As a 43-year-old son, I recently found myself accompanying one of my parents on a doctor visit. As a highly concerned third party, I found myself studying those plaques on the wall a little more closely than I usually do. Questions tripped through my head like “Where did this guy go to med school?” and “What is he certified for?” Fortunately, the answers were right there for me and frankly, they did set my mind at ease that my parent was in good hands. Thinking back on it, I felt at ease despite the fact that I did no other research on this particular doctor.
Now, while we do tend to treat doctors with undue reverence, the point that visible signs of competence and credibility matter to consumers, holds weight in other professional settings.
Whether you are trying to convert a web site visitor, create trust with a potential client, or close a sale, your job will be easier if people believe in your competence and reliability.
One of the easiest ways to project competence and reliability is to put your relevant association and affiliation memberships on display for the web-surfing world to see. Customers tend to trust you more if they know you are a dues-paying member of a professional association or local business group. And since only 10–25% of the businesses in your industry join such groups, it gives you a positive point of differentiation from competitors.
The How, What and Where…
Call or email each professional association or local business association to which you belong (look on their site for Member Services if you have never called), and ask them to email you their latest web-ready logo.
If you are a Market Hardware client, hold that email and then call us at 888-381-6925, or email us. If we are members of your association too, we’ll have the logo on file for you. If we are not members, you’ll need to be able to send the logo to us.
If you are not a Market Hardware client, send the logo to your web developer. If you are doing it yourself, go to the next step.
From the Aiello Home Services website Home page, under the navigation with logos for their HVAC and Plumbing associations, BBB, and one of their primary suppliers.
The Next Step
Place the web-ready logo on your Home page and also on the About Us page. On the Home page, I think it should go under the vertical navigation menu, or below your key text message about you and your services. That message is still first.
On your About Us page, the sameGriff suggestion applies. If the logo your association gives you with does not spell out “A Proud member of…” Then you might want to caption it appropriately. If you just have a free floating association logo that is not built to scream “This guy or gal is a member,” if you have space, you should take this step. Some customers need things spelled out for them. After you publish your web page with the shiny new logos, check out your website on a couple of different computers. You should be checking for formatting errors that cause the logo graphic to appear broken.
The 2010 Basic Step
Upload that logo to your Google Maps profile and include appropriate text mentioning your membership in your business profile. If this sounds like a hassle, call us at 888-381-6925 and we can help you if you are an MH client who subscribes to our Google Maps Optimization service. If you subscribe to our Get Listed Plus service, we’ve already created a Google Local Business account for you, and you can log in and upload the logo yourself (as well as any other images you want to post). If you forgot or lost your Google account login, contact us and we’ll send it to you again (assuming you already signed up for this service offering).
If you are heavily engaged in your local chapter or at the national level and you don’t use that in your web marketing, call us and ask for a quick session with one of our Web Marketing consultants. We’ll help you think of some ways to leverage your association activities into your website.
The 2010 Advanced Step
Most associations and local business organizations have a Code of Ethics that you pledge to live by. When customers ask me how to flesh out their About Us page and they don’t have a colorful history or strong sense of brand, I suggest the following: Tell web visitors that you abide by that third party group’s Code of Ethics and quote something consumer-friendly from it.
Doing so gives you a point of differentiation and creates consumer trust. Will they ever actually go to the association website and read the document to see what that means? Nope, I doubt it. But it still works for you. That’s the power of marketing. (Imagine evil laugh here.)
Power Date: 1977
The year the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the professional association for that trade, was founded.
Quote of the Month
“For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together.”
H.L. Menken, 1880-1956, American writer, satirist, grump, and journalist.
|Griff’s Last Stand (kinda’ like Custer’s, but different)…
If you do high-volume emergency services or your angle is to be the low cost provider, heralding your association membership may not matter at all. If this is you, take all the above with a grain of salt. You may be better off just upping your Search Engine advertising (PPC) budget. But if that’s not you, what I recommend this month is one of those easy steps that leverages something in which you already have an investment. I should know, I am a long time member of the American Marketing Association.
For a little bit more advice on this topic and a short diverting anecdote, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “March – A little more” in the subject line.
See you on the Web!
|This article was written by Market Hardware's Griffin Davis. Reach Griffin at email@example.com or reach anyone on his web expert team at (888) 381-6925.|