How to Get Social Proof, Even if You’re a Total Newbie

So you're entering a new marketplace and:

  • No one knows you
  • You don't know anyone
  • You've got no proof whatsoever that you or your products work

What should you do?

The typical marketer will ignore the need for social proof, launch their product or service and fail miserably.

The smart marketer, however, will take a few days or a few weeks and gather as much social proof as possible before launching.

So what kind of social proof are we looking for to help sell our products?

  • Testimonials from happy customers
  • Endorsements from businesses and experts
  • Evidence that you're an expert on your topic

And why do we need social proof? Because social proof increases conversions. In fact, if done correctly, social proof can more than quadruple sales. And the right social proof can even make sales on its own without a sales letter.

So how do you get social proof when you're just starting out? Actually, it's easier than you think.

Let's say you have a new diet program. Go onto diet forums, find people who want to lose weight and offer them your program for free in in exchange for tracking their progress and reporting back to you. Then use their testimonials to sell your program.

Better yet, go to your local gym and find volunteers to use your program. Or find volunteers on Craigslist. By getting local people to test your program, you can take 'before' and 'after' shots and easily follow up on their progress.

Got a system for making $3,000 a week? Give it away to volunteers who use the program to get the results, then leverage their testimonials into sales. Again you can find volunteers to test your program either locally or through forums. Or you might approach a blogger with a good sized audience and find your volunteers through their site.

Remember, the time it takes you to get social proof prior to launching a product will be paid back to you many times over in the form of higher conversions.

And whatever it is that you're selling to build social proof you only need to offer or do things for free for people in your market to build the relationship and get the testimonials.

Do you want to coach? Do it for free first. Let a limited number of people in for free and all you ask in return is for their feedback. Blow them away and use their testimonials to sell your coaching program for big bucks.

Imagine you want to start a business helping local business owners do their online marketing. Choose 2 or 3 businesses and offer to do their marketing at cost, with them only paying your out of pocket expenses and nothing more. Blow them away with the results and then offer to do for other companies what you did for them.

This is also an excellent way to build relationships. Offer to do things for the big guns in your market for free, just to get their testimonials and use them as a reference. If you do good work, they're likely to hire you to do more. Plus you've got a new contact you might work with on other projects, as well. And when you're looking for an affiliate or JV partner, they're much, much more likely to say yes because you already have a working relationship.

Getting social proof isn't hard if you're willing to invest a little time and effort, and it can pay off dramatically with higher conversions and increased sales. And what happens when you increase your conversions? You attract more affiliates, which again increases sales, creating a never ending spiral of success for you and your business.

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