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Did you know that mastering Social Proof doesn’t have to be complex?
To show you, we’ve interviewed three Social Proof experts to give you their opinion and viewpoint on how to be successful with Social Proof.
From scaling to fine tuning, we hope you enjoy this deep dive.
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When it comes to Social Proof, there are only a few people we turn to for amazing advice that works across the board for different goals.
Whether you’re in SaaS, eCommerce, or lead gen, you’ll be excited to learn that the recipes this expert will share will all help you hit your goals faster.
In Order Of The Guests Below:
Dave is the CEO and Co-founder of Proof. Proof is a Y-combinator backed startup that helps B2B companies create amazingly personalized website experiences.
Nuggets Dropped x33
“When in doubt, just fall back to social proof”
Joel Klettke is the shoulder B2B and SaaS companies cry on before he helps them fill Olympic-sized swimming pools full of cash and perform stunning synchronized swim routines in them. Because he hates free time, he also runs Case Study Buddy: a world-class team that helps brands tell amazing customer success stories.
Nuggets Dropped x80
“It comes out of experience with your brand, not opinion of it”
As founder of GetUplift, Talia and her team provide conversion optimization services for high-growth companies using customer-centric methods, emotional targeting strategies and data-driven analysis. Talia has been invited to teach conversion optimization on hundreds of stages such as Google, MozCon, Call To Action Conference, SearchLove, and many more and was recently listed as one of the most influential experts in conversion optimization.
Nuggets Dropped x43
“Address specific roadblocks of your prospects”
Social Proof Mastery With David Rogenmoser
Johnathan: All right, everyone, I actually can now say I have a personal friend on the other side of this call, somebody who has helped us tremendously with our own processes, met him in person, he’s about seven foot nine, he’s a very, very tall human being, knows good barbecue, is out of Austin, Texas, David Rogenmoser, the CEO at Proof. That’s your title, right?
David: That’s it, man.
Johnathan: All right, thank you for being here. We’re going to be talking about social proof, and based off of your own product, your platform, your company, UseProof.com. Where should people even start when they consider using social proof in their business today?
David: By the way, real quick, am I your tallest podcast guest ever?
Johnathan: I usually don’t have a qualifier around height, but I have to imagine so, seven foot nine is massively tall.
David: It’s gotta be me, it’s gotta be me. No, that’s awesome. Yeah, man, no, thanks for having me on. So I’ve thought a lot about social proof over the last five years, and starting Proof, and even just in my personal life, I love it, I’m always obsessed with restaurant reviews and all of that.
And for me, I love marketing, and I love learning how to copyright, and do all this cool stuff, but it still comes down to, the easiest way, I think, to increase conversions, is just to add social proof, and just share what other people are saying about you, which kind of kills me, as a marketer, ’cause I don’t get to use all my cool stuff.
But literally, when I’m writing the sales page, or creating a new landing page, the easiest thing to do to increase conversions is just add logos, add testimonials, add screenshots of other people, add videos of other people.
It cuts through the noise in a big way, and so, I think, anywhere you’re doing marketing, you should always stop and think, how can I add more social proof to this? And it almost always works.
Johnathan: Yeah, no, absolutely, I agree, and the earliest version of your company, your product, and tell me if I’m wrong too, but I’ve seen it so many times before I even talked to you the first time, was that little widget in the corner that says, this person from this location just bought X, Y, Z, or just downloaded it, or whatever the conversion action was, is that how you guys started?
David: Yeah, it was just that little thing. And I was booking a trip to South Africa, and I was gonna do this safari, and I was on, I think it was Booking.com, or one of those sites, and I saw a little thing slide out that said, somebody just bought two minutes ago, book soon.
And I didn’t know the person, but it gave me confidence to go put down like five grand on this safari. And that’s when I was like, man, this is really cool, we need this for our funnel, ’cause we were selling courses at the time, but it didn’t exist.
And so we just kind of built it real quickly in a weekend and thought, hey, let’s throw it up there and see what happens. And we saw over a 50% increase on our order floor when adding just a little notification like that. That was gonna be startup proof.
Johnathan: Yeah, and you guys have since obviously expanded to much wider of a product offering. We did some beta testing with you guys on, now, I don’t want to say it because I don’t know if you decided on what you want to call it yet, but personalization is what we did, and we used a lot of things that were just really impressive.
I guess you can call it social proof, sort of. You know, this may be the most effective, shortest conversation ever on the show.
Because just, obviously, putting logos and testimonials and videos and pictures and things like that, while it’s a good idea, how do we unpack that even for the people who want to use Proof, which is literally the website, UseProof.com, that they can go and actually sign up for it and start using it right away?
But in addition to that, what other things have you learned across your own marketer’s background and the platform that you guys have now? What are some other tactical things that people can use?
David: Yeah, so I think, even outside of the tool, there’s a few things that we always make sure that we do when adding social proof to our site. So, I think, first of all, add logos to your site, “as seen on”, or just customer logos. We’ve tested that a lot, and just adding those, adds between probably five and 15% conversion lift, on average, from what we’ll see there.
David: So it’s a really easy way, most people don’t miss that, and they add that there, but just make sure it’s across all the different pages to kind of supercharge that.
What we’re doing with you guys right now with our new tool is, depending on which industry someone is in, we show them a different set of logos. So this is like personalized social proof. And so, I don’t know, we don’t necessarily need to get into it, the, kind of, how we pull all that off, but–
We identify people when they come to the site, show them a different set of logos–
Johnathan: Yeah, I was gonna say, let’s do that.
David: If they’re staff, they’re going to see staff logos, if they’re E-commerce, they’ll see E-commerce logos.
Johnathan: Yeah, let’s do that real quick. So just so you guys listening know–
David: Yeah, so I mean, essentially what we’re doing is, people come to the site.
Johnathan: Go ahead, Dave, I think there’s a lag. Tell us how we do it.
David: Yeah, yeah, no worries. Yeah, so people come to the site, we take their IP address, and then we send that to a company called Clearbit, and they’ve got a sort of a crib reveal that tells us which company is attached to that IP address.
All of a sudden we know, if someone’s at the office, we know which company they’re probably working for. From that, we also kind of group that company into different industries. So, I think, on your guys’ site, we’ve got E-commerce, enterprise, B2B companies, startup, and sass companies, I think, are the five categories that we’re running there.
And we then use our new tool, which, I think it’s called Proof Experiences, but we’ll know in a month, kind of, what exactly we land on there. Our tool will then change out the actual website content based on that, and so we’ve got a few different headlines, and a different set of logos. And I don’t think we have your test results back yet–
Johnathan: Not yet, no.
