SMART AF

How to get you and your business from where you are to where to want to be.

 

Ep. 107 Beyond Testimonials: 6 Social Proof Strategies to Gain More Trust

by | Smart AF Podcast

social proof

Beyond Testimonials: 6 Social Proof Strategies to Gain More Trust

If your business doesn’t look trustworthy, customers will be nervous about buying from you and your sales will suffer. The key is to get them to know, like, and trust you. Using Social Proof is one of the quickest and easiest ways to gain the trust of prospects and potential customers.

In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean go over six social proof strategies, beyond your everyday testimonials, that will make your business look honest, reputable, and trustworthy.

Listen or watch the full episode below:

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 107

[00:00:00] Torie: It must be some type of like emotional response that people want to act really quick and not miss out on it. I’m surprised they didn’t have something like some countdown that was like, you can only get it like until Friday. 

[00:00:11] Sean: Okay. So the buy two get three today only

[00:00:34] Torie: Hey, what’s up is Torie Mathis, your host. And I am here with the one and only Sean Mathis, Founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. 

[00:00:41] Sean: Hey that’s me. 

[00:00:42] Torie: So Sean was telling me about a watch that he found on Instagram the other day. Thought that he could get a really great deal on an awesome watch, but as it turns out that may not be true. Let’s go on with this, watch on that, this tell me again.

[00:01:03] Sean: I saw on Instagram and it, it was cool looking, you know, it caught my eye. And so I wanted to know more about, I was curious how much it would cost and wound up clicking through, went to their website, and saw. It was a little bit less than what I thought it would have been, which was my first red flag. 

[00:01:22] Torie: Like enough, less than it was like this isn’t right.

[00:01:25] Sean: Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t like holy cow, that’s, you know, $40 a watch and it looks like it’s a thousand dollar watch, but it, it was still, it was just over a hundred bucks. And then I could see they had five watches to choose from. And if you bought two of them, you could get the third one for free. And it was, it was weird.

So I’m like, I, it doesn’t say anything. And then it’s like made in America, it was emphasizing them and it didn’t, it wasn’t, it’s not an American name. Like it totally doesn’t sound American. And so at like all these things, I’m thinking about. So I go, I go back to the Instagram page and I look, and I can see just, they’re just like, let’s say made in America.

[00:02:03] Torie: People will buy it. 

[00:02:05] Sean: Okay. And, and that they had, I could see the end of their posts. Like they haven’t been doing it for very long. They had like 20 followers or something. I’m like, okay, maybe they, maybe they just did it here. So I go, I jumped over and I looked. 

[00:02:18] Torie: Did somebody share this or did you see an ad? They should, they’re actually paying to get in front of them. 

[00:02:23] Sean: So they, they had just started it. And so I go to Facebook and I look them up and it’s the same thing. There’s, there’s nobody following this page. It’s very new. And then I wound up seeing a Facebook ad for it as well. I’m on there. So they, I mean, they put money on both sides, set up for retargeting.

And so I, then I said, well, now I Googled it. Because I’m like, there’s something fishy about this damn watch company. And I Googled the name and I find nothing other than the Facebook page and their website and it all matches. So I’m like, oh, that’s weird. Cause it was nothing like the electric bike. 

[00:02:58] Torie: Oh, the bikes. Oh, Sean found these bikes, these electric bikes that are usually right. Several grand. And they’re like little indie companies like making these awesome little, their bicycles, but then they make them electric. Right. And they’re very cool. 

[00:03:11] Sean: It’s like a beach cruiser style, electric bikes.

[00:03:13] Torie: And they’re electric like super awesome. And Sean like, oh my gosh, look at it. They’d have him for like $200 or $300, which is like, you know, 10% of the regular cost that they would be. 

[00:03:24] Sean: Yeah. And so on those bikes, I could see, I could go back to the page that was marketing them for sale and go, yeah, that’s not the right place. 

