Social proof

In today’s lesson, we’re talking about social proof.

Social proof is the tendency for people to follow the actions of others.

For example…

If you were on the street and saw hundreds of people walking in one direction, chances are you’d start walking in that direction too, right?

Leveraging social proof can be extremely powerful for your business.

By showcasing that other people love your site, product, service, and business, you’ll naturally build trust and gain more customers.

By the end of the lesson, you’ll know:

  • The various types of social proof
  • Where to look for social proof
  • Key strategies to get more social proof

Ready? Let’s dive in…


Next steps:

1. Look at your social proof 

2. Document your findings


Types of social proof:

  • Testimonials
  • Customer reviews
  • User ratings
  • Total number of customers, visitors, users, subscribers, etc.
  • Social shares, likes, mentions
  • Case studies
  • Influencer, celebrity, or expert endorsements
  • Media mentions
  • Partnerships
  • Awards
  • Certifications

How to get social proof:

  • Google your website
  • Check social media
  • Look at your research
  • Offer your product/service for free
  • Partner and collaborate
  • Apply for awards
  • Ask for a testimonial or review

Where to ask for testimonials:

  • DMs
  • Emails
  • Webinars
  • Phone calls
  • Product reviews
  • Email surveys
  • Consultations
  • People in your network
  • Posts and comments
  • Collaborations
  • Family and friends
  • Former colleagues

When to ask:

  • Sooner than you think
  • After a successful transaction
  • Positive feedback
  • Completion of a project
  • Repeat business or usage
  • Post-sale follow-up
  • Completion of a program or course
  • Positive interaction on social media
  • Solving a problem
  • Milestones
  • Surveys or feedback requests

How to ask:

  • When you speak to your customers
  • When you email your customers

Add all feedback in your research document, so you can reference it later.



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Video transcript:

The Power of Social Proof: A Personal Experience

So the other day I was shopping for a tennis racket on Amazon, and here’s what I saw. I go to Amazon, I type in tennis racket, and I can see that there’s a bunch of different options that pop up. I notice immediately on the left hand side there’s an overall pick from Amazon, which sounds like a ringing endorsement, and then I look down and I see all the star ratings that are down there.

Cool, let’s check it out. So I click into this product and I look at it. And the first thing that I look at is the number of ratings and the quality. 6400 ratings and a 4.6 rating. That looks pretty sweet, right?

So I dived in a bit deeper. Look at the customer reviews. There’s a nice little overview.

People like the quality, the value, the weight, the performance, the size, etc.

And then I actually read the top reviews to see what people are saying. I really like tennis. I’m not terribly good at it, and I’m kind of a tall, goofy guy in sandals, but my game is still pretty nice. So, as I’m going through this, I’m thinking, yeah, this is probably the right one for me, and then I ultimately go and buy the racket.

Now, here’s the thing. I couldn’t tell you anything about the technical details of a tennis racket. I don’t know how tight the strings need to be. I don’t need to understand the size of the tennis racket itself. I just need to know, do other people like it? And if that’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

And 6, 400 people probably aren’t going to be wrong.

So I hope this illustrates just how important social proof is. If I could go and make a purchase 90 percent influenced just by what other people said. Just by the social proof that I saw, you can understand how important this is for you to gather this type of feedback from your customers and then display it in ways that your prospects will see, understand, and trust you based on the results.

Understanding Different Forms of Social Proof

So when I say social proof, I’m actually talking about lots of different things. They could be testimonials.

So clients that you’ve had that have said nice things about you.

They could be customer reviews. Like I just saw here on Amazon.

User ratings, like the star rating that we saw on Amazon.

You can also include other things like the total number of customers. For example, 400 reviews. The number alone is impressive. If you have a bunch of customers, you could play that up. If you have a site that’s really busy and you get a lot of visitors, that’s a form of social proof. The number of subscribers, if you’re looking to sign up for a newsletter and they say join 50, 000 readers, that’s a lot more compelling than join me and Uncle Bob.

Social shares, likes, and mentions, all of these are really important forms of social proof.

As well as case studies. If you run a service or a SaaS company and you have case studies where you’ve shown how you helped client X achieve Y, that’s incredibly important and it’s an incredibly good use of social proof.

There’s also influencers or celebrities or expert endorsements. If you know somebody who’s very famous in your industry and they’ve said nice things about you, that’s an excellent form of social proof. Media mentions if you’ve been featured in Forbes, the New York Times, the BBC.

Partnerships. If NASA contacted you and they needed help putting the next rocket into space, that’s a pretty awesome partnership. That’s an excellent source of social proof.

Any awards that you may have won or certifications, all of these serve to show your prospects that you are someone that has been there, done that, and they can trust you to get the results for them.

How to Gather Social Proof

So how on earth do you get all this social proof? Well, the first obvious step is to Google your website, type in the name of your website and just see what comes up.

You can even type in the name of your website and words like reviews or recommendations. And then see what comes up. Chances are you’re going to come across a lot of people talking about your product or your service in lots of different places around the internet.

You can also check on social media. There’s a lot of chatter going on on a lot of these places, and chances are somebody somewhere is saying some nice things about you.

Look into your research. If you’ve been following along in this course, you’ll remember in the email survey, we asked customers to describe your service in their own words. That’s an excellent way for you to get testimonials because they are describing your service and they will say nice things about you.

And they’re great because they’re your customers. They know your product and service and they know how to explain it.

And you can use those testimonials on your site. If you’re just getting started out or you’re launching a new product or a new service, you can offer it for free initially in exchange for positive feedback or feedback in general. And if the feedback is positive, then you can use that as a testimonial as well.

Partner and collaborate with other people.

