All businesses strive to exude professionalism, but could some aspects of your content actually lead others to question your legitimacy?--Possibly. Establishing trust is the key to turning potential leads into paying customers. If your content fails to position you as an industry expert, you are losing out BIG TIME.
Here are four things that are making your business look unprofessional + how to gain credibility for the long term.
Images play a crucial role in your audience's perception of your brand. You can design an immaculate website or write the perfect blog post, but it does no good if you attach a mediocre image. Photos that are poorly lit, randomly arranged, and not on brand come across as unprofessional and could lead people to question the quality of your work.
Whether you’re a product or service based business, investing in high-quality, brand cohesive photos will help heighten your brand experience while establishing your industry credibility.
Work with a professional photographer to develop high-quality product photos or branded stock images you can use on your website, blog, and other marketing materials. Your pictures will be refreshingly original and you won’t have to settle for a stock image that “sort of” works with your brand.
Perception is powerful and if you want to develop content that will generate more sales, you need to start with outstanding visuals. Here are some examples of branded photos we've taken for our clients:
A busy and cluttered website
Is your website difficult to navigate? Is there so much going on that users hardly know where to look first? A busy and cluttered website is a huge turn-off to its viewers. When it comes to the design of your layout, it’s best to air on the side of simplicity. Place information like your contact information and home page button in areas where it makes sense. If people have to spend time searching for information that should be obvious or feel bombarded by endless pages of text, they will get frustrated and leave.
Spend some time decluttering your content and simplifying your design. Utilize white space and narrow your copy down to the MOST important aspects of your message. If writing for your business or fiddling with web design isn’t your cup of tea, work with a professional copywriter or web developer who can help you develop a design savvy, user-friendly website that contains content your customers really care about.
The purpose of visuals is to heighten brand awareness. However, if you’re using dozens of colors and fonts or funky design elements that don’t align with your existing brand, you are weakening the overall experience. Your content should be cohesive and easily recognizable by your following. Being all over the place with your design choices can devalue your brand by creating a confusing message. Your audience values reliability and being consistent with your design will help them see you as someone they can depend on.
Spend some time developing your brand. Narrow your font choice down to 2-3 options and choose a color palette that resonates with your business and audience. Work with a professional brand developer to assist you during this process or hire a designer to help you create a series of cohesive graphics that you can use on your website, blog, and social media. Check out some of ours:
A confusing message
If I was on your website right now, could I easily understand what you do in five seconds or less? Seriously, could I? Failing to clearly communicate to your audience what you do and why you do it will lead them to perceive your business as disorganized and unprofessional.
According to Donald Miller, the creator of StoryBrand.com, your website should be able to pass the “grunt test.” That is, if a primitive caveman took a quick look at your site, would he be able to grunt what it is that you offer?
Let’s say you sell shoes. He would say, “Me get good shoes. My feet look better than friend. Good price.”
This concept feels silly, but it works. And that’s because people don’t necessarily buy the best products out there, they buy the ones they can understand the fastest.
Spend some time clarifying your message. Work with a professional content and brand developer to help you fine tune your story and understand your business better. This isn’t a small task, but it WILL pay off. You can’t do business with a confusing message and if you want to generate more leads, you need to tell a story your customers can easily understand.
Also, If you haven't listened to the StoryBrand podcast already, you definitely should. It completely changed our outlook on communication here at Cold Box Films.
What are your thoughts? What other types of things make businesses look unprofessional. How are you working to boost your industry credibility? Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? What will you do to turn things around?