That’s a question Adam Boult explores in a Telegraph article about the two key things people judge you on when they first meet you.
According to Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor, people assess you on two main criteria, those being trust and respect.
‘Your level of trustworthiness, or warmth, is the most important factor in how people initially perceive you,’ Cuddy says, ‘yet many mistakenly believe that the second factor, characterised as competence, is more important.’
It’s vital in any workspace or business environment to display competence but as Cuddy warns, without winning trust first and foremost, you’re likely to miss out as people will see you as manipulative and insincere.
‘A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.’
It’s an interesting article worth a read which also poses some great insights into how you can write to attract clients on your design agency website.
Let’s look at some trust related ideas:
Homepage copy – Turn ‘we’ into ‘you’ as much as possible. Make it about what they will experience and gain rather than what you will do. This builds trust. It’s like in dating, if you rabbit on about yourself then no matter how impressive or good looking you might be, the other person will feel excluded, distrustful and turned off.
CareWare Design have a nice example of inclusive homepage copy. ‘Free your mind with beautiful design’.
About page copy – The About page for web design agencies is a great chance to form an emotional connection with a potential client. It’s where you can build trust and display competence all at the same time. You show people your team is qualified to help them whilst also being a safe environment in which to open up. After all, designing a website is a bit like a therapy session. You need to get under the skin of the client and understand what makes them and their business tick. The more they trust you, the easier the whole process is.
You don’t always need that many words either to begin with. Digital agency Whitespace have a nice About page example which portrays a skilled and impressively multifaceted team with friendly smiles, a welcoming nature and the promise of funny stories. ‘We’re your team’. Very simple.
Contact page copy – Be open, enthusiastic and warm with your call to action. Place an image in the minds of potential clients of what they will experience when they visit your design agency.
They know full well they’ll be discussing their desired project but what else? Tea and biscuits? A bite to eat in the French café next-door? A quick game on the PS4? Add something quirky you think your target audience would like (and actually offer it of course).
The chaps at Molamil provide an apt example with a simple ‘Come by for a cup of coffee’.
I’m sure they don’t take their heads off when clients visit.
How can the trust factor be cultivated through your web design agency blog?
Let’s have a look at a few possibilities.
1. Get your team members blogging. Personal stories mixed with web design tips and advice will add to your agency’s trust factor. They only need to blog once a month. Just think, if you have 4 staff members then that’s a post every week which is good going. If you have 40 in your team then you’ll really be rolling with 10 posts a week. Great for search engine optimisation and your social media endeavours.
2. Arrange an interview with a previous client who can’t stop singing your praises. This can be in the form of a podcast, video chat or published email Q&A. Ask questions you know potential clients would find helpful. Cover the process you went through from initial contact to finished designs. Relax and be informal. Make it a fun and engaging chat but with beneficial insights and tips included.
3. Chart some of the things you do within your local community. These might include charity work, volunteering, meetups, group events and any pro bono work for organisations. Perhaps you designed the marketing material and website for a regional animal charity, for free. Showcase your designs and write about why the charity matters so much to you. Take photos of fundraising marathons or of your team helping to clear up flood damage. Note down your experiences.
These are just three of many ways you can build a sense of trust with new readers and potential clients through your blog. It’s great to publish helpful tips, professional advice and showcase your new work but don’t forget, building trust and likeability is just as important, if not more so, as Amy Cuddy revealed.
By doing so you’ll find an added enjoyment to blogging you might be missing at the moment.
Put these web page copy tips and blog post ideas to good use and you’ll find your design agency website working a lot better for you.
Freelance website copywriter from the UK. I help businesses worldwide attract clients and customers through their websites with the use of engaging and informative SEO-optimised web copy. You can read more about my writing services or get in contact with me to arrange a chat about your requirements.