Again, if you have partnerships with other people in your market that are very known, liked, and trusted, that’s an incredible proof element for you.

You can also apply for awards or certifications like with the BBB, the Better Business Bureau or other relevant certifications in your industry.

You can always ask for a testimonial or review.

If you’re selling a product, you can always put this into your emails. If you’re offering a service, you can always speak with your clients and then ask at the end of a call with them.

As you can see, there are lots of places that you can ask for this stuff. You can ask for it in direct messages, in emails, in webinars, phone calls, product reviews, email surveys, consultations, particularly at the end of the consultation. You can ask people in your network that already know, like, and trust you, in your posts or in the comments.

If you’re doing stuff on social media, you can ask people what type of results they’ve seen. And then if you can use what they say as a testimonial,

your collaborations, you can ask during those. You can also ask your family and friends if they’re in your industry, or if you’re looking for a character reference, if you’re just getting started out, obviously, you probably don’t want to just ask your mom, colleagues, or somebody who’s in this space could work really well.

When and How to Ask for Testimonials

You might be wondering when you should ask for all of this stuff. The answer is sooner than you think. The simple rule that I used whenever I ran my own companies and when I was consulting was to always ask after a successful transaction. So once your client or your customer has gotten a result and they’ve achieved that first milestone, that’s a good time to ask.

Really, anytime they give you positive feedback, they say, you know, Adam, you did a great job on this research video. Like you and Darcie really know your stuff. Like, Hey, that’s awesome. I appreciate you liked it so much. Would you mind if I just asked you for a quick testimonial and just ask you a few questions and you see how powerful that is and how natural it is.

People are already saying something nice. You can just double down on it. You can always ask at the completion of a project and say, you know, we’ve been working together for a while. We’ve seen some great results. Would you mind just taking a few minutes and say what life was like before you started working with us and after, and there you go. Perfect structure for a testimonial. Repeat business or usage. If somebody comes back again, that’s another good time to ask. And anytime you’re doing a followup post sale, like imagine you’re a real estate agent and you sold a house through somebody, they’ve got their new home and they’re excited. Once they’ve closed, you could just go and drop off, you know, a bottle of wine or some flowers or something, shake their hand, congratulate them, and then ask them for a testimonial.

At the completion of a program or a course, any positive interaction on social media, whenever you’ve solved a problem for them, or achieved a particular milestone.

If you’re in like weight loss, you’re a professional trainer. Once somebody’s lost their first 10 pounds, you can ask them then. Once they’ve lost 30 pounds, you can ask then. Once they’ve lost 50 pounds, you can ask then. Any milestones that are, are relevant can be really powerful. And then you can also ask in surveys or in feedback requests, like we talked about in the email survey section of this course.

All right.

The Art of Asking for Testimonials

So we’ve talked about when to ask. Now let’s talk about how you ask for these testimonials. When you’re speaking to your customers, here’s a very simple method that I’ve used. That I learned after 15 years of running my own companies and being a consultant. When you’re speaking to someone, you want to follow a simple formula.

You want to state two things that are obviously true and that gets them nodding their head in agreement. It puts them in a very agreeable state of mind. Then you transition into asking for the testimonial. So here’s a, here’s an option. Hey, I know that we’ve been working together for three months and during those three months we’ve done the following a, b, c, based on the results that you’ve seen so far, would you mind just giving me a quick testimonial?

See how easy that is. You stated two things that were obviously true and you have a very low commitment offer. And if they just say, yeah, sure. You say, great. Since we’re chatting right now, is it okay if I just hit the record button and I can ask you three simple questions? Chances are they’ll probably say, yeah, that’s cool.

Once they’ve agreed to that, you hit record and you ask them three questions. The first question is what was life like before we started working together? The second question is What is life like now after we’ve been working together?

And the third question is, what would you say to somebody who is interested in working with me?

That’s it. The first question sets the stage. The second question shows the results that you’ve gotten. And the third question is basically the sales pitch that you can show to your prospects. So it quickly demonstrates how much value you bring to the table.

So hopefully this is really simple for you to do.

Collecting and Utilizing Your Social Proof

And as you’re going through this process, you’re going to gather loads of social proof.

If you don’t speak to your customers, you really should. But if you aren’t, you can also email your customers and do something very similar. Hey, you’ve been a customer of ours for three months now. Would you mind leaving us a quick review on Amazon? Or would you mind just responding to this email and let us know.

The answer is to these three questions. And those are the three questions that I’ve already said. What was life like before you started working with us? What is life like after? And how would you describe our service to a friend? And that’s another simple way for you to gather all your social proof.

Once you’ve gotten all this social proof, I highly recommend everything you come across. Take screenshots of what people are saying about you on social media. Write down all those important data points like the number of reviews that you have. Take screenshots of the star ratings that you have on various websites.

This could be Yelp or Amazon or other sites depending on your market.

You should take all of that social proof and put it into your research document.

So to quickly recap.

The Importance of Social Proof in Marketing

Social proof is incredibly valuable. It’s an asset that you really can’t overdo. So you should spend as much time and energy as possible collecting it, and keeping it all in one simple spot. One single location that you and the rest of your team can easily access. And you can put into your marketing materials and your website to ultimately reassure users and convince them to ultimately take the next step and buy.

There are many, many places where you can get social proof. You need to develop a habit of asking for testimonials, of asking for reviews, wherever and whenever possible, and then saving all that information into a single doc. Doing so is going to make all of your marketing and web design a lot easier.

So feel free to invest as much time and effort as possible into getting the best testimonials, the best reviews, and the best social proof possible. Trust me, it’ll pay off.

On this page: 

  1. Video
  2. Next steps
  3. Notes
  4. Transcript

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