We’ve done a lot of videos and mastermind calls and podcasts about credibility lately. Credibility isn’t a new thing, right?
But, it amplifies when you have a competitive market, so when you’re in a market that has a lot of competition, a lot of agents joining, a lot of investors joining in there. Then, you have a lower amount of actual deal flow, what happens when someone has multiple choices to choose from, what they oftentimes look at is the credibility there. We’ve came up with something here at Carrot called the credibility score.
We’re going to be building that out over the coming months. We’re going to be building out a whole framework and some things you can actually use to determine your credibility score, but let me ask you this question. Whenever you go to a store, whether it’s online or in person. Let’s say you’re going to the grocery store. You’re walking in the grocery store and subconsciously, there are all kinds of things that you’re doing to size up that grocery store. You’re walking in there. Is the floor clean? Are the vegetables arranged in a way that makes sense? Are they rotten or are they good? Are the people who work there wearing good clothes, or clean clothes, or wearing something that’s a uniform, that looks like they’re put together? Are they friendly? Is the signage in the grocery store in a make sense way?
All these little things stack up to, subconsciously in your mind, create this score. You’re probably not going to choose to work with that grocery store because one of those things is wrong. You’re probably not going to choose to not work with the grocery just because the signage isn’t exactly clear and clean. But, when you stack up all those together and there are these negative credibility marks, what happens is, you leave the store and you go somewhere else, and you’re not really sure why sometimes. You can’t really place your finger on why you chose to not work with that company, but another one, but it’s this credibility score that is subconsciously stacking up in your mind.
We’re going to walk through as an agent or an investor. How do you size up your own business and find out your credibility score? The first thing you need to look at is, realize people are subconsciously sizing you up, whether you think about it or not. If you’re just going and doing the minimum. If you’re just going in … We had another whiteboard video that we did on creating your unique selling proposition. Find that on our YouTube channel. If you’re not doing that, you’re doing what everyone else is doing, then you’re probably not giving yourself a ton of positive credibility marks. You’re probably not giving yourself a ton of positive credibility marks.
What we’re going to be doing is looking at the website here. There’s a lot of different things that people are doing when they’re trying to size up your website and size up your credibility score subconsciously.
Having Clean Logos Is Important
The first thing they’re going to be looking at is your logo area, your logo area. Is your logo clean or is it fuzzy? Is it pixelated? Does your logo match the colors and the branding on your website? I know that’s a little thing, just a little thing, but it’s one of those things that people can go, “Well, there’s something off. I can’t really place what it is, but there’s something off,” so make sure you have a very clear, clean, simple logo that delivers the benefit or delivers the good, warm, fuzzy feeling. Make sure that the colors on your website match up. That’s a positive credibility mark.
“Right here, logo. Let’s assume that this is a negative. It’s a fuzzy logo. Let’s assume that logo is a different color than the colors on the site because they didn’t take the time to match them up. That’s a negative credibility mark subconsciously. Let’s bounce up here. Is it easy to get ahold of you? Right here, easy contact. It’s easy to get ahold of you. If that’s the case, subconscious positive credibility mark. Awesome.
Bouncing over here. Credibility badges. Are you using certain badges to show that you are vetted by third party processes, third party entities? Better Business Bureau.
Maybe you’re a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. You are some sort of … You have a designation with some sort of entity. CCIM, or whatever it is in your profession that is a respected designation. Those badges help in a big way. Those are all positive credibility marks.
Build Credibility With Testimonials
Let’s say you have social proof on your site, so you have testimonials that are formatted the right way. Now, just because you have testimonials doesn’t mean that’s a positive credibility mark.
We’ve done other whiteboard strategy sketches on how to format a testimonial correctly. If you format a testimonial incorrectly, then it could actually be a negative credibility mark, because if you just put a testimonial up there that has the words of the person. Let’s say you just used their initials, TK, with no picture and no other context around that testimonial, people could actually think it’s not real, so it could actually detract the credibility. When you’re building out your testimonials, have pictures of the person or pictures of the property. Put as much of the person’s information on there. Tom, whatever, and then their location. Trevor Mauch, location Roseburg, something like that. It adds more credibility to it.
Use Real “Local” Images
Other things, the content, the pictures, all of these things stack up. Are your pictures localized?
Do you have real images on there? Are the images like stock images? That’s one thing that, in the studies we’ve done and other studies we’ve corroborated with, stock photos don’t lend toward credibility, especially if they’re like, too stocky. You guys know what I’m talking about. There are some stock photos that look amazing. There are some stock photos that look like, clearly stock photos. What people do is, they look at a website and go, “Well, shoot. I can’t connect with this website. It looks like stock photo. Maybe I’ve seen the exact same photo on another website,” so if you’re a Carrot customer, swap out all the images with local, real images for your market.
Right here, that could be a picture of a property that you’ve done a deal on. Get rid of any stock photos of people that you’ve not worked with and put pictures of people you’ve worked with in there. Make sure that the photos look like houses that actually are in the area. If you’re in Phoenix, your pictures should look way different than someone up in the Northeast part of the US.
One Of The Most Important Pages On Your Website
There’s a lot of other things too. Easy contact, badges, real images, social proof, a good clean about page. Our data, and we’ve shown this in several blog posts that the number three most visited webpage on all websites in our system, even our own website as Carrot, selling software, is always the about page. What are you doing to build up a storyline, to build up a way that you’re connecting with your prospects when they go to your about page? The about page, the reason they’re going there, is because they’ve already probably discovered that you have a solution. You have a solution that can solve their problem. They’re already past that. They don’t need to know whether you can solve their problem.
They need to know whether you are the company that they want to choose to solve their problem, so they’re going to your about page. They’re clicking on your Facebook link. Whatever social media links you put on your website, make sure they give you positive credibility, not negative.
If they go to your Facebook page, and it isn’t built out, the last post was eight months ago.There are two likes on it, no reviews on it, stock photos, that’s actually negative credibility, so get it off. Completely, just get rid of it. Don’t put that link on your websites. Don’t put the link in your marketing. If you’re going to use social, use it to build your credibility. Never use it as negative or neutral credibility. It’s going to hurt you.
Optimizing Your Website For A High Credibility Score
Make sure you go on your websites. Go on your marketing, your offline marketing, and size up your own business. What’s your credibility score look like? Go through each thing subconsciously and then start to put a plus or a minus on it and add those up. We’re going to come up with a formula, so we don’t have it quite yet. We’re going to come up with it. Keep on checking back to the blog, but we size up your websites every single time whenever we look at them, and we come up with your positive credibility points and your negative credibility points. You want to, one by one, eliminate every single one of those negative credibility points. Is it easy on mobile or is it not? Is it pixelated logo? Is is clear? Does their branding match up or does it not? Does the content make sense? Does it look localized? Are they real images? Do you have real badges? Does your social media actually help you or not?
Make sure you really pay attention to that. Go check out your website right now. Let us know what you found in the comment section of this video or on our blog post. Also, go check out our other whiteboard strategy sketches. If you want to find out more on how to grow your business leveraging the web, grow more leads, build more credibility online, do SEO, do pay per click, we’re going to help you through those.
Also, we have an amazing podcast called the CarrotCast. So go find that, also, on our YouTube channel or on iTunes. Check back here for more information on how to grow your business leveraging the web as a real estate professional. Until then, implement this and let us know how it works.