Technology has indeed come a long way throughout the years. No doubt we’re still in the works of making teleportation machines and interstellar travels a reality. However humanity have definitely advanced towards modern day convenience. Escrow payment is one of the numerous conspicuous leap in technological evolution. Think about the last time you’ve made an online purchase. Did you for a second hesitate to click the “Checkout Cart” button because you are worried that you might not actually receive anything at all? I know right, EVERY SINGLE TIME! Furthermore, were there instances whereby your queries were not entertained by online merchants at all? I presume so. I’m pretty sure it’s infuriating, yes? 

 

On the other hand, the prevalence of the sharing economy empowers almost anyone to trade their wares or services through a platform. Everyone essentially can build a side gig or business online. If you are standing on the flip side of the coin, as a provider (seller), you would want to increase your online leads. Which will then increase your chances of converting them into actual transactions. So what’s the counter to tell your online audience that you are real? 

 

Despite the advancement in technology, we constantly have this gnawing sense of distrust and fear that we might fall into a scam that’s always lurking around the Internet. And this applies to both as a buyer or provider. The remedy? We can start by understanding both sides of the online transaction narrative to build your web cred. And develop a solid online portfolio and presence! 

 

Online Name

 

Let’s start with your online alias. I understand that to a certain degree, everyone wish to have some privacy when interacting through the Internet. The last you want is revealing too much personal information and end up being stalked in real life. However, having a decent alias or first name is a definite plus to build on your credibility. And depending on the nature of the platform, having your real name is essential to have others take you seriously. For instance, when building your profile to find a job through LinkedIn.

 

How would you feel if you’re on some legit dating site and someone by the name of “xxbabydolphin2222”, “1w4nt@Lyf3” or “j0n4+h4n_W33” pop up as a match? Now compare that to “ILoveDolphins”, “ThisIsMyLife” or “Jonathan Wee”. Which set of names will you be more incline to send a text message? I hope it’s the latter. 

 

Names are a fundamental element in human interactions. And it’s the first breaker of a personal boundary. Even more so in the dehumanized virtual world. 

 

Profile Photo

 

Similar to your online name, you make your first impression only once. So do yourself a favour and please insert a decent image for your profile photo

 

If you are photogenic, and is relatively confident of your looks, putting an up close image will be ideal. Who doesn’t like initiating a conversation with a good looking human being, right? Contrastingly, if you have trouble accepting your looks (no offense), then upload an image of yourself that is further away from the camera lens. Or if you really are uncomfortable having your photo put up online, then choose a persona that at least creates an illusion of trust. For instance, pick a motivational quote for your profile photo. 

 

You may ask – How about filters for my photos? It’s a yes and no. A lightly modified and touched up image of yourself do work wonders. For example, the “brightening” tool that is popular among the Chinese and Korean community. Doesn’t hurt to think of it like makeup for your photos, right? On the other hand, those “animal face” photo app might be a disaster for trust building. Personally, I’m not a fan of those filters as they masked most features of one’s face. Hence, creating an impression of “having something to hide”. Definitely not a great start to establish trust. Nonetheless, over-edited photos gives others a false perception of reality. I suggest you use photo filters in moderation. 

 

Additionally, leaving your profile photo vacant is a huge no no. Nobody is comfortable interacting to a faceless person online, let alone parting their money as a result. At the end of the day, people will have a much easier time trusting you if they can have a face to match a name.  

 

Personal Description

 

Remember the old ice-breaking game in school? Stand up and introduce yourself to the class. What are your hobbies? What do you want to achieve in life? Why are you doing this course? Although it is pretty cliche that bonding activities nowadays still incorporate games like this, let’s be honest, it does works. To some extend, you will get to know your classmates or counterparts a little better than before.

 

Your description is that game. In an online environment, you really don’t have the luxury to mingle and get to know each other better. Write something about yourself and your intentions on the platform. This helps others to shorten their learning curve about you and get the connection going. If you are keen to socialise and make new friends, put that in your description! Describe your personality and what “type” of company you enjoy hanging out with. This would totally encourage your target audience to initiate a conversation. 

 

Testimonials & Ratings

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day – so is your credibility. 

 

How you build your virtual credibility is similar to how you garner trustworthiness in real life. The key is to treat others fairly and consistently. And like what they say for karma, what goes around comes around. Apply that same logic online, and you should rake in credibility brownie points in the form of testimonials and ratings. The better you treat others, the higher your ratings. It’s as simple as that. As both a buyer or provider, your reviews are an important reflection of how you interact with others. As a result, receiving more responses from providers, or creating more leads from others respectively. 

 

Resolution

 

Since technology haven’t completely cut the Gordian knot to online scams, forging much mistrust while using the internet, the remedy might be your online portfolio. At Kalpha, your personal profile and branding is something we strongly encourage for you to work on. To help build users’ credibility, we have optimized fields in our users’ profile when they connect more frequently. 

 

Oh yes, i’m totally against criminal activities and ill intentions. Advice stated here is solely to encourage healthy interactions in the Internet.