David: But from ours, on our staff audience, for example, we saw over a 300% lift.
David: In staff companies. And the same thing for our startup audience as well. And so, that’s a really, really easy way to go get some big lift using social proof.
Johnathan: Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And, and for people listening, it’s not just enough to just throw some logos on there, for example. Let’s say that, for us as an agency, we have clients, if we put a lot of logos that people have no idea what kind of company they are, it might not have the same impact as some bigger logos.
What we’ve also found out is that the bigger logos might actually make the smaller companies afraid. Even though the goal from our side is to say, hey, if we can work with these big companies and they trust us, you should trust us too.
But then what we’ve heard in feedback, it’s more anecdotal, ’cause we haven’t really gotten it fully figured out yet, of getting that feedback purely. But from talking to a lot of prospects, they’re like, yeah, we think that you guys charge a lot of money, and so, therefore, I didn’t wanna reach out to you, because I assumed you only worked with these big companies.
So be aware and be mindful that it can work against you as you go along there too. And so, have a reasoning as to why you put up these logos, and what you can think and foresee that might maybe even hurt you, that you don’t know about.
David: Yep, no, that’s a great point, that’s a really great point.
There’s a second thing that we do with social proof that a lot of people aren’t thinking about, and this is on our Facebook ads. So we aren’t running a ton of Facebook ads right now, but in the past, we’ve spent millions on it.
And we will usually start our ads off by trying to optimize for engagement, so we can get a bunch of likes, a bunch of comments, and we’ll run the first set of ads at our warmest audiences, our customers, so that we’re getting all the comments, we’re getting all the reactions on there.
And then what we’ll do is we will always use that ad, so we’ll just copy that ad ID, and we will forever use that ad. And even though there’s probably gains we could get from changing out headlines and changing out and split testing a bunch of stuff, the social proof tends to just outperform all that for us.
And so, always, when you’re running ads, make sure you’re running ads that have comments on ’em, and try to keep reusing ads instead of restarting them from scratch all the time.
Go run, if you see one of our ads in the wild, there’s a good chance it’s gonna have hundreds of comments on it, and it’s gonna at least make you stop and be like, wow, this thing’s really getting talked about, this is a, this could be a really interesting ad.
And I don’t even care if it’s negative or angry people, whatever, just any conversations, I think, are good on ads, and any number of reactions, and it’s just, it just shows that this is a relevant company in the market, and it’s not just some nobody running their first-time ad.
Johnathan: That’s really, really interesting you said that, because there’s a way to almost game-ify that, that we’ve talked about before, is, you can take an ad that’s an unpublished page post, or what other people call dark posting. Meaning that, when you use that ad across other audiences within Facebook or other ad sets.
Usually, if you don’t do dark posting, or if you don’t do an unpublished page post, it loses all that social proof that’s gathered through one audience or one ad set.
Once you do that unpublished page post, you can accumulate all that, basically, that social proof, the likes, the comments, the shares, whether good or bad, over time, and you can actually take, and this is what a lot of, I would say, the more GrowthHack-y marketers are doing too, the ones that actually sell courses that try to make themselves look way better than they actually really are.
And a whole other side story, there’s an Instagram account called BallerBusters that you guys should follow because it’s really funny. It actually calls out and shows proof that a lot of these people scam other people, and a lot of it’s done on Instagram and Facebook. So anyways, not to go off track.
The way that you then do it is that you can take that unpublished page post, you can get a link for that, and you can actually share it with friends or colleagues or other people in your network, and you can ask them, can you actually like this? Can you write a couple comments?
So you’re framing that ad for positivity and social proof before it goes out in the wild, and it actually will lead to, most of the time, higher engagement because people have already started that, versus an ad that just is completely bare, and doesn’t have any traction or whatever.
So you can use that ad for almost an eternity, until Facebook decides to make a change, of course, and you can’t do that. But that’s something that we’ve seen work really, really well.
And a flip side of that is, if you guys remember, that press juicer that basically, was that, do you remember that, Dave? That juicer that was like Silicon Valley-backed, that New York Times article came out, do you remember that? Juicero.
David: Yeah, they raised, like, I think, Juicero, they raised like 100 million dollars to squeeze juice out of a bag.
Johnathan: Yeah, so, what happened, and I had an example, ’cause I was speaking at the GrowthHackers conference in L.A. some years ago.
And what I basically was mentioning to them was like, hey, there’s this hack you can do about pre-framing your Facebook ad with positive social proof, versus the Juicero, which even if they did, they probably wouldn’t have been able to save themselves.
But a New York Times article came out that basically said, you can actually hand-squeeze these prepackaged packages faster than the Juicero machine does, and you don’t have to have the Juicero machine. And they were like, crap. It was like the demise of their company, it was like all downhill from there.
But the best part, well, not the best part, but the point that I was making is that the people knew about that, that saw the ad on Facebook, and they just ripped nonstop on that ad. And so it was like, what? There was never going to be anybody buying the actual juicer when all the social proof was that bad, in advance.
So think about that as you go out, and obviously, use, Dave, your example, which was amazing as well. So that’s super cool. What else haven’t we talked about?
David: That’s a nugget, man.
Johnathan: Thank you, I’ll put that in there.
David: You gotta hit the little rooster, that was a nugget.
Johnathan: All right, I’ll hit a few, thank you. Sometimes I need that confidence.
David: That’s good, okay, the third one is, okay, the third one is, I really, really like showing raw social proof.
And so I think a lot of people that take a quote from one of their customers or clients, they pretty it up, and they put it on their website, and it just looks beautiful. But also, you kind of think, this could be anybody.
And so I really think it’s powerful if you’ve got screenshots of text messages from customers saying, this is awesome, or Slack messages, or Facebook posts or just these raw format, or maybe a tweet, and showing those on your website. It feels more genuine, it feels more authentic, it just, people can identify with that.
Recently, on my sales calls for Proof Experiences, I’ve been using a screenshot with one of our customers, Chris Nolan, Head of Growth at ShipBob, he just Slacked us over some stats and was like, this is awesome. And I just show that on every one of my sales calls now, in its raw form. It’s more powerful and tested, to just see the inside of our Slack channel together.
David: And so I realized that you don’t have to pretty ’em up, just take screenshots, put ’em on your site, and it’s really, really powerful doing it that way.
Johnathan: ‘Cause yeah, it removes a sense of, you faked this social proof, or, this isn’t true. Even though, of course, you can Photoshop anything that you want, but it just is like, the person thinking about it, that’s trying to be convinced, is like, did you really go to those lengths to impress me? And people are like, no, this looks more real than, like you just said, cool. What’s the–
David: And it’s way easier.
