Unmasking the Truth: 7 Signs of a Fly-By-Night Company
I was recently looking at a website and recognized that it reeked of hyperbole. There was no credibility; it was just a bunch of highfalutin words, as if they’d just used a template. It was full of warning signs that the company could not be trusted. Ironically, I then went to another company and found the exact same words!
If you’re ready to hire a company, perform your due diligence! After all, no one knows you’re a dog on the Internet – meaning: people, company, and fraudsters simply invent stuff. I was victim, for instance, of someone stealing my entire LinkedIn profile, verbatim. Have a look:
7 Website Warning Signs
Here are the top 7 website warning signs that a company was created yesterday.
Remain on high alert if the website lacks:
1. Google Results
If you don’t exist on Google, you don’t exist. Valid companies have reviews, comments, links to articles, posts, videos, books, etc.
2. Specific Clients
I’m appalled at the number of websites that spout copy about working with Fortune 500 companies, but not one single example is touted. Example: “Our diverse portfolio of Fortune 500 give us the…” Or, “We aim to find opportunities for growth on behalf of our Fortune 500 clients…” Really? Who are these clients?
3. Bio and History of the Company & Founders
The “About us” section is not a throw-away tab on your website. It’s how you build trust and a connection. When I see no company profile, history, pictures, or bios of the founders, it doesn’t build confidence, but suspicion.
4. A Portfolio
Even if you are in the business of “selling air” like I do (speaking and coaching, for example), there are still ways to verify the work I’ve accomplished on my website. Before and after photos of copy, samples of bios I’ve written, and links to my clients’ websites all serve as proof that I am who I say I am.
5. A Social Media Presence
Really? In today’s world, a company without even a LinkedIn profile is simply left out. The “template” websites I mentioned, for example, had all the social media links going directly to Wix – meaning they didn’t even bother to create accounts.
6. A Good Name
Often faux companies have generic names. For example, try to find a company called Buzz. There are over 50k just on LinkedIn! These companies hide behind other brands so that you’ll say to yourself, Oh, I’ve heard of you. Of course, you’re thinking about BuzzFeed, Coffee Buzz, etc.
A solid testimonial requires first name, last name, and a real company, preferably hot-linked to the quote. What do you look for in performing your due diligence? I’m all ears. Liz