[00:03:32] Torie: These people though were using the actual company’s name, the actual company’s products, like the product pictures. So Sean contacted the company because you know, red flags that all these other things weren’t adding up and the company said, we’re trying to get these pages taken down, that people keep popping up these pages, stealing our photos, trying to get orders. And then you’re just not going to get your bike because they don’t have the bikes, you know?

[00:03:56] Sean: And it’s crazy because of how many ads you can get rejected all the time that are legit, because it’s a con I mean, an ad has been running forever all of a sudden, just like that gets denied. Yeah. It doesn’t make any sense. And yet these companies can keep doing it. I mean, I saw I saw one that was a Lego Bugatti and these Lego Bugattis.

Yeah. There are a couple of hundred dollars. And so, again, I don’t get, I don’t get the scam cause like something that, you know is a couple of hundred dollars and they’re selling it for like 10, like to me, there’s it, you know, but apparently it works for some people. And so I like, it’s a bummer for them to lose money because they’re never going to get it.

So I like to do a little bit more research than just take my money. That’s a killer deal. Right. And so back to this watch. I go and I see it’s it is the company, you know, it’s, it’s maybe it’s a baby company. I don’t know. But I go, I go back to their website to do a little bit more research and I see there’s reviews on these watches.

I’m like, all right. So somebody is fine. You know, somebody bought this watch to tell me if it’s garbage or not. And I see the every single one of these reviews has a photo with it. I’m like, wow. Usually not everybody takes the time.

[00:05:12] Torie: Not for a company, like a watch. Like if you were like a coaching company and like you worked hand in hand with people, I could see you using ones, but for a watch.

[00:05:21] Sean: Yeah. So I go through and I mean, they’re all perfect. Five. Yeah. Photos of these watches on these models are too good. You know, they’re, they’re not like here’s the watch. I just got snapped that they shared and it’s kind of blurry, you know, like they totally bought that watch and, you know, took it at home.

Now these are like professionally photo taken photos and I’m just like, that shit is fake, man. There’s no way that’s, that’s real. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t. Make the price $600. And then, then I’d be like, all right, that’s a $600 watch. And it was a brand new company. But in this case, there’s just, there’s no reviews on it. The page is too new. 

[00:06:00] Torie: It must be some type of like emotional response that people want to act really quick and not miss out on it. I’m surprised they didn’t have something like some countdown that was like, you can only get it like until Friday. Okay. 

[00:06:12] Sean: So the buy two get three free. Today only, but I would get it on the right day.

[00:06:21] Torie: Oh my gosh. Lucky Sean Mathis 

[00:06:25] Sean: I go to right now and I’ll probably still say, say that same thing. 

[00:06:28] Torie: You could set up those things. Every day it’ll restart or for every person it’ll restart. So those little countdown calendars for action, 

[00:06:36] Sean: going back to try to find it, to see if somebody else is like commenting on these things, to be like, you know, I did get the watch or whatever the case may be. And now there’s, there’s just, there’s nothing about it. And the, the thing is, is it was generic, everywhere website pages. There was nothing that led me to believe that this was a brand new company that it would explain why. It just started. 

[00:06:59] Torie: Okay. So looking at this at a marketing point of view, I think there’s two things here. If you’re a new company, frickin say you’re a new company we’re brand new and maybe make a video or something of you. So people see that you are brand new and that’s why you don’t have any of this, you know, social proof type of stuff. You don’t have reviews. You don’t have a bazillion followers on Instagram because that’s totally fine.

And I think people really want to support new businesses. So if you’re a new business, Grab onto that. And I think roll with it. Putting pictures of yourself, your staff real pictures too. Like not just the, the fancy one stock photography, looking a very professional ones. I think casual photos really show that you’re a real person.

[00:07:45] Sean: Yeah. And I, I think like watches, it’s super easy to slap a fake watch onto a wrist for sure. And that’s the thing is, I didn’t know who created this company. There was no, no bio about anybody that, you know, why these designs are the way they are. It was just a bunch of generic mumbo jumbo talking about garbage really to explain it and tell me it’s made in America. We’re really, I’d like to know like who started this and why, and explain the design and, and it’s new and, and you’ve got only so many initial launch design in there. It’s this price, you know, for a short time, until we get whatever the case may be, that would explain to me. All the red flags that I’m seeing. And they just, they didn’t do it, which leads me to believe that it’s not real. 

