Social Proof Marketing Secrets with Troy Howard
In my previous article, I emphasized the importance of social proof and how to effectively capture it to grow a coaching empire. Now I’m going to teach you 3 ways to integrate that same social proof into your marketing just like the top coaches in the world do. This proven method will walk your prospective clients down a well-crafted path and compel them to join your top-level programs.
STOP SELLING YOURSELF
Over the past 18 years, I’ve worked with thousands of coaches, speakers, and small business owners, and one of the biggest mistakes they make is focusing too much on selling themselves and their services through their marketing instead of letting others sell for them. Now I’m not talking about hiring a salesforce to hit the streets. I’m talking about creating a group of clients that are fanatical super fans and leveraging their stories to create marketing that will close sales every time. Numbers don’t lie; people will believe your fans more than they will ever believe you when it comes to talking about what you can do for them, so stop selling yourself and let your super fans do it for you.
WEBSITE…Your 24/7 Salesperson
Imagine you’re driving to a meeting with a potential client that you want to sign up for your $100,000 coaching program and you have your five best clients in the car with you. The whole ride over they’re telling you how awesome you are and what a great job you did for them. You reach the meeting location, jump out of the car and before you enter the building you ask your five raving fans to wait in the car while you go make the sale on your own. You would be crazy to leave your best clients in the car instead of letting them rave about you to the potential client! That’s what you’re doing if you don’t populate your website with social proof.
That’s why the first place you want to start adding your social proof is on your website. This is one of the most visited sources of information about you. Most people will fill their website with pages and pages of photos, quotes, and tons of sales content. Then as an afterthought, they squeeze a few testimonials onto the bottom of their homepage and bury a testimonials page somewhere on their website that no one will ever see. Does that make any sense? Are they bringing their raving fans to the meeting or locking them in the car?
First, place your raving reviews or testimonials on your homepage in the top half of your website. They need to be instantly visible so they immediately stand out. Website visitors will skim your content but they will stop and check out social proof, especially reviews because they are third party verified and therefore much more believable and trustworthy.
Second, you need to have a page dedicated just for reviews. Don’t label it testimonials because people are now trained to bypass testimonials in favor of reviews. Place all reviews and testimonials on this page, especially if they’re videos. People will watch a video review before they will read testimonials.
Third, strategically place your social proof throughout your website – right before any calls to action. Again, your social proof is there to remind and assure them that they’re making the right decision and to take action now. Imagine that testimonial or review from your best client acting as a friend to give your prospect that last little bit of encouragement to move forward.
EMAIL…Your perfect messenger
As we all know, email is still a great way to reach potential customers and walk them down the path of conversion. I personally use several automated email campaigns that deliver perfectly timed messages to our prospects, and each email is built around a benefit or result that is backed by a compelling piece of social proof.
For example, one email I send out about the SoTellUs Review Marketing System highlights the system’s ability to capture video reviews in less than 30 seconds and market them through the business’s social media sites to drive new sales. The email then features a video of a SoTellUs customer sharing a story of how they captured a video review using SoTellUs and how it went viral – generating several new jobs for his company.
You should never send out an email without some form of social proof. To ensure that never happens, at a minimum you should include a link in your email signature to the social proof on your website. Use wording like “Click Here to check out our 5 Star Reviews!” Even if the person does not click on the link you have subconsciously planted in their mind that you provide 5 Star Service and Results.
PRINT…Let them touch and feel your proof!
Just like you should never send out an email without including social proof, you should never send out printed materials without it. The one downside to printed marketing is that you’re limited on how much content you can deliver at any given time due to its size. Every square inch is valuable real estate so you must maximize the converting power of everything that’s included. That’s why social proof is so important in your printed material.
Choose a piece of social proof that’s aligned with the message of the marketing piece and make sure it stands out. Use a photo of the person giving the testimonial or review because peoples’ attention is naturally drawn to faces. Provide as much detail as possible about the person as well. The more info you provide, the more believable it will be.
I recently spoke at a conference and the business coach that put it on did an amazing job with his printed marketing. As you walked down the hallway to the conference room he had large posters displayed on stands lining the hallway and each poster was a testimonial from a client attending the conference who shared their actual success story. He included the name of the client and their picture to draw attention to the poster. Since the clients were at that very conference it gave the attendees the ability to recognize each client and talk to them about their experience with the coach – which turned a written endorsement into a live endorsement as well. Do you see how this coach masterfully created a situation where prospective clients would talk to his super fans?
If you’re mailing out printed materials make sure that you include a call to action that drives them to your website to check out your five-star reviews. Again, they may not actually do it but by putting the call to action in your ad you’re confirming in their mind that you do have five-star reviews and that increases the trust level.
These three simple ways to integrate social proof into your marketing have generated millions of dollars in revenue for both our company and our clients and I know that when you implement them into your coaching business you will close clients faster and for more money as well. In my next article, I’ll share with you how to leverage social media to get your social proof in front of thousands of potential clients; get your social proof on the first page of Google and how to strategically use social proof in your sales presentation to charge more for your coaching.
About Troy Howard
Troy Howard’s passion for combining technology and marketing has been a driving force in his life, leading him from selling yellow page ads to an executive of a publicly traded company, and ultimately an entrepreneur and champion of small businesses. Troy’s current project and passion will be another industry disruptor in online reviews. He recently launched SoTellUs, the world’s only review platform that lets businesses instantly collect video, audio and written reviews from their customers using an app on a smartphone or tablet.
Get your complimentary subscription today.
Join thousands of coaches around the globe.