Social Proof in Your Network Marketing Business

podcast Mar 30, 2021

How you can make sure that the ‘social proof’ that you're using is intentional and actually getting people off the fence and getting them into your coaching, courses, and other programs to work with you?

Social proof is the evidence that you actually help people. It’s the evidence that you're good at what you do, and it's a way for people who are maybe new to you or haven't worked with you to be able to make a decision if signing up with you is the best fit for them. It’s another word for saying testimonial. 

Social media, especially Instagram has made it easier than ever to share that your courses and your programs are working. However, the testimonials that were working a number of years ago, are not working the same now. And the reason why that's happening is that a lot of it becomes repetitive, noisy. And also there are testimonials and social proof that are sometimes used, that are not fully honest, transparent, and a lot of this is being manipulated. 

So in the health and wellness space, what happens is there are testimonials that are used like transformation photos. So what some people do, and I don't believe that they're doing this with malicious intent. But this is where social proof has kind of become something that people have ignored, rather than actually using to make a decision. And that is when people use before and after photos that were done not using the solution that someone's presenting, or they are manipulated and not honest. 

Also, people are using before and after photos that are not related at all to the individual that is sharing them, or the solution that's being presented. And consumers know, in 2021, to take transformation, physical transformation before and after photos with a grain of salt. 

What’s the main social proof that’s not working anymore? 

So the biggest social proof testimonial that's no longer working and no longer having the same impact that it once did before is before and after photos. Before and after photos are something that you have seen for years, especially in the health and wellness space, right? 

You see someone before having a little bit more weight, unhappy, and miserable. And then in their after photo, they're happy, smiling, with better lighting, and more flattering clothing. This is done to showcase a transformation. But again, where maybe 10 years ago these were really powerful, consumers know that unfortunately, a lot of the times these things are manipulated. 

There are not getting results enough that Facebook ads that include these photos, for the most part, get rejected because there is no necessary proof or evidence that the solution that someone is selling that is is actually tied to these photos. 

I do not recommend that anyone in network marketing or otherwise, use transformation photos that they did not have a part in facilitating the transformation as a way to try to get someone to purchase products for them or join their team. I think it's a very fine line to walk between not and integrity and integrity. So I just don't recommend going down that path.

However, this doesn't need to deter you from social proof because I'm about to share social proof that's actually a lot more powerful. 

Why Social Proof is Powerful? 

You have facilitated transformations. You have made a difference in people's lives. 

The biggest thing is, it's not about how much money you've helped someone make or how many pounds you've helped someone lose. The power in the social proof is that it comes from someone else other than you. Meaning someone could literally say: “Kayla, you are amazing. Thank you for that Instagram post that you did.” 

I screenshot that and share it. That is social proof. That is someone else that took the time to consume my content telling me how great I am. And they didn't necessarily pay me, they took the time out of their day to share that. And that's where the power is. 

Someone in your community saying something nice about you counts as social proof. You help a friend or family member for free to get your business rolling and off the ground in exchange for social proof is a powerful social proof. Because it's not about how insane and out of this world the transformation is. The power is that it's someone else talking about you. It's not using how great you are. It's someone else taking the time to talk and share about how great you are. 

Another piece here is how do I get social proof, you have to ask for it. Now, here's just the fact of the matter, right? We're really busy. And we want to help you as your client, we want to help you and we want to be able to share with others how you've impacted our lives. But families, full-time, jobs, other responsibilities. So we will not always volunteer this social proof on our own, it doesn't mean that we don't want to and it doesn't mean that we don't care. 

It means you have to ask for it. 

How can you ask for social proof? 

Depending on your industry, you can ask for written and or video. If it's in the health and wellness space and someone is a little bit more private and personal. They might not feel comfortable sharing a video and that's okay. Maybe they're just not confident on camera, that that's not a big deal. 

Ask for something written and ask for something specific. What you can do is give parameters about what you expect in the testimonial or social proof. So for the video, I will say one to two minutes, shot vertical for Instagram stories, and share what it was like working with me or what business was like before and what businesses are like now. 

If you are brand new or if someone isn't used to giving social proof or testimonials, I would give them even more specific prompts, or specific questions with maybe two to three questions max to answer in a video form or to answer in a written form. 

Quick Tip: The more structure that you give, the easier it is for people to get it back to you because Because now they know that they're meeting your expectations. 

The last piece to really consider here as well, is you want to give people a timeline about when to get back to you. Because again, our lives are really busy. And there are always things that are going to jump to the top of that priority list. And unfortunately, sometimes that involves your testimonial getting bumped to the bottom. Let them know when you need it by. 

I recommend giving about a week, and always set that please get this to me deadline to be well before you actually need it. Like if you want testimonials to go on a sales page, or you are getting ready for a launch, always ask at least a week before you actually need it. Because sometimes you might have to follow up with someone a couple of times to get it that is totally normal. And it doesn't mean that they don't want to and it doesn't mean that they don't care. I always anticipate sending a follow-up message because again, we're all busy, we get distracted. And sometimes someone just needs that little reminder. 

Remember to always encourage someone to do it in the manner that they're most comfortable with. As again, we mentioned earlier, written or video, think about your ideal client and the person that you're working with. If they are not someone that is frequently on social media face to camera, then I would recommend asking for something written because that increases the likelihood that you're going to get it back much faster. 

When they do send the testimonial, always thank them profusely for the testimonial and social proof. 

Now, keep in mind that ome people don't want to be named and they want it to be kept anonymous and some people don't care. I don't think it matters if there is a name or face attached to the testimonial or not, and I don't think that you are at a disadvantage. If there isn't a tag or a face attached to it, it's always important to go by the comfort level of your client. Because if you breach that trust, it's going to decrease the likelihood that they will give you a testimonial in the future. So always ask, and if they're sharing something personal, you can always make the decision to keep their name private, because especially for those of you in the health and wellness space, a lot of this stuff is really personal. 

Once you have your Testimonials, share them in emails. Share them on Instagram stories. Share them on your Instagram feed. It's really important to make sure that you are showcasing it frequently, not just when you're launching. 

I like to sprinkle it throughout all of my content. And oftentimes, I'll do it in real-time when someone shares something really nice to me because it makes me feel good. And people also love that you're taking the time to share something that they took the time to create for you. 

Quick tip: Create a highlight on your Instagram titled results and then create one for client love. I break down the differences because results are things that are a little bit more numbers-driven or a little bit more specific. And then client love is when someone is sharing something really nice about you your content and how you've impacted them. 

If you want to listen to the audio version on my podcast make sure you're subscribed to the Stop the Hey girl Podcast, on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thank you so much for hanging out with me and I will see you next week.

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