[00:08:32] Torie: So like I said, it’s okay if your business is new and you don’t have all of these things yet, I would say that your business is new, just launched, you know, something like that. So that there aren’t these red flags, but I see businesses all the time that have been around forever.

And there are still these red flags. Let’s talk about how we can fix some of these because. The power of social proof. You know, we talked about that. There weren’t reviews and things like that on there are huge for getting people to trust and want to buy what you have. And so if you don’t give these social cues to people, because there are so many people trying to rip people off online, like it’s one of the number one ways that you can really easily gain trust because people want to do and people feel comfortable doing what other people have already been doing.

Yeah. So you need to give that comfort to people that are coming to you so that they want to do business with you. It’s a way to gain trust. And, and then telling the stories, another thing, it’s a way that people start to like you and to understand, because if they understand the why it’s, it’s giving them a little bit of a connection to your business, and then it also might be covering up some yeah. Are those red flags, like why are there only five watches? 

[00:09:45] Sean: And see, I did this. For years who is my house through time. I mean, I let everybody know, Hey, we’ve only been open for a month. We’ve only been open for six months. We’ve only been open for a year and explained, you know, why there there’s only so many cars in there and the story behind why, like, I’ve rode that for years.

[00:10:03] Torie: Well, if you set, because if you don’t set up that expectation, then people are like, woo. Like I expected, you know, fancy. A thousand cars. Okay. Like, you know, 150 cars and they come in and there’s 25. Like it’s kind of a little bit strange. 

[00:10:19] Sean: We do have more than 25 cars now. 

[00:10:22] Torie: That’s true for a while though there wasn’t right. 

[00:10:26] Sean: I mean, I literally started it with one. The second one was the guy that installed the internet. So that was two yeah, it, it, it was borderline and I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t say it was embarrassing. But it kind of was in a sense that I’m trying to portray this museum. Right. And I’m charging people to yeah. 

[00:10:45] Torie: If you don’t say you’re new, it’s fucking weird.

[00:10:49] Sean: Right. Which is why I really wanted everybody to know that, like, this is, this is brand new and tell him that. I, I mean, I was so efficient at the rundown of. Where we started to where we were that at that point in time, that AF after that, they were like, oh, this is super neat. And nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have more cars or it was bigger, fancier more stuff in general, they knew you know, it just started.

[00:11:16] Torie: So there are ways that you can garner some of this trust from people, especially online. Because there are so many people that might be trying to rip people off and we don’t want that to happen. So some of the ways that you can get some social proof for your business, whether you’re new, I think, especially if you’ve been around for a while, like sometimes you got to work at some of this and it’s easy.

I mean, even me, I, I deal with the clients that I deal with. I know that they love me and I don’t really ask for this kind of stuff with them. You know, I’m busy working with them. And so it’s really easy to, to not ask for any type of social proof, but there are other ways, you know, we think of it and you think of reviews and maybe that that’s the only type of social proof that there are, that there is out there, but there’s a lot of other ways that you can do it.

[00:12:01] Sean: Like what? 

[00:12:02] Torie: Like how many followers you have and how many people comment or like, or things on your social media, that is a way of social proof. It shows that there are other people that know who you are and that they are engaging with your stuff. So the more of that you get, like you said, you, it was a red flag that there was only 20 people following, but if they would have said just launched or they would have said something, you have been like, oh, well, call me 21.

You know, it would have given you a way that you could have supported them in their newness. But if you’re, if you’re trying to be like this big, you know, fancy company and not telling people that you’re new, it. 

