers have grown in numbers in recent years, there is still a big question mark over trust for many people. An online environment can seem impersonal, and unfortunately it is tainted by some ruthless scammers. So when you launch online, the biggest battle you have is to win over your customers’ trust.
As the old saying goes:
Trust is hard won and easy to lose.
If you want to build trust with your customers, then you need to do it over a period of time, and you need to have two things at the center of your brand: authenticity and integrity.
So what does it mean to be authentic? Well, as a business it often means demonstrating to your customers why you do what you do, rather than simply selling them a solution. If you can convey this sense of purpose, and people see you as something more than just a corporate entity following the money, then you will win the hearts of your customers. There are several ways in which you can achieve this online:
1) Give more than you ask for. If you give back to customers and to the wider community, you will earn some goodwill and won’t simply be viewed as ruthlessly chasing your next dollar.
2) Make it personal. There is nothing more alienating than an About page full of corporate speak. Instead, use your About page to show your face, your personality and your purpose.
3) Align your brand with who you are. Are you a fun type of business? Are you passionate about the environment? Do you feel strongly about fairtrade? Let your personality you’re your beliefs shine through in your brand.
4) Be honest. Demonstrate that you are a real person. Talk about your failings. Talk about your fears, your worries, and your mistakes. People love seeing the human side when they are trying to connect with a business online.
Finally, if you want your business to thrive, then put integrity at the forefront of your brand. If you make it a principle of your business then customers will value you for it. Have clear principles and stand by them no matter how tough your business gets. Serve your customers honestly, be transparent, and always put your customer’s happiness ahead of making your next dollar.
I’m Lauren. I’m an entrepreneur and founder From Corporate To Career Freedom. I created this website for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it tells a very personal tale about my journey from quitting the corporate life while on maternity leave with my daughter and following my dream of running my own business. If you are wondering whether that is the path you want to take in life, I hope you find some of the blog posts on here inspiring. Secondly, I get asked a lot about how I set up my business. It’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but I’ve also discovered so much on the journey. I’m sharing that knowledge here with you. If you haven’t done so already, check out my free guide on some of the tools I used to start my own business. That’s kind of the thing I wish I’d had when I first started. So I hope it helps you to follow your dream.
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