Every part of your website can be used to build or erode trust potential clients have in doing business with you. The items on my list can also be applied to your social media profiles.

1. Do you still look like yourself?

Check the photo you have of yourself on your website, e.g. with your bio on your About page or Team page. Do they look enough like you look in person today? t

If you were to get on a video conference call or have a business meeting with someone, would you be clearly recognizable or would they get any form of surprise? If not, it’s time for a new photo.

This helps build subtle trust signals because you look familiar with the picture the person already has in their mind of you.

2. Is that still your job?

To build trust, your website’s job titles (and descriptions) should match the role you have today, not three years ago.

Have you taken on new responsibilities, dropped any, or delegated them to others?

When people then talk to you, they’ll feel confident that they’ve found the right person for their needs. It also builds subtle trust signals that the information found on the website is accurate and reliable.

3. Do you still hang out there?

To build trust, every social media profile you link to from your website should all work and, more importantly, match the platforms that you actively use today, not three years ago.

Out of date links or abandoned platforms erodes trust, especially to potential clients who actively use the platform you no longer do. Only promote the ones you are using regularly today and will also be of relevance to your work audience.

4. Is that still true?

If your bio includes information about your family, personal interests, hobbies, and community contributions, is it still current and true, especially in light of all the COVID restrictions and changes? Other common examples include: talking about future events that are now in the past, talking about something as “new” but it’s now not, the numbers of children you have and their ages, adding recent press coverage, adjusting the company size or years you’ve been in business.

5. Does it sound authentic?

Read your bio aloud, not in your head. Read it slowly out loud from start to finish without stopping to edit it.

Does it sound authentic? How did you feel while reading it aloud? Did any part make you feel uncomfortable or not like it was you? Does the voice of it sound in alignment with where your company is today?

Work on those parts. Even if it is written in the third person, ensure it sounds and feels like they’re talking about the real you.

6. Is it helpful?

Is it clear to people what your mission is — i.e. who you help, and how you help them? Does it cover the important things you’d like people to know? Does this information matter to other people?

7. Is it easy to read?

Does it contain technical terms or jargon that visitors may not understand? Can you add subheadings to break up the text for those who are scanning the page?

8. Is it the right length?

Check the length of your bio. How long does it take to read it at a comfortable speed? Is it too waffly? Is it too brief, leaving people uninformed?

9. Are there typos?

Fix typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. I use a free tool called Grammarly to help spot them. Mistakes like these can give a signal of carelessness, rushing, or not caring about the small details, leaving one feel like you’re unprofessional.

10. Get feedback

Email us the link to your updated bio page. We’ll read it and give you some feedback. No charge.

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