[00:12:36] Sean: Yeah, I, I do pay attention to that quite a bit on how many followers that, that accompany has. If they’re trying to tell me they’re super great. I directly relate that to how many other people think this are great, because you know, a company telling you they’re great that you expect to hear that they don’t go, Hey, where should he companies you buy from us? Right? Like that doesn’t happen. It’s we’re so great. Everybody else. As nothing on us. But you get a few people behind him that aren’t associated with that company saying the same thing. Now I start to believe it, right. 

[00:13:08] Torie: Well, in a way that you can do this is, and we talked about this with miles through time, is that if you have a business that is new, you can take a picture of customers there, take a picture of like, let’s say you have a pizza.

And you’re brand new, but you don’t have a lot of reviews and stuff. Well, why don’t you start taking pictures of people in the restaurant? You know, that’s a good way to start to say, Hey, there are people here. You know, we are a real business. Nobody’s going to die when they come eat the, you know, the pizza.

And then you can always ask for usually pictures. So if you know, you see businesses all the time, say, you know, take a picture and, you know, use hashtag Miles Through Time. And that way you can follow the tag hashtag Miles Through Time. And then you would know every time somebody posted a picture and then you can then reshare that picture.

And so companies like these watch company, That is the time to do that. Like even say, get 10% off your next one or do this. If you share a picture of you with our watch. And so if you can figure out a way to get people, to share their own photos of what they’re doing with you, like that is super huge. Yup.

You know, and you know, we talk about the karate dojo and stuff, and I know that they would probably love to have more social photos if they did some type of contest like that every month, like, you know, share your photos of your kiddos and use hashtag you know. 

[00:14:22] Sean: We had that one of Bella karate chopping the board.

[00:14:26] Torie: It was, you know, and, and I did tag them and then they interned shared it and stuff like that, but that could be like a contest that they could do because then all of my friends are going to see it and then they go and turn and share it. And so if I’m willing to share photos of your business and say how awesome it is like that is so. Much bigger than if the business just shared it. So, and I think that any business can do this from, you know, selling frozen yogurt to, I don’t know, accountants, I bet an accountant can figure out some way to do this.

Like there’s, there’s ways for every single business to do this. And you know, there used to be that you could like check into places. And I think that that didn’t really take off.

[00:15:01] Sean: Although you still can. 

[00:15:02] Torie: You still can do that. And maybe that’s like, maybe that’s a start. You can start to do stuff like that.

Sean is really good at Miles Through Time. There are stickers everywhere that say, like to review us on TripAdvisor. We even like the new brochure that we made. That’s more like a guide that we give to people when they come into the museum, it asks for a review. Sean asks for reviews from people. And if you have like a traveling type business, then it’s a little bit easier to get reviews, however, whatever type, you know Traveling type of business or would that be like tourism, like a touristy type business or a restaurant like those get reviews.

However, people are much quicker to give you a bad review than to give you a good review. So the good reviews you really have to ask for. 

[00:15:42] Sean: Now, you literally eventually you will get. Some sort of bad review.

[00:15:46] Torie: And it’s going to happen and that’s fine. Well, the thing is, is if you get a bad review that shows that you’re a person and that these, these real reviews. 

[00:15:55] Sean: I was gonna say the battery, you might not even be real. They, they, they wind up leaving, you know, one star reviews for random places that it sometimes it’s an accident sometimes. Jerks. 

[00:16:10] Torie: I mean, Sean has done this for a couple of our clients that when they became clients of ours, we go on all of our clients. We try to clean up all of their social media, their Google page, like all of that kind of stuff. And one of the things that Sean does is check out their reviews. And if there are one star review, Then you can actually contact those people and be like, what can we do to make it better? And they’ll be like, oh my gosh, I didn’t realize I left you a one star review. I can’t tell you how many times Sean has come back and said, I’m like, seriously, who are these people that are accidentally, accidentally leaving you one-star reviews.

So if you don’t actually do something about that, then like you would never know. And they removed them. They were like, we’re so sorry. And they took the review off and now no more one star reviews. 