Johnathan: Go ahead, yeah, true, true, absolutely.
David: Well, the last one, I would say, the last one, I would just say, is testimonial videos. Just get videos. And this isn’t my, I think you guys do really well. You guys have, I don’t know, maybe 10 testimonial videos of your customers that are well done.
And here’s the thing, I have never actually watched a testimonial video all the way through, even though they’re only like two minutes long. But when I was starting to work with you guys, and I saw that you had a video from Segment, I watched the first five seconds of it, and then I was like, done, you guys are awesome. I like Segment, you guys are working with Segment, I’m in.
David: And I just think it’s really, really powerful to have that, and have your customers out there selling for you.
David: And so I just recommend, get testimonial videos. They don’t even have to be nice, just have your customers pull out their camera and just film a little horizontal video. And I usually, when I’m doing that, I’ll send them a little script, kind of like a, hey, say something before Proof, say something after Proof, who do you recommend Proof for? Kind of a three-part script.
I tell them, hey, hold it horizontal, put it, you know, be in a quiet place, and I give them little directions when I’m doing that. And we’ve collected hundreds of testimonial videos through that, that’s really, really powerful.
Johnathan: yeah, I believe it. It’s like your own version of Cameo, but not with celebrities, if you know that platform. Have you heard about that?
David: Yes, and I have been, I’ve actually been looking at how we can do it to you guys in Slack. I’m gonna, I’ve got something coming for you guys, so just you wait. But I’m gonna start using Cameo with our customers.
Johnathan: I love it, I love it, cool. Anything else, Dave, before we wrap up? This has been super, super enlightening, and also exciting too.
David: Yeah, those are the big ones. And I think, again, social proof’s just the easy way. I’m not smart enough to figure out all the most sweet conversion rate optimization things, but when in doubt, just fall back to social proof, and throw it on the page, and just, it’s almost guaranteed to work.
Johnathan: That’s awesome. No, I completely agree. Everybody listening or watching, go to UseProof.com, check out their actual tool and platform.
If you’re in the B2B space, what we’re doing right now, so much positive feedback from our own prospects that we’re trying to close because we’re trying to be very aggressive with anything new coming out. That’s what the Proof team is doing.
I think there’s literally a testimonial page of me holding my dog, and a video, all the things that you just mentioned are actually on that page, so we can link to that too, in the notes.
But, Dave, thank you so much, and to your team, for being, we can have a whole other episode on how much I love you guys, but thank you.
David: Awesome, man, no, I appreciate you having me on. We’ll do it again here soon.
Johnathan: All right, talk soon, bye.
Social Proof Mastery With Joel Klettke
Johnathan: All right, everyone, I have a very, very good friend, a marketer that I adore and admire. I think he’s awesome. He’s helped ourselves internally at KlientBoost with our own conversion rate roadmap. Our focus on how we actually get better results for our clients.
There’s not a lot of people I allow in the door to mess with our own procedures. But he is one of them. We have Joel Klettke from Case Study Buddy, here talking about social proof. How are you, Joel?
Joel: Doing good. I’m excited. I want to make as many chicken noises as possible. I like the sound of that. Like a field of chickens. That’s the goal here.
Johnathan: We are so close to Thanksgiving. I know you’re in Canada right now, but we were thinking about actually swapping out for gobble-gobble. But we didn’t have enough time to do it prior to. So. People listening, we’ll do another one later on. Maybe we’ll get it in there.
But, Joel, what are your thoughts? I mean, everybody can talk very easily about social proof and say, yeah, you should have badges, you should have testimonials. You should have awards. There’s more science to that than just saying, do that. Can you tell us about your definition of social proof and how you approach that conversation with your clients?
Joel: Yes, I want to say everything that I think what you just described. The predominant thing that I think is killing social proof is that people treat it like icing.
So they just collaborate everywhere, like some social proof here, some social proof there, and there’s no strategy behind it. And in fact, there’s no strategy that I’m seeing continually. Companies have absolutely no strategy for cultivating it. No checkpoints, no real road map for actually putting it your goal.
So let’s start at the very beginning. Social proof is is essentially a third party, a credible third party, lending credence to something you’ve done, telling their story, basically offering some proof that what you’re promising or what you say you can do is true.
That takes a whole bunch of different forms. But essentially something to remember is that social proof is experiential. It comes out of somebody’s experience with your brand, not their opinion of your brand. That’s not all that important.
Social proof that amounts to just an accolade saying like, oh, that they’re really great. It was a wonderful time to work with them. Whatever. That’s really surface level social proof. That only has so much leg.
The best social proof is experiential, contingent the result that they’ve seen, what that actually looks like and what it meant for them. So you kind of mentioned a whole bunch of different types of social proof.
Sometimes it’s a testimonial. Sometimes it’s a badge. Sometimes it’s a full blown case study. Sometimes it’s a video. But social proof essentially has at its core one big job, and that’s to grease the wheels towards conversion. It’s to give you the credibility to establish that trust and empathy so that a lead can see themselves working with you.
They can see themselves having the problem solved. They can envision that better future that you can provide. And they can believe it’s possible because there’s something outside of your own internal plan saying, we can do that. There’s something outside third party lending credence to that.
Johnathan: Got it. The detail you just gave versus the deep versus the shallow, super, super important thing for people to hear. When you go and figure out.
Let’s just take an approach of, you actually making a case study for your client, ’cause for all you listeners and watchers about this, Joel does a phenomenal job working on behalf of a company who has case study candidates actually forming together a really well stitched, well-thought through case study that actually helps, like you said, grease the wheel towards conversion or towards sale.
Let’s say that I was to approach you, Joel, and you find me as a good candidate. I’m just gonna say that, I don’t know if I am, but. And you’re like, let’s work together and you’re gonna help us build more case studies.
How do you begin that? Because that case study,I’m assuming, there’s a lot of pieces of when that case study is done that we can take and use as social proof in different ways. We can put it on our landing page. We can put it in our website, on our ads, you know, things like that, too. Is that is that a correct assumption?
Joel: That’s a very correct assumption and it’s also a rare assumption. So most companies falsely assume the only place you can use social proof, the only function for a case study is at the bottom of the funnel. And that’s not true at all.
A case study can be used at the top of the funnel to attract leads, used in the middle of the funnel to nurture those leads.
And so a lot of people would think, okay, you come in and say, let’s do some case studies. And the first thing I’d say is, look, all right, let’s get some of your clients on the phone. Who’s happy? But no, that’s not where you should start.
