A few days ago I started a series of blog postings regarding your personal on-line credibility.
How important is your name when it comes to your credibility?
It’s really important!
You need to be able to identify with the name you have chosen and feel comfortable with the fact that it represents you as a person and that it shows your integrity and credibility.
So we know, your online credibility is an important element of your internet marketing business. Without credibility nobody will buy from you. It’s that simple a fact. However, as mentioned, building credibility is not a single process. It consists of many aspects.
One of these is the business card.
Just as your business card is a representation of yourself and your business in the offline business world, in the same way the look you portray in the online world will add to your image and credibility.
Your online business card consists of various components. The most important one, besides the name you have selected, is the avatar or image you use for your personal online presence. This picture or logo is used when you submit a comment, when you post an article on another site, take part in a forum, have a Twitter account and many more.
Every time you show yourself in the online world you have the chance to brand yourself with an image. As you can see from this, it is quite important what image you decide to use. You might wish to brand your own person by using your name and a photograph of yourself, or you might wish to use an arbitrary graphic.
It might also be an option to create a logo for your business rather and use this to create a more uniform look. There are some internet people who strongly brand their faces and their person, while there are some who create an identity with an abstract image.
As with the choice of your name, what image, photograph or graphic you use must fit in with the entire business strategy that you have a plan for. This should even follow through into your personal presence online.
The one thing about the online world is that it is very difficult to keep the private person divorced from other online activities. The information you make available on LinkedIn for the professional side of your life is as easy to find as your personal information on Facebook. It’s all searchable and easy to track down.
It is therefore vitally important that for your internet marketing business you ensure that all your presence online supports the image you wish to portray. In this way, it lends credibility to your profile.
You may wonder how this works. If you show yourself as a moral, credible character in the business environment but as a drunken flippant character in your personal capacity, people will question whether any of your online presence is believable. And regrettably, one wrong picture can undermine an otherwise carefully crafted reputation.
Besides the graphic or photo you use to represent yourself online the other major visual appearance or business card is your blog or website. The internet has become more sophisticated and it is difficult to look serious about your online presence with a very plain blog design.
Even small businesses now tend to have better designed sites and blogs to ensure that their visitors take them for more serious business people. As much as big companies such as CocaCola, IBM or Apple have carefully nurtured online presences that support their offline identities, in the same way you need to be careful as to how you brand yourself.
If you wish to sell expensive products online, charge a good fee for consulting work or run seminars online that people will take seriously and which you would like to charge a reasonable amount for, then your online presence has to support that image. It is a requirement for your credibility. Without that credibility your online business will not flourish.