Tips For Protecting Your Online Brand and Credibility

January 30, 2010 by  Filed under: Branding 

I recently received a newsletter from GoToMeeting that included some tips for improving online presentations. When I read the tips it sparked some thoughts for me about improving overall communications, especially when marketing online.

People make snap judgments about you based on your appearance. You know that, right? It may not be fair but it is a fact. People make decisions about you, your credibility and value based on how you present yourself. You do not go to business meetings without checking your appearance if you are serious about growing your business. Having spinach in your teeth will impact your ability to convert a prospect into a client. Forgetting to wear pants to a Meet-up will hinder your ability to network effectively. Successful entrepreneurs know that making a good first impression is an important part of building your personal brand.

Well, when you are creating a presence and growing your personal brand online your written communication IS your appearance. Do you realize the importance of your online marketing first impression? Every day you can easily find myriad examples of people not putting their best foot forward. Typos, spelling errors, and poor grammar are just a few of the ‘credibility busters’ that are prevalent in electronic communications.

So let’s go back to the GoToMeeting newsletter, what were their suggestions for improving online presentations? Their overall message was that above all else you want to present yourself as a trustworthy professional. Skilled professionals are paid well for providing value and service. They further suggest that when delivering online presentations neatness counts and content matters. When I translate this to the online or email marketing it’s easy to draw the parallels:

  • Neatness counts. Typos, poor spelling, and cluttered designs will all undermine your audience’s confidence in your ideas, no matter how great they might be. Make a decision to be more disciplined about editing, proofreading and checking your materials before you release them. If the communication matters, making sure it is free of errors matters also.
  • Content matters. A gorgeous website or marketing email that provides no value, is poorly organized, or has no call-to-action is an inefficient use of your time and energy. When writing for business focus on expressing your ideas, not impressing your readers. Know what you want to say, say it and then stop when you are finished.

If you are ready to reduce the chances that people will turn off your awesome messages because of bad packaging, take a moment to ask yourself in what areas can you improve your communication? Grammar? Great, get a good grammar reference guide. Spelling? Read more books and start studying words spelled correctly. Typos? Improve your proofreading skills and always run spell-check. It takes a small investment of time to create a process for making sure your materials are flawless, but the time saved by using electronic distribution methods will make up for it.

Allegra Sinclair
Online and Network Marketing Coach
http://www.allegramsinclair.com

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/yourgiantwithin

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