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What is Social Proof and Why it Matters for New Products, Services, and Ventures

What is Social Proof and Why it Matters for New Products, Services, and Ventures

Your reputation is what others think of you. The issue is that potential customers, partners, and investors don’t know what to think of you when you are a new startup selling a new product. 

How do you make it easy for leads to understand what you do *and* the value you bring in a believable manner? Social Proof. 

Social proof is key to earn trust and encourage action when sharing new products, services, and ventures.

Social Proof can be established in three ways:

  • Logos: Logos on your website and marketing/sales docs that showcase logos of recognizable customers of yours. The goal is that you want a lead to recognize who you work with and think, “If they work with _X_, should we consider them too?”
  • Testimonials: A testimonial is a statement from a past/current customer on how your product/service helped them. Note that not all testimonials are created equal. An ideal testimonial will be concise, specific, and outcome-driven. 
    • Bonus: Draft 2-3 fictitious ideal testimonials to share with customers when you ask so that they have proper guidance on what to write. Depending on your relationship with the customer, you can draft the testimonial for them to share and get approval.
    • When should you ask for a testimonial? Ask after you unlock a win for your customer. Catch them in the excitement and write a testimonial for them that includes the outcome of that win.
  • Case Studies: A case study is a report of an organization's implementation of a new product or service. This is worth the time to create if you can quantify the impact you unlocked and if the outcome from that impact would be enticing for other leads to learn more about.

Testimonials need to be concise, specific, and outcome-driven

To dig deeper into testimonials, let’s say that you run a service called Jobio that helps job seekers expedite their job search through career coaching services. Below is an example of a general and weak testimonial followed by a more concise, specific, and outcome-driven testimonial.

Testimonial A: “The Jobio team helped me workshop my resume so that I could have better luck applying for jobs and interviewing. They were very helpful with the entire process and I am now employed!”

Testimonial B: “The Jobio Team walked me through the resume refinery process every step of the way. I didn't have a degree in my field and was afraid my experience left me underqualified, but with Jobio’s help I was able to land a job within 4 weeks and negotiate a 20% increase in my starting salary!

Which of the above testimonials would excite you more?