The place that companies should start, but don’t start is what’s your strategy? And there’s two sides of that that you have to consider. So what are your business goals? Where are you trying to grow? What marketing are you trying to move into?
Maybe there’s a part of your service you’re trying to emphasize. Maybe there’s a particular niche or industry you’re trying to grow into. Maybe there’s a particular part of your staff solution or whatever. But you want to pause and think, okay, where are we trying to grow? Because the problem is that the stories you tell will be the stories you attract.
So let’s say that you guys had a client who was a yoga instructor and you got a really great result for them, but you never want to work with a yoga instructor again. You don’t love solving that problem.
But even though it’s got a great result, that might not be the story you want to tell, if that’s not the direction you’re going. So first, you want to consider your business goals, your potential use cases. How is it you want the case study to help you?
If you want to support a campaign? Do you want it to be a sales asset? Do you want to use it in email nurturing? You want to kind of define your use cases. Then you want to flip the coin to the other side and say, okay, those are our goals.
But let’s stop and say, for the people we know, we’ve defined. We want to tell a story. Basically, the formula is you want to tell a story that says, hey, a person like you with the problem you have, took action you’re debating and got the result you want. That’s the formula. That’s what makes a great study.
Johnathan: I freakin’ love that.
Joel: So now, you’ve defined your own business goals. Now you want to turn around and say, okay, who is the person? Who is it that we need to talk to?
What’s the role and what’s the problem they have? What’s actually behind their motivation to come to us? What problem did we solve for them? What action did they need to take? Was it a demo? Was it a call? Was it a consult? What is somebody debating?
And not only that, but what might keep them from taking action? See, one of the things that a lot of case studies, lots of social proofs get wrong, is it sugar coats everything and everything’s just magical land of yesses where nothing went wrong and everybody was agreeable.
In the real world, stuff breaks, stuff goes wrong. It’s just as valuable to talk about why they hesitated or why they were concerned or even where a campaign didn’t work out, and you’ve turned it around and got that great results ’cause that’s real life. that shows that you solve problems.
And then, of course, naturally we want to talk about results, but not just the results. So another place a lot of social proof falls on its face is, yeah, it’s really great if KlientBoost can put out a case study saying, you know what we saw?
We saw 200% conversion lift for our client. That’s great. But what’s even more impressive or makes it even more real is what did that mean for the customer? Did it mean they didn’t have to hire another staff member? Did it mean they could enter a new market? Did it mean that they could roll off a new product or service?
And there’s always underpinning the big result. There’s always some other meaningful impact that makes it real.
So to make it tangible, for example, like accounting software. One of the things we’re working with a client and one of the things we got back from the secretary because of this accounting software was saying, I don’t have to chase people around the office anymore. They didn’t have to write a paycheck. That’s a real feeling. That’s human emotion.
And so we have to remember, these are customer success stories. They’re people success stories. They’re not you success stories. They’re not all about you and how great you are. They’re customer success stories. So you need to tell the story of the customer and bring that human emotion in. Bring in those factors.
Johnathan: Yeah. No, it’s amazing. Just the sheer fact that you mentioned, like you have a yoga instructor and you don’t want to attract anymore. Like, we literally just had Instagram, the official Instagram for business do a case on our clients called Yoga International.
But it’s like a peloton. Like the stationary bike at home, but for yoga. And so. But you’re right. It probably wouldn’t be great using that case study to attract individual yoga instructors because they might not have the budget or be ideal clients. So that’s a really, really smart, awesome point.
The other part that’s coming full circle to me very quickly is that people listening to this segment within the episode, I think it’s really well known that social proof works. But what nobody ever talks about is the depths of how you can make it work better for you. And that’s what we’re unpacking here today.
So use your badges, use your testimonials, your ratings and all that kind of stuff. That’s great. But understand how you can connect. And what I think is really really important that we’re gonna be getting into is the FAQs. You mentioned this early.
What prevents people from doing the demo, doing the consultation, things like that? Those are things that can be easily highlighted or talked about. So when you go out and on behalf of your clients to talk to their customers that are happy, Do you guide the conversation around what a main sticking point is that is preventing other prospects to convert and tackle that first?
Like, how do you go about that? Because obviously you don’t want to say, here’s what you wrote or we wrote the testimonial for you. Are you okay with this? Like, how does that operate?
Joel: Yeah, so we at first, we’ll talk to our client and we get the story from their side. Because we always want to mine what intelligence we can. We want to go in, ’cause you really only, if you’re doing it right, you only get one shot at the customer interviews. So you want to nail it.
And you do have to get the customer on the phone. Yes, you can send them a survey. Yes, you can get them to send you video responses. It’s a little bit more clunky. It can work. We find repeatedly the best way to get a detailed answer, a usable sound bite, some really rich contextual value added stuff is by talking to the person on the phone.
So we’ll talk to our client first, okay. You kinda define, okay, what do they know? What do they know about this customer and their story? And then we’ll go back to the customer.
We always structure the interview in a very specific way because your job as the interviewer is not to rattle off a list of questions. In fact, it’s not even to do that much talking. It’s to ask intelligent questions. Listen intently for where you need to press in or follow up and have a conversation.
Your biggest job, though, is to turn the interviewee into a storyteller. That’s your role, to get them telling a story, not sharing opinions, not answering questions, telling a story. So how do you do that? You structured the interview in a BDA format. Before, during, after.
And we’ve seen this kind of model in infomercials, right. What was life like before you had the solution? What was life like during the experience of having the solution? And now what’s life like after?
So when you structure it that way and when you can take control of the call, then you can say hey, and ask them what was going on in your business or in the case of B to C, what was going on in your life, and since you’re looking for a solution like this.
And that one question is so packed that you instantly they start saying, well, we’re dealing with this issue. And then you can follow up. And what you want to make sure you do is if you don’t get the information, you either ask the same question a slightly different way or ask the question like, oh, well, what made that so frustrating or what made that’s so important to solve?
So if all you’re doing is robotically reading off a list of questions and this is why often companies shouldn’t do their own customer interviews because they have no expertise in doing anything but rambling off questions.
And they’re so close to it, like it’s not a bad idea to have a third party, whether it’s self or consultant, whoever, run the interview, because they can have the boldness to ask questions without the awkwardness. Like, asking a client to sing your praises on a call, it’s super awkward.
Johnathan: Yeah, I can imagine.
Joel: Buy anyways. Asking them about the before. Totally. And then during. So, what surprised you about the experience? What in your opinion, was the most, was the biggest value that in the case of this own service provider, like KlientBoost, what was the biggest value that KlientBoost has brought to the table? Why was that so valuable for you? What did that mean for you throughout the course of solving the problem?