[00:16:49] Sean: But if they don’t remove it, you know, Positive real good reviews that it, it should outweigh them all. But you, even if they don’t remove the one star, you just comment on their going up. I don’t know what she’s talking about basically. And you know, let us know how we can help tell them to email you or something like that. They never will. But at least somebody looking at that, it’s going to be like, oh, the, the company does actually care. 

[00:17:09] Torie: They care about. So another thing that you can do is, and this may at first seem like I can’t get that.

I can’t do that, but I think anybody can, and that is to get some type of endorsements or some type of celebrity influencer kind of endorsement or review. And like I said, you might think like, I can’t do that, but you’ve done that. Do you realize that you. 

[00:17:33] Sean: No. 

[00:17:35] Torie: Jonathan, he’s done that. So one of these is Sean was on a YouTube show, a big YouTuber guy here locally, and by getting on his YouTube show because he might, and at the time he wasn’t even as big as he is now, but by being interviewed on his show, he was almost kind of like vouching for you a little bit.

And now he has cars, the guy. Inside of the museum, which again is vouching for you. And that is connected your business and you with more people. And the people are like, oh, well, if you know, Sean Mathis has Ed Bullions cars in the museum, Sean Mathis must be pretty cool. Cool. And that’s all it is like, it seem like it’s not like you went and found some Hollywood celebrity, like a celebrity just needs to be somebody that’s known in the industry or known in the area.

Another one that you had is you had the news guy Paul Milligan. He came by more than once. And if he’s going to vouch for you, and if you guys are, you know, buddies on TV and talk with each other, and he had a great time, that again is another type of celebrity type endorsement. If you can get on your local TV and have the people come out and then they see you together, then there people remember you and people still point out.

I saw you on the news. I saw you with Paul Milligan. 

[00:18:48] Sean: Well thats kind of that you know, you say celebrity, but it also falls into influencer Liberty and influencer. 

[00:18:54] Torie: Yeah, that definitely does it. Like I said, people think they can’t do it because they think it’s outside of their realm. But like it’s, it’s been redefined.

[00:19:01] Sean: Yeah. You just need people to talk about your product or your business or whatever the case may be that you’re trying to sell. And that, and the thing is. Once you get one person talking about it, you know, more people start talking about it, and then you got that, that snowball effect started happening. 

[00:19:16] Torie: So even if you let you use the pizza place, because everybody can relate to a pizza place, let’s say that you have a pizza place. And you’re like, well, how can I get celebrity? Well, if you find somebody in your local area that has a big following online, Why don’t you reach out to them and say, Hey, come by and check out our pizza and you have some free pizza, let us know what you think, you know, and you kind of make a little bit of a thing about it. And then they would post that on their social media, just to get in front of them. 

[00:19:41] Sean: Don’t feel ashamed to reach out to somebody you find out that they’re there, whether they need to be local or not. You just reach out to somebody and say that you like, I want you to yeah. Hawk my stuff, basically, you know, here, here it is, tell people how great it is or, or let them know. And there’s all kinds of people out there willing to do that kind of stuff. 

[00:20:01] Torie: I want to, because a lot of these people that are want to, they want to tell things that are interesting. They want to tell interesting stories, whether they have a podcast or they’re a YouTube, or they’re a blogger or, you know, whatever they are like, everyone wants these fancy Instagram photos.

Like if you can give them something that they don’t have to go think of some idea of them to do. Then they will probably want to do it with you. So another thing that you can use, and that is actually social proof is like showing any type of certifications. Any achievements that you have because that’s showing that somebody else has vouched for you.

So if your business has those types of things, I think that it’s, it’s a good thing for you to put on your website. Doesn’t mean it has to be on the homepage of your website. Everything does not have to be on there, but it is something that you can show. And that is another type of social. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:20:45] Sean: And I mean, really, it can also be like just resharing somebody else’s stuff. Like I, I had a guy that I’ve never met before, but apparently he’s got some sort of blogging page that he does and he’s, he’s come through and took a bunch of pictures and he’s very good about tagging the museum. And so I see it right. And every time he does I’ll reshare it. And I, I do kind of a similar thing for other businesses. Like we did the, the restaurants to go eat at, in Clarksville and other places to stay. And I go out there and I share that stuff. 

