Archive for social proof

Social Proof and LinkedIn:
‘Tis Better to Give, than Receive…

ExcellentAs I’ve shared in previous posts,  the value of social proof — referrals, recommendations, and client testimonials — cannot be underestimated.

Similar to how frequent, quality content enhances your website pages, social proof enhances your professional credibility.  When readers learn from the comments from other people about your business, they become your most persuasive sales people. Comments from others are such strong persuasion triggers, you shouldn’t limit them to just a page, but have them scattered throughout your web pages, blog, and social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.

With over 350 million members, and over 1 million members publishing blog posts on LinkedIn, you’re likely to encounter a few colleagues you know.  So make sure you take the time to recommend and endorse them.  Your recommendation or endorsement on LinkedIn is social proof for a other people; it signals that the person is qualified and recognized as a valued colleague. Read More→

Client Testimonials: Readers Know When They’re Phony

Client-TestimonialsThere’s no doubt that social proof is one of the key ways people decide to buy or try your products or services.  But if you don’t have a lot of clients, or you’re starting a new business or product, how do you get quality client testimonials?

I get asked about this by some of my consulting clients. Nothing can backfire and destroy trust and credibility more quickly than phony testimonials.

I was working with a client who – now that he owned his own business – didn’t feel comfortable using testimonials he had acquired when he was part of a team effort, working for someone else.

I don’t blame him. Even though he had a solid reputation as an expert in his field, he was concerned about authenticity and sincerity. He was afraid that the client’s comments were not genuine because they were not about his new company, products and services.  And he is right: Readers can smell a phony testimonial a mile away. Read More→

How to Make Social Proof Work for You


When writing on the web about your services or products, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of testimonials and client reviews. Social proof is such a strong persuasion trigger you shouldn’t limit these comments to just a page, but have them scattered throughout your web and blog pages.

Know what works best for your content marketing strategies, especially when creating a website or blog, introducing yourself, a new product, or special promotion.

In my previous post, Social Proof: Why It’s So Important, I reported on research that showed travel destinations with client recommendations and photos of the reviewer were selected 20 percent more than destinations with no review.

But not all recommendations (and ratings) will yield the same results. According to Dr. Susan Weinschenk, in her book Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click: Read More→

Social Proof: Why It’s So Important

Customer FeedbackWhy is social proof so important when writing on the web?

This week I got a call from a person who wanted to buy a subscription to executive coach articles to use for her new newsletter. What sealed the deal? The testimonials from other subscribers.

Recommendations, testimonials and client stories are a powerful persuasion tactic. It’s one of the key persuasion triggers that get people to take action. It’s called social proof.

Do you remember the landmark book Influence, by Robert Cialdini?  He wrote about six weapons of influence, and it turns out, social proof is one of the most powerful mechanisms for triggering buying decisions.

We are heavily influenced by social persuasion, we can’t help it. Our brains respond to our strong need to belong and fit in, and it all happens in our unconscious minds.

Read More→

Should You Send Holiday Newsletters?


Shortcuts to Newsletters

Are you sending holiday newsletters for your business? Even though you may be tempted to put all your time and energy into maintaining your business blog, a newsletter is still a vital, viable way to stay connected to clients and prospects. Holiday newsletters are a great opportunity.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask other professionals if they’re getting results from sending out an emailed newsletter, for the holidays, or any time of year, and then judge for yourself if it’s worth the time and effort (and money).

Here’s a great example of what I hear: Read More→

How to Lure Readers to Your Blog
from Social Media

Lure Social Media Readers to Your BlogLet’s face it; sometimes it’s hard to draw people’s attention away from their many social media accounts.  I know that I’m guilty of not being willing to leave the social media site I’m browsing to visit an outside blog or article. So how do we as blog writers get people to leave the social media bubble and head on over to our blog to read and then share what they read on social media?

Here are a few ideas to get reader’s eyes off of their Facebook or Twitter page and onto your blog: Read More→

LinkedIn Power Tips: Give Before You Receive

If you’ve noticed, LinkedIn is quickly becoming the social networking site for professionals to connect and do business. Maybe Facebook is better left for your family and friends? Just wondering… I’ve invited Chris Buffaloe of to share tips on using the LinkedIn recommendations feature. (photo courtesy jannoon028)

The value of referrals, recommendations, or testimonials cannot be underestimated. Recommendations are similar to testimonials of your good name, good product(s), or expertise. They enhance your credibility as an expert similar to how quality content, quality presentation of that content and frequency of content enhances your page rank and authority status for your website. They also raise your credibility.

Recommendations in LinkedIn are social proof. They tell a LinkedIn (LI) candidate that the person is qualified or recognized as a valued colleague that has or will add value to your business. As you interact with connections, you become more familiar with their areas of expertise and perhaps are able to use this knowledge in your business execution.

Once you can recommend a connection, you proceed with some expectation that they will reciprocate. However, do not expect that all people that you have recommended will in turn write a recommendation for you. As you proceed in building your connections, keep in mind that your connections are your referral sources – focus on those contacts that have the potential to directly (or indirectly) enhance your business or expertise. Read More→

The B2B Manifesto: Trust Building Comes First

How good is your “trust-building?” I just read this term in a new digital release: The B2B Manifesto, just published by Velocity Partners in the UK.

Think about it. Before you can convert readers to clients, before you can get them to download your digital information and build your list, you’ve got to build trust.

The B2B Manifesto: 5 Imperatives and 6 Staples for Winning the Battle for Attention: page 19:

“You need to leverage trust-builders into each step of the (buying) journey:

  • case studies
  • awards
  • data
  • testimonials
  • analyst support
  • proof points”

I don’t think enough of you do a good job of trust building. Maybe you’ve not been properly taught or missed class that day? As for myself, I’ve never thought about “trust-building” as a defined goal, I’ve just always assumed I was doing it every step of the way. But am I? Maybe not as well as I could. Are you? Read More→

How to Make Social Proof Work Online

Do some client recommendations work better than others? Social proof is such a strong trigger for online action, it’s good to know what works best for your Web content marketing strategies.

In a previous post, What Clients Say, I reported on research that showed people selected travel destinations 20 percent more with a client recommendation and a photo of the reviewer.

Research studies show that some ratings and reviews will influence more than others: This report is taken from Dr. Susan Weinschenk’s book Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click:

  • We are most influenced when we know the person and the person is telling a story. But quite often, it’s unlikely we will actually know a person doing an online review, unless they are a well-known author or respected expert in the field.
  • We are somewhat less influenced when we don’t know them, but we can imagine them because their is a name, a company name, a link to their site, and maybe a persona description of them (like, for example, a stay-at-home mom, a runner, a CEO, a Ph.D.) Read More→

Phony Testimonials and Dumb Social Proof

How do you get good client testimonials for your sales copy, for example, content for a landing page, when you don’t have a lot of previous clients?

There’s no doubt that social proof is one of the key ways people decide to buy or try your products or services.

I get asked about this by some of my consulting clients who are starting a new business or product launch. Nothing can back fire and destroy trust and credibility more quickly than phony testimonials, as well as vague or anonymous comments.

I’ve been working with an old client who’s been working hard to master blogging so he can have a strong online presence. He’s just about ready to start offering products and services for sale.

He’s got a solid reputation as an expert in his field, but up until now, he’s been working for someone else. He doesn’t feel comfortable using testimonials or positive comments acquired when he was a part of a team effort.

I don’t blame him. Not only will he not feel authentic and sincere, but depending on what the old clients say, it might not ring true for his new company, products or services. Readers can smell a phony testimonial a mile away from the computer screen.

There are a couple key persuasion triggers to remember when composing sales content: Read More→