And it’s important to remember too, to ask questions not just about the positive, but also where things can be improved. Because while you’ve got a customer on the phone, this is a bizdev opportunity and a way to make your company better.
So, ask them what didn’t go as expected? How did they handle that? That can still add some of that realism, that authenticity in the story. And then that after piece, just remembering one of the big – I’m gonna call this a nugget because it’s made a big difference for us.
Johnathan: I’m gonna get ready.
Joel: But it’s so, so easy to overlook. I get complaints. Okay, here it is. People complain all the time. We can’t get metrics from our customer. We can’t get metrics from our customer. There’s two big reasons that happens.
The first is it’s your job to talk about tracking how they’ll track the success of your relationship from the outset. If you’re not doing that, why are you surprised when they have no metric to report after that?
But the second thing and this is so simple. Is give a bit of lead time and tell them what metrics you hope to ask them about, that they can go pull them. It’s a hedge smackingly simple thing, but nobody does it. Just giving your lead a little bit of lead time.
Giving your customer a little bit of lead time to pull those metrics means that this won’t happen on the call. So what sort of lift in sales did you see? You know what? I don’t have that data, but I’ll talk to so-and-so, and go get it for you. And they literally never will do that. If that happens, congratulations, you’ve won the lottery.
Johnathan: Same chance.
Joel: But that’s not a common scenario. Nine times out of ten, you are not hearing back from that person again. So you want to make sure you give them some prep time. And also that takes a lot of the fear out of the equation.
So when somebody has an idea of what they’re gonna be asked about, when they have a sense of how it’s gonna be used, when they have a sampler idea of what the end output might look like, that can all help disarm people and get them to be willing to be involved in a case study in the first place.
Johnathan: Yeah, yeah. No, that makes a ton of sense. Thank you for putting it together in such a tangible way and tactical way. You’re talking at the beginning of this episode, that you’re like gonna have a hard time doing that. That’s like the opposite. I can’t hit this button enough ’cause I, nobody would be able to hear you talk if I kept doing it.
So you get all this information. I’m sure a ton of this stuff is also eye opening for the client, whether they use it in other parts of their business beyond just for social proof, like equipping their sales team with better insight because they know which objections are to come more often, actually making it more black and white.
Like I’m assuming like there’s non-stop of like good things to come from this, no.
Joel: There’s a ton. So it’s a two way conversation between whoever is playing. Usually it’s marketing. Marketing putting the case studies together and sales. And sales should be involved because sales is on the frontline.
They’re gonna know, for example, what hesitation they’re facing and they wish that had ammunition to combat. They’re gonna know, like one of the most wonderful things you can start doing in your interviews and in your social proof is asking them who else they considered, and why they ultimately chose you.
That is like a sales orgasm for the sales team, ’cause now they have a tangible example of someone who’s considering an alternative and went a different road, went with you. But it doesn’t just come down to sales.
So I mentioned, there’s lots of ways to use this. The one of my favorites that nobody really seems to think about is cold outreach.
So, there is a study by HipLead, and what they found is that mentioning a famous customer or mentioning of prominent customers of someone known in the nation in your cold outreach triple, tripled the number of people who responded in the affirmative saying, yes, I’m interested in it.
So if you can imagine, just mentioning them as a customer has that impact, imagine being able to send over a little, slide deck of what you did for them and what their opinion was. That’s huge.
Another way that people don’t really think about using them is to win back dead or cold leads. So let’s say somebody went back. Yeah. Dead leads or people who have kind of cycled out.
So let’s say someone came in, they’re super interested. You know, it’s been a few months. You want a natural way to reach back out.
Sending a simple email saying, hey, are you still interested in solving X problem? Here’s a quick little story of someone that was like you was debating doing this and the result that they got. You know, let me know if you’re interested in reopening the conversation. That’s a really easy, low pressure way to reopen the conversation and send over a tangible asset.
Another way that you can put these to work and, let’s talk the CRO side of things, ’cause we kind of danced around this at the beginning. And I mentioned people tend to just slather social proof on like icing words like should we have it in the hero? Should we have it by the CPA?
Joel: Where could it go? And so we just kinda, yeah. We like, oftentimes just gets peppered in there ’cause we feel obligated. Well, we should have some social proof. So let’s put it there.
Stop. Let’s pause for a second. Just step away from case studies about social proof, in general conversion, and we’ll bring it back to case studies after that.
When you’re putting together a landing page or a sales asset, all the things we’ve already talked about apply. You have to stop and think who is this directed to? What hesitations might they be facing in the context of this page? Look at the page that you just drove someone in off an ad from. And you need to establish credibility. Who would they be willing to listen to? Who’s gonna hit home for them?
So there’s generally a few places that using social proof makes a ton of sense. One is by the call to action. So anytime that you’re asking someone to part with their money, having a testimonial or some sort of social proof, whether it’s a metric, whether it’s a number, you can test it by having some sort of social proof that affirms, hey, you’re about to make a really good decision. That’s not a terrible idea. At least as a baseline test.
Another place that you can introduce it is let’s say you’re making some pretty bold claims. You’re saying our solution can do X better than anybody else and maybe not in those exact words, but you’re making a big claim or saying you can.
You’re making a promise to somebody. If you can bring in a testimonial or a case study or a sound bite that directly relates to the claim you just made. So to ease the pain that you just said you could solve or the benefit you just promised you could deliver.
Don’t just slap in social. Someone saying, it was really great to work with you. That’s just window decoration. That has no meaning. Bring in some sort of social proof directly tied to the claim you just made or the pain the person has in that moment. That’s how you decide where and how to test social proof, to try social proof.
It shouldn’t be a default you just slot in at some point on a template. That’s not the right way to go about this. What you’re social proves to be anchored and tied to something and actually think of it. You know, it’s a support. It’s supporting something else. It’s providing proof to something else. It’s not just a feel good little clip.
Johnathan: You know, I got very excited when we talked about the sales ammunition that you can give your team. Because I never thought of it this way. Meaning like any common question, they get a lot of questions that turn out to become common, to actually have social proof. Insane.
Like, I’m glad you asked that question because client one, two and three had the exact same concern. Here’s what we did for them and here’s what the result was. You know, next question. Just kind of have like that be the conversation
Johnathan: Showstopper, which is huge. And it’s, right. Like, when we thought about this episode, we thought about social proof that is like visible on like the website, like we talked about too, right.
But there’s so many other parts that it can benefit your business if you take the time and do it correctly. Like you said, you have one shot of getting this information right. And you’re completely, you’re completely accurate.
