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Building Trust - Social Proof

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

The big "thing" at the moment (don't you just love my way with words?) is building and establishing trust with your audience to show authenticity, trustworthiness, knowledge, usefulness etc etc using social proof (more on that in a minute).⁠

A few years ago the buzz words were testimonials - you know you ask someone to say something nice about you and you upload it as a quote onto your website but as we all know there's nothing to stop people writing their own testimonials praising their own services and then hiding behind initials or first names etc.⁠

Now the new way is to collect "social proof" so what is social proof? Well it is capturing conversations on messenger or when people say nice things about you or your service on their own social media or leave a review on a review site, where you can capture that in a screenshot and use it within your own site. To make it more authentic, link to that person's website if you can so that people know and see that it's been provided by a real person.⁠

Better still people are now giving video testimonials which is supposed to show even more authenticity but I'm yet to try that.⁠

However, how do you build trust if you are a new business or you've never asked for feedback before? I'm a firm believer in offering an incredible discount in exchange for a decent review. Don't undervalue yourself, only do this in exchange for a maximum of three reviews. Then put out a lesser offer for another one or two testimonials. This is a great strategy to build a portfolio too if you need to showcase your work.⁠

You could also ask a supplier or past boss or work colleagues to say something about you that you can use on your website, because it is social proof you aren't asking for a full testimonial, just a sentence or two on how awesome you are (or that you are reliable or patient etc). Also take a look back through past chats on Facebook or Messenger (or even LinkedIn or WhatsApp) is there anything there that you could use as social proof (don't forget to ask permission to use it). Social proof is snippets of chats - see below. Blank out the person's name if you prefer that is still acceptable or just leave a first name.

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