Kill Trust & scare off your clientsI recently received a lot of emails from my Linkedin connections, inviting me for a new kind of professional social network. I thought it was a network visualisation tool.

Curious as I am, I click, signed-in with my Linkedin account, and take a look.

15 minutes later I deleted my account.

Why?

Here are:

5 great ways to kill Trust & scare off your clients in a flash

1. Make sure your value proposition calls up many questions

An example:

  • Create and customize a Personal Branding Profile – Don’t I already have one on Linkedin?
  • Promote yourself on search engines like Google and Bing – Tell me how?
  • Build your reputation through references and endorsements – Isn’t this something I am doing on Linkedin already?
  • Monitor your reputation on Google – Can’t I just find out by searching on my own name in Google?
  • Exchange ideas, opportunities, and updates with your network – Am I not already doing that on Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, etc?
  • Find and connect with other reputable people – Explain ‘reputable’ please?

2. Make fluffy promises & use gobbledygook language

An example:

“…harnesses the power of social networking, online marketing, and public relations to help you establish your reputation, stand out from your peers, and reach your professional aspirations”.

Erm… what? (OMG. All that with one product?)

3. Make it very hard for people to understand how your product works

I clicked for about 5 minutes, and couldn’t figure out what it was for. It had something to do with my personal brand, growing my network and protecting my reputation. But it didn’t really seem to do that.

Shouldn’t this stuff be intuitive? After 2 minutes of clicking I should have already gotten the ‘Ah’ feeling. Shouldn’t I?

4. Use every chanced you get to push the Premium membership offer in your clients’ face

One of the first things I get after registering is a big advertising pop-up for the Premium membership offer. Isn’t this a bit early? As I am still discovering the service, my eyes keeps getting drawn to the big shiny Premium membership banner in the left navigation sidebar. As I am frantically looking for the ‘delete my account’ button, I stumble over the Premium membership button another few times.

5. Make it look like a CMS rather than a Web 2.0 tool

It’s simple: look at Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, or any other social network that rocks. These are the benchmark. That’s what most people use. What they expect from an online network. You gotta be up to par. Make it look intuitive and pleasant to use and look at.

A final note

OK. I’m done ranting. Hope you don’t mind. Had to get it off my chest.

As a marketer – passionate abound inbound marketing,social networks and product development – I feel some things are worth ranting for, such as:

  • a clear value proposition
  • no gobbledygook (e.g. don’t harness the power of things)
  • no spamming and interrupting people.

And I would suggest a great product too. But I didn’t really stick around long enough to make that call. I lost Trust already.

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