Not only is it good for you guys as a third party to do it, but if we did it ourselves and we’re asking them to sing our praises some might say that and say like, some over fluffy B.S. kind of stuff that we can’t really physically use that well.
But I’m also sure that they would not be willing as easily to share the bad things, right, because they’re afraid to offend us or hurt our feelings when that could actually be where all the juices, like, all the good stuff would come out of that too.
Joel: Yeah, I mean, the quick little tip that makes a difference, whether it’s a case study or just a testimony is when you’re making the ask, it’s often. I mean, case study, you have to disclose because there’s certain use cases, and maybe don’t want to know that.
But if you’re asking someone for a testimony, whatever, it’s better to frame it as feedback than a testimonial, ’cause testimonials will feel like they just got shoved onstage and have to say nice things about you. Feedback is like, yeah, I can give you feedback, no problem. And so the whole feeling of it is totally different.
I think some smart things that companies can start to do. Two things that I think would make a business more. Or make a big difference, I should say, if more businesses did them. One is to start talking to sales and chronicling those common questions. Chronicling those common concerns that you can hunt down stories for them.
Second thing, though, is to systematize. I talked about this at the very beginning. Systematize your check-ins with clients. Have reminders, have a schedule, have something that pings you to check in and see how are things going?
How are we tracking? What results are you seeing? What results aren’t you seeing? What could we be doing differently? What could we be doing better? You want to make it.
You want to get to the point. Like our internal vision for Case Study Buddy, is one day we want to get to the point that every time there’s a win in an organization, it’s just a natural reflex to say, hey, we got a call case of it. We just got a win.
Joel: But for you guys, whether you work with us or not, you want to turn it into the same thing where it’s like, we just had a win. Let’s execute on it.
When things are siloed, when nobody talks, when you make a case studies or social group a happy accident, and that’s the approach that a lot of companies take. They’re like, oh, my gosh, guys, we just got this really glowing email. Fantastic. Should be turned into a case study? Yeah, let’s do it.
If you’re waiting for it to come to you, if you’re passively sitting back and waiting for social proof, that is the worst strategy. That is the worst way to go about it. You can be intentional. You can foster it.
The other added benefit of systematizing your feedback and communication with clients, is that when you finally make the ask for a case study, it’s not gonna feel like this out of the blue asking for a favor, a stranger kind of thing. And that’s often how it is.
We come into a lot of situations where unfortunately the communication’s just not there. And so if you’re not communicating frequently, and then out of the blue, you’re asking someone for a favor to talk about work you did for them two years ago, is it any wonder you don’t get by it?
So systematize that feedback. Makes somebody responsible for it or multiple people responsible for it. And not only will you get more social proof, but your whole client base is gonna be happier ’cause it seems like and hopefully you actually do, it seems like you care about them and you care about how things are tracking.
Johnathan: No, you are hitting a major nail in the head that we’ve seen success with so much. G2.com just published an article today on how we went about this, and it’s in the vein of a case study that is not just social proof.
But so, we have a winning channel internally on Slack. Anytime that there is a win of any sort, we share it. We have a person who is in charge of getting at least 10 case studies a month. And so it comes to like qualitative wins and quantitative wins that we can share that the account managers are doing a good job getting.
But it also is from the Net Promoter Score, the survey that we send out. And so any times there’s like a nine or a 10, that’s a trigger. And so we ask, we make sure that we come with an ask of saying like, here’s what one case study looks like. It’s by no means as detailed and as awesome as yours. It’s like a one page PDF.
Like, it’s just. We basically try to take as much work as we can off of the client, too. And so we we show them what we’re gonna share. Obviously, a lot of people can have hesitations about being part of your social proof because they’re afraid you’re gonna attract other competitors of theirs and things like that. So that’s one thing to keep in mind.
But the systematizing aspect you just mentioned, I’m basically going through this real quick so that people listening can know how we do this and how much success it’s bringing us. We went from like 40 case studies about six months ago to now over 100, that then led to that G2 article that was read about us.
But in addition to that, we’ve been using that, after the case study is done, we basically incentivize our clients to leave reviews for us on these platforms that compare other agencies.
And so we had this like loop that just keeps on running in circles in regards to getting more and more people in, because we’re seeing the ROI very, very quickly from the sales perspective of case studies that they’re able to show in any niche or vertical.
But then in addition to that, we’re able to grow our volume of reviews, which is huge, too, which is another part of social proof, just not on our site. So this is for you, Joel. This is massively, massively important for the systematizing of what you just said. Thank you.
Joel: Yeah, I think you hit on something, too. In that it’s all about this whole process. Whatever your process looks like, it’s all about making it as easy for the customer as possible. And that for us, it looks largely the same.
How do we minimize the amount of time that they need to invest while maximizing the amount of output and leverage we can get from their story? People are often surprised to learn. We get everything we need, including the interview and time for the customer, not our client, but the customer to review a draft in generally less than an hour of that person’s time.
Everything that we need. The interview, the review, all of it. And so that has to be the target, though, because you can’t forget, no matter how much this person likes you, loves you, company loves working together, they are very much doing you a favor. And you have to treat it that way. They’re going out of their way to do something nice for you.
And so you want to make it rain on the that give you social proof. After the social proof is published, you we want to continue to follow-up. You want to keep these people happy because the people who are willing to be featured in social proof, they’re only one step away from being advocates in other areas as well.
These are your red hot, lightning hot kind of clients and you can bring in and do other things. But maybe you could do things like joint webinars. Maybe you can do bigger features and add all these different types of things.
So, you want to make sure that people who do step up for you feel the love after they do so, because there’s nothing like them going out of their way and feeling like, not only were they not thanked, but they didn’t really get to see a draft of what was written. They didn’t really get to share in the celebration of having it published.
And that’s something that I think is important, is this is exciting. This is something that both companies should be thrilled to see happening. And so, you want to make the publishing of your social proof a celebratory event with the customer.
Johnathan: It makes perfect sense. It reminds me we have a client. They’re called Segment. They’re out of the Bay Area. They’re a pretty massive SAS company. And we have a point of contact there. He’s amazing. Sees that we do Spartan Races.
We did an in-person video shoot of a testimonial, like three weeks in of work with them, which is kind of stupid because we didn’t have enough time to actually prove ourselves. But he was impressed with the first three weeks and it went well.
But since then, we keep tabs on each other. We’re actually Instagram buddies now. I do this Apple Watch, challenge him on day 34 in a row of burning a 1,000 active calories and he’s cheering me on. He does like ultra marathons. I’m like, one day I’ll get there. I’m cheering him on.
