People love to “shop small,” but they also need to know your business is credible, your service is commendable, and your products are high-quality.
Providing “social proof” allows you to lean on the fact that people are influenced by others in order to accomplish this. Here are five examples of social proof that works:
1. Customer ratings
Collect your own ratings from customers or ask your (most satisfied!) customers to rate your business on review sites such as Capterra or Yelp. If you get great ratings from a review site, post your ranking on your own website, too. Many of the review sites provide badges to businesses that make their “best of” lists; use them liberally!
2. Customer testimonials
Get customers to provide a quote or, better yet, allow you to interview them for a case study. For maximum impact, include a photo of your customer next to their testimonial. If you want to take customer testimonials up a notch, ask them to provide video testimonials. Don’t use a script. Let the testimonial flow naturally, so it is more authentic.
3. Press coverage
The media can have a significant impact on your business, but not just for the immediate press hit. Pull a quote from the article and use it in your marketing. If it’s a well-known media outlet, you can just include their logo along with the words, “as seen in.”
Learn more about how to nab some local media coverage in these posts:
- 5 tips to get a journalist’s attention
- 5 strategies to get free local TV & radio coverage
- 5 pitch ideas to get local TV exposure for your small business
4. Sheer popularity
From “loved by more than 5000 businesses” to “serving thirty countries,” this form of social proof works because people assume the crowd has wisdom.
5. Influencer reviews
Influencers have built an audience that trusts their judgment and, if executed well, a positive word from them could lead to more sales (or at least more brand recognition.) So reach out to influencers in your niche and give them your products or let them try your services. In exchange, request a review that they share with their network and permit you to repost on your website and other marketing materials.
Alternatively, you could reach out to experts. Who’s more of an expert on your offering than your best customers? Create an ambassador program for them to turbocharge your word-of-mouth referrals.