Trust can either make or break your online business, your online teaching, or your online job search. How do YOU rate when it comes to credibility and trust online? In this 7 min video I am going to give you 5 tips that will help you build trust online and boost your credibility.

If you choose to watch a video, click here:

#1 Reveal your Human Side

We often think that in order to look professional we need to incorporate stock photos or use super sophisticated language. However, eye movement research shows that we do not notice stock photos, but pay attention to real images; and that we connect much stronger when we participate in the online conversation that is real and simple. Therefore:

Use real photos
Create an about page that helps people learn more about you as a human, not just a title or a list of accomplishments
Speak online like you do in real life

#2 Show care & concern

There are some interesting theories around building trust online. A noteworthy idea is presented by Graham Jones, who developed the credibility pyramid. It is worth noting that according to this pyramid your actual knowledge accounts for only 10% of your credibility, while care and concern account for 50%. It is curious because my personal research on DL shows that the #1 factor that contributes to students’ satisfaction online is the care and concern shown by their teacher…Coincidence? Hardly!

This means that no matter what you are trying to do online, whether you run a blog, sell a product, or even just hold a conversation on a social media platform such as Twitter or Facebook, showing that you care for your audience you will help build your credibility.

#3 Protect your customers’ privacy

Privacy of your readers should be your #1 concern, as when people trust you with their personal information (their email info, contact information, or a credit card), you need to protect these data at all costs. Display privacy statements on your site, and be sure to include these statements in your welcome emails. Reassure your readers that their private information will always stay private and that you would never do anything to jeopardize their trust.

#4 Show off with class

I grew up in Russia where modesty is a virtue. It is still very hard for me to publically brag about myself. However, if you keep quiet online, no one will ever know about the real you. You have to be able to show off your talents with class.

a. Create a “fame frame” either in the footer or on the side of your website. Add logos from the media that featured you, or from big companies that used your services. This shows that you’ve already been endorsed by bigger, well-known outlets, which lends credence to your credibility.

b. Collect rave reviews. Even if you are just starting a new business or are participating in a job search, you have likely worked with a lot of people in the past. Make a list of former colleagues, bosses, clients, customers, and professors (people who can rave about you), tell them what you are up to, and ask for their help in writing a recommendation for you.

For example, for my Teach and Prosper Boot Camp ( I collected video reviews from my former students that help my future customers understand the value of this course.

c. Capture positive comments.

Twitter feeds go fast and sometimes we overlook opportunities to capture what people are saying about us. Periodically look at you @mentions on Twitter. This will show you the list of people who are talking about you. Anytime you see a positive comment about your work on Facebook or in an email, take a screen shot. You can always add those to your website or sales page.

#5 Pay forward

A very famous business guru Guy Kawasaki believes that in order to be trustworthy, you need to be trusting first. Companies that understand this principle succeed. For example, Amazon allows you to read Kindle books for 5 days, and lets you return the book for your money back at any time during that 5 day period. You can easily read a book in 5 days, but Amazon is not worried about that. You must be willing to give what you want to receive. So step out of your scarcity mentality. The universe is an abundant place. Give trust, and you shall receive it back!


In the comments below please share what makes YOU feel trusting towards a company or a person online?

Author's Bio: 

About Marina Kostina
Marina V. Kostina, PhD is a distance learning expert, a trainer and an online business coach. She received her doctorate in Teaching & Learning / Distance Learning from the University of Iowa. She is passionate about research in human psychology in distance learning environments and building connections online to transcend distances