And so he wanted to join like this 10-day challenge that I do. And I was like, dude, you’ve helped us so much. And being, not only doing the case study with our social proof, but you’re also being references for us, which is huge.
Like I’m gonna send you an Apple Watch so that you can be part of the Ring’s Closers, is what we basically call ourselves on the Apple Watch community. And I’m gonna give you some AirPods, the pro ones that just came out. Things like that, you just create a relationship.
And and the other part that you mentioned earlier, too. The actual, initial reason as to why we created this own feedback loop to actually generate case studies and social proof from reviews was not for that. It was actually for stopping fires before they turn into fires.
Like we wanted that feedback loop to say, is there anything that we can do better? Like I’m just touching base. How are we doing? Are things going good? So that we can.
‘Cause a lot of people are not like wanting to talk. And all of a sudden they’ll just be like, I’m done. I quit. Like, blah blah blah. We didn’t have any chance even to talk about what the concern was or how to fix it.
That’s where it started from. And so now it’s turned into still being that, but being this much more valuable systematized wheel that you spoke about. So again, lots of nuggets being dropped from you, man. I really appreciate it.
Joel: Yeah, I will say. And I honestly believe this. Customer experience is the last and most glorious battlefield there is for business.
Like when everything else is at parity. When the market is saturated, when competitors are coming out of the woodwork, when people are ripping off your copy, ripping off your design, copycatting your services. The thing that will always be completely within your control and uniquely yours is your customer experience and the stories that come out of it.
And so as we get to a point, especially like I do a lot of work in SaS, and as we get to this point where there’s like more CRMs on the internet than foreign sites. I swear, it’s kinda crazy.
But as markets get saturated, the way you treat your customers, the way you make them feel, it’s not just kind of the woo woo feel good stuff. That’s the stuff that’s gonna drive your new leads, your referrals, your longevity, your upsells, your social proof.
And so that, I really do think customer experience is the great differentiator for a lot of spaces and industries and niches. And I think the more like. There’s a book I read this year. It’s my favorite book that I’ve read this year called, “Never Lose a Customer Again” by Joey Coleman. I recommend it almost every single time I’m on a podcast.
Johnathan: I’m literally going to Amazon right now. You can see my video. I’m going to Amazon. I will go by right now. Keep going, sorry.
Joel: What Joey Coleman does is, none of the concepts in and of themselves are so revolutionary. What is revolutionary is that companies don’t think about these things and they’re so simple if we just stop and do them. And they’re so simple to implement if you just stop and do them.
Like a tangible example he talks about. He breaks the customer experience I think into 7 phases. And he talks about not only what’s happening at each phase for your company, but how your customer is feeling, what they’re wondering, what your opportunity is. And so we’ve made small changes in case studies that have had massive impacts just on the customer experience side alone.
So for example, every time possible that a new lead comes in, I will send them, even though I’m not gonna be their main point of contact, I will send them a personalized video just saying, hey, we’re so excited to see that your inquiry came in. We’re really looking forward-
Joel: To figuring out if we’re a fit and just kind of introducing myself, right.
Joel: And then another thing for us, we’re a business where because naturally in the process, we have the project manager, we have the writers, we have the interviewers, we have this team. And we don’t want our customer to feel like they’re being bounced around.
We don’t want them to feel like they’re being handed off from the person who did the sales call to the person who’s managing the project. That’s not a good feeling.
And so we’re starting to now systematize and get better at sending video introduction saying, hey, here’s what’s coming, here’s what’s happening next. Here’s who this person is. Here’s what they’re all about. I’m not going anywhere. You can still reach me. So having those kinds of touchpoints.
And then, of course, what people often think about in customer experience is like the old school. Send them a gift. Send them a hat in the mail. Send them a restaurant thing. We do that stuff too, which it’s great. It does create a great feeling, but we’re getting deliberate about it now.
We’re in the path, that would’ve maybe been a happy accident or something we do when we think of it. Now, we’re actually putting in place some systems for us to learn those things about our customers, and how can we make their day. How can we personalize it? How can we make them feel like the only client in the room?
And that too, in turn spawns that social proof, which is why we’re talking today. The customer experience ties in to everything. If you can take care of that piece, the social proof starts to take care of itself.
But only if, I want to bring this point back ’cause nobody does it, you’re having conversations about how you’re going to track success and make that your problem. It is your problem. For agencies, yeah. we’ve got analytics.
But it doesn’t matter what type of service, whatever. Your job is making sure your customer knows how they’re gonna track their success and actually does it. You have to treat that like that’s a function of your business.
Johnathan: Dude, we. First off, you are the embodiment of social proof because now I want Joey Coleman, who is the author of the book you just mentioned, “Never Lose a Customer Again”, on the show on the retention marketing episode.
And just for the people, proof wise, I did place that order on Amazon right now. I did buy that book. Will I read it? Probably not. I’m just kidding. I actually will make it a priority because one of the things that I’ll, that we can wrap up with is, I have been to like, some SoulCycle classes and stuff like that in the past.
And what I always find is that these individual people who are running the spin class for the people who are sitting and getting a good sweat on, like not only are they great at what they do, they’re like really likeable. They’re almost like spiritual, like people want to follow them. They want to be more like them. They want to get closer to them.
And so I want us as a team to have that same experience, not to be like these influencer type of people or anything like that. But I want everybody to have that deeper, closer relationship that, hey, I care about what you hired us for, but I also want to get to know you and I want to be able to have conversations with you.
You know, for example, like a client’s been with us for four years, just sent me a video of their new puppy. And I made a joke because I sent them an Amazon gift card the other day. I’m like, oh, I didn’t know they had like one hour deliveries on Amazon with puppies right now. And he was like, haha. I’m like, haha.
But again, like it goes a long way and we might not even talk to each other that often at all. But , he’s with us for the long haul, which is exciting. So, Joel, I need to have you back on the show for another topic ’cause there’s a lot of value that you just dropped. And I know we’ve only scratched the surface, man. So I want to thank you so much for your time.
Joel: Yeah, I want to sum up with this, if I may.
Joel: I’ve written conversion focus copy for a whole bunch of companies at this point. And if there’s one common denominator that I keep coming up against over and over and over again, specific to like agencies, online services, if there’s one factor-
Everybody thinks it’s like, oh it’s how good we are at X, Y, Z. It’s our client list. Yes, those things play in. But especially with the agencies, if there’s one factor, I’ve read thousands of reviews, I’ve read hundreds of case studies, I’ve talked to all kinds of customers.