[00:21:21] Torie: It’s not always going to be reciprocated and I think that’s okay. And that, that shouldn’t get you down to not do it. Like I would still put time to do it. 

[00:21:29] Sean: Like definitely like it’s, it’s worse than resharing their stuff because they might do, they might do it even more talk about this, you know?

[00:21:37] Torie: So these are ways that you can network on social media. And I don’t think people really realize that you can network this. Isn’t just talking with your customers or answering questions. Like there’s more that you can do. Like if Sean and I went out to lunch in Clarksville or something, we could as Miles Through Time, Do a post about why and, you know, show some pictures about, Hey, we went to the Copper Pot and had excellent pizza and wings and show pictures of it.

And so that way now Miles Through Time is connected to the Copper Pot. And so we’ve, we’ve made that connection there and then hopefully they would in turn share it. And it’s a way that you start to connect other businesses and other people, and you can always do this. And that’s going to help you get in front of their audience and them get in front of you. And it’s a way that you can build your audience and build your social. Okay. So you may be wondering like, how can you actually like start working on some of this stuff? Because I know that you’re busy, we’re busy too. But one thing that you can do is just to add some of this to just your normal process.

So after the sale, ask for a review, ask for these types of things, ask for people to tag your business. You have it in some of the Miles Through Time stuff, don’t you. For, if somebody takes pictures there, do you ask them to tag you there? 

[00:22:46] Sean: Definitely tell them to do that because again, it’s not a very common thing for people apparently to go out and do on their own. But also like when I get on, I get their email and I emailed them that I like I’ll ask for reviews on every single email, just to. In front of them and letting them know, Hey, if you haven’t done it, I still need it. And TripAdvisor for Miles Through Time is the big one to that. I want to get reviews for it.

Cause we get, I think people for, for that, they’re real quick to leave a review on Google. But we have a lot of them. It’s, it’s the one that I’m trying to emphasize on that I’ve really got to ask people to do, because they’re not, they’re not really doing it on their own too often. 

[00:23:28] Torie: So again, like you have to ask people because people don’t know, people don’t know if they should review you on Google or on Facebook or on TripAdvisor. Really, you just, you have to be a little bit more proactive about this stuff, because if you’re just reactive about it and just, you know, react to the bad reviews that you get in, like it’s not going to help you get momentum. And so the more you can ask, the more you will get. Another thing that you can do is incentivize your customers. You didn’t have little contests for reviews or contests, like we said about like tagging or sharing pictures different things that you can do to encourage people to interact with your business a little bit. Right. 

[00:24:02] Sean: Everybody wants to win something. 

[00:24:04] Torie: Everybody does. So we’ll see that you’re, they’re posting pictures. They’re like, oh, I didn’t even realize I should post pictures. I’ll post my pictures too. And it’s, it’s one of those, like when people see the other people are doing it, it’s going to be more of a snowball effect to get people to, to, to actually start doing it. Right. The more reviews you have, the more reviews you will get because people will see that they’re leaving reviews. And so more people will leave reviews. And the more people that post pictures for your business, like more people will, will do that as well. So you really just have to to get it going and make it part of your process, make it part of the way that you do business and. 

Did you know that we have new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, where we talk about stuff, just like this, where you can market your business much smarter. We also have lots of tools and resources at toriemathis.com that you can go and check out. And a lot of them are for free. We really want to help businesses grow. We want you to be smarter about your marketing. We want you to use your money wisely. Use your time wisely. I finally figured out how to use social media.

And a lot of these things like you can do these things yourself. You do not need a huge budget. You don’t need a marketing department. You don’t need a marketing agency to handle this stuff for you. These are things that you can do. And you know, we’re out here to help you out. We want to help out business owners, we’re business owners too. Like we understand that it’s a little bit difficult, so we’ll catch you on the next one. Thanks. 

[00:25:21] Sean: Yeah.

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