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Make It Personal

By Jeff Colburn
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004

One problem with websites is that they're very anonymous. A prospective client comes to your site, not knowing whom you are or what kind of businessperson you are. At the same time you're asking them to buy your products or services, believe what you say in articles and possible to give you their credit card number. That requires a lot of trust, and you need to build that trust.

There are several easy ways to build this trust. First, you should put a biography or yourself or your company onto the site. You can make it a personal or professional bio. On my site I use a personal biography. It tells:
 Where I graduated from college
 What my major was
 My past careers
 Sports and hobbies I've been involved with
 My current interests
 And my experience relating to the products, services and topics of my site

For a more professional bio talk about the history of your business. Here are some of the questions you can answer.
 When and where did your business start?
 Why did you start the business?
 If you have an office or manufacturing site, where is it?
 What qualifies you to run this business?
 Who are the other key employees of the business?

For either types of bio you can also include photographs of many things, such as:
 Yourself
 Your office or manufacturing facility
 Key employees
 Employee of the month
 And any other photographs that add a personality to your site

Besides knowing about you and your company you need to include contact information. Tell them every way that you are set up for contact, such as: e-mail, phone, Fax, mailing address and any other way people can contact you. Nothing makes me more nervous, or annoyed, than going to a site and not being able to contact someone with a question I have. This contact information can be put on a "Contact" page, but you should always include your e-mail address on every page so that it's easy for people to contact you. Making it easy for people to contact you will make them feel more at easy when dealing with you. Remember when people contact you to respond quickly and courteously.

The whole purpose of this is make you come through your site, so your visitors feel they are dealing with a real, caring person instead of some impersonal website. So put your personality into your website, and make it more human.

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