Show me the social proof.

I like to read books about behavioral psychology and consumer decision-making.  In many of these books (from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini to Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational) there is at least some discussion of the idea of social proof.   Or, as most of us probably call it: testimonials.

It turns out, that we humans pay a lot of attention to what other humans do and like.    And, if lots of other people say something is good, we tend to believe it.   So, how does this apply to your marketing?      You can and should make it easy for people to find out the great things that others are saying about you and your services.   Whether it be a link to your Yelp page or your LinkedIn recommendations or just including a specific testimonial in your newsletter or several on your website.  Make it easy!

In most of my newsletters, I include a ‘Client Wow’  (see below).     I also have a Success Stories section on my website.   LinkedIn and Yelp are additional places where you can find recommendations and endorsements.   Are you using all the available options to highlight the social proof of your great work?

As you build a portfolio of testimonials highlight the ones that work best.  Vague testimonials are less impactful than specific ones.   If a client can speak to the way(s) in which you helped them earn or save more money for example, that’s going to work better than “s/he’s great!”    If you’re still building  a portfolio of testimonials, consider creating case studies that speak to how you’ve helped your clients.  This isn’t quite as effective as a third-party endorsement, but it can work if your clients aren’t willing to speak directly or if there are ethical concerns about them doing that (therapists? lawyers? etc.)

Go check your marketing collateral and see if it’s got the social proof that you need!

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