How to Use Your Website to Build Trust with Your T&I Clients

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You know I say this a lot... but people really do do business with people they like, know and trust. Since a lot of us often don't get to meet our clients face-to-face (at least not at first), our websites are often the first impression or interaction our clients have with us. That's why we have to use our websites strategically so that we can build trust with them from the first time they land on our page.

So, how do we use your websites to help build trust? Here are six ways to build trust that you can start implementing right away.

● Keep things simple. Yes, here's your permission to not pull out all the bells and whistles. You don't need them! And site visitors often find them distracting. You want your clients to get a feeling of what it's like to work with you as a translator or interpreter. So, keep the layout and navigation simple and intuitive.

● Make your navigation easy to maneuver. How many times have you visited a business' website and find yourself hovering over every navigation menu option because you're looking for something specific, but you cannot seem to find it? Don't do this to your prospects or clients!

Make things easy to find and make it obvious about where they should click next. If you're unsure whether your site has navigation issues, ask someone to sit down for 10 to 20 minutes and click through your site as if they were a client. Just watch what they do, and make notes of where they click from one page to the next. When they finish, ask them why they chose to click on certain items or links and what they thought they should do next. This will help you to determine if your navigation is confusing and if you could use a few good calls to action.

● Speaking of calls to action, you need some. People like to be told where to go. Think about it like navigating a neighborhood you've never visited before. If you are unsure about your surroundings, you might fire up your GPS system or ask Siri. The same is true for your website. People visiting your website need direction. So, think about what it is you really want them to do and carefully walk them through it. Don't make it complicated, though! Just make it obvious. If you want someone to sign up for your email newsletter, make the sign-up box prominent and simple to fill out. If you want them to contact you for a quote, create a solid call to action (or more than one!) that encourages them to do so.

● Steer clear of pop-ups or other distractions. Have you ever heard someone say, "I love their website. The pop-up advertisements are amazing!" Yeah, no. I bet you haven't. They are annoying and they may cause skepticism among your site visitors. So, avoid them and be smarter about your calls to action.

● Pay attention to load times and tweak your content to make your site load faster. Again, I'll ask you about your own experience on this one. Have you ever visited a website that seemed to take forever to load? Could it be that your internet just took a snooze? Or is the site really that clunky? Avoid slow load times on your own website by using proper file sizes and minimizing the number of things that could slow it down. This is an issue that is easy to solve with a little bit of research on your part. So, take about 20 minutes to research how to improve your website's load times and implement some of the tips. Remember, you want it to be easy for clients to navigate your website.

● Make your site visually appealing. Yep, visual appeal is incredibly important in a solid business website. It doesn't matter that you may be a freelancer and working as a one (wo)man show. Just like first impressions in person are key to getting the job or that first client meeting, your website is the first impression that many clients have of you. So, make it good! Use beautiful images that tell a story. Avoid long-winded paragraphs and lists of qualifications and degrees. They are important, but they are not what your prospects are looking for when they visit your website. They want to know if you can help them fix a problem or reach a goal. Show them that!

Clients may not say it to your face, but many times they choose a freelance translator or interpreter based on what they found on their website. You can have all the qualifications in the world, but if you don't know how to relay the value you provide and build trust from the start, then you may not be the one they choose. Consider making updates like these to start building more trust with your clients and prospects.