If there’s one massive factor that influences their perception, there’s the chance they’ll be retained, what attracted them, what stands out in the referrals that they also ultimately decided to pull the trigger. It’s not all that sexy. But it’s communication. How does that company communicate?
From online divorces to digital marketing agencies, repeatedly, it’s not always about the price that sways people. It does that company overtly or subtlety have a reputation of being really good communicators?
And at the end of the day, social proof is about that communication. It’s about helping people see themselves in your offer, see themselves experiencing the solution to the problem, experiencing that benefit and getting third parties to offer that credibility.
And I promise you, if you prioritize communication inside your business, the whole process of getting and using that social proof is gonna be that much easier.
Johnathan: Yeah, I believe it. Dude, I really appreciate you, man. Thank you so much for being on the show. We’ll talk soon. I know we will.
Joel: Thanks so much for having me.
Johnathan: All right, thanks, Joel, bye.
Social Proof Mastery With Talia Wolf
Johnathan: Perfect, all right, everyone. Somebody that I’ve actually admired from afar because we don’t get to be in the same room many times, but I’ve known her for a long time. Her name is Talia Wolf. She’s the Founder and Chief Optimizer of GetUplift which is both parts an agency and an online learning forum like we just talked about. How are you, Talia?
Talia: I’m great, I’m excited to be here.
Johnathan: Awesome, awesome. Yeah, and we are gonna be talking about social proof. It’s a micro-sliver but albeit a very important piece of the bigger CRO conversion and optimization piece that can work wonders if you do it correctly.
Now, I’m really, really curious because your experience is completely different from the other guests that we have on the show. And I’m really, really excited to understand how you approach it, how you go about it, what things can be tactical for our listeners or viewers to take advantage of.
So, before I even get ahead of myself, let’s say that you want to explain social proof to the average person out there. What would be your definition of that?
Talia: Well, I guess the definition would be giving people trust, making people feel safe when they come to your landing page or your website. And I guess that also would be like what most people would describe it as.
So, this is a place where people can feel safe. They can feel safe and trust you because they’re seeing things that make them believe that you’re the right person, the right company, the right solution for them.
But I will take it one step further and I’ll say that social proof to me is also and I guess the most important job it has is to address specific roadblocks of your prospects. So, that would mean that if someone is very worried, they are concerned for their, in the evaluation process, they’re thinking, “Should I sign up, should I not?”
And one of those concerns is let’s say, I don’t know, I’m worried I can’t do this by myself. How would I ever use your software by myself? I’m gonna need some help. So, you could say, “Hey, we have 24/7 chat and support “and we’ll help you.” Which is okay, cool.
Or you could have a testimonial from a client saying, “Before I got started I had no idea what I was doing but thanks to Johnathan at this company, he took me through the weeds and I now know everything and it’s great to be supported so well.”
So, it’s having someone else tell people and make people feel that you will address all their roadblocks. You’re removing those concerns without you saying, “Hey, I’m trustworthy.” It’s someone else saying it and making that point.
Johnathan: So, you made two great points. It’s to increase trust and alleviate fear, but in addition to that you almost pointed to utilizing, because you don’t have a ton of real estate space. You can’t be everything for everybody and you have to prioritize what kind of social proof you decide to use.
You made a really great point of it sounded like some of the frequently asked questions that your visitors or your prospects might have like the point you made. I’m concerned that I can’t do this by myself even if I sign up for this software.
Do you recommend prioritizing that and getting quotes or testimonials that help alleviate that in that prioritized order? Or how do you go about that?
Talia: Oh, 100%. So what you see right now normally, specifically I’d say it was past companies. I think that you don’t want a website, you go on a landing page and what you see is they’ve strapped on a couple of logos because that’s what we should do.
But it’s really missing the point of social proof because social proof isn’t about just saying, it’s not about getting a testimonial of someone saying, “Wow, this company is amazing.” It’s about addressing roadblocks. It’s about removing those concerns.
So, if you’re not utilizing social proof that way, you’re just wasting some space on the page because all they see are testimonials that are gonna be very flattering and they’re gonna say how amazing you are. So, people are gonna skim them unless you address specific things that they care about.
So, that’s how whenever I go about social proof, that’s what I put my focus on. It’s about understanding the specific challenges, roadblocks, the fears, the concerns that my prospects have or my client’s prospects have, and then addressing those with the right reviews or the right testimonials and so on.
Johnathan: Right, that makes a ton of sense. So, I kind of got ahead of myself, too. Like, how do you go about, so we already talked about how you want to prioritize the social proof and that can be in many different forms.
It can be in badges, it can be in logos. It can be in actual quotes about the frequently asked questions that prospects have or the concerns they have.
Let’s say that you’re working with a client and you decided that you’ve done some things already but now you want to tackle social proof. How do you go about starting that journey with them? What tools do you use? How do you prioritize your own time? Take us through that.
Talia: So, whenever I work with any company to optimize their website or their landing pages, the first step that we take is actually very in depth research. So, we’ll do the data driven analysis, everything to do with heat maps and understand people’s behavior.
But the step starter that we take is really doing an emotional targeting and emotional research and that is to dig very deep into people’s decision making processes. So, we figure out what the intent is behind the purchase, what the emotional triggers that are driving people’s decisions to buy something or to sign up to a service.
And we do this with custom surveys, with interviews, with visitor surveys. We do this with review mining on the web. So we basically scroll handily in Facebook groups and Reddit and Cora and G2 Crowd, whatever we can find to really figure out what people are saying about the competitors, about the space, about books that are covering this topic.
So, we go really, really deep in understanding people because when we’re doing interviews or when we’re doing customer surveys or visitor surveys, we’re really asking questions that will hit the target on understanding the pains, the challenges, the concerns, and the desired outcome.
So, what is someone feeling right now before they find a solution? And what is the solution they want to find? How they want to feel after finding that solution. Now, once we do all this we don’t actually have to go looking for social proof because it’s right there in front of our face. It really is.
Essentially what we do is we map out the repeating themes, so specific things that come up all the time, these challenges, concerns that people mentioned and reviews that reflect the answer to those concerns.
So, we know immediately what type of social proof should be on the page and we have all of those quotes that aren’t just us reaching out and saying to people, “Hey, do you mind if I’m working to find a couple of exciting words about us, how amazing we are?”
But we actually have specific stories by clients explaining this is how they helped me, this is what I was tackling, this is what I, they helped me with. And now, social proof with us is ingrained in the entire process from day one.
Johnathan: That makes sense, it’s so, I think everybody listening right now, they glance over at their landing page for their website and they’re like, “Dang, my stuff is shallow or it doesn’t go very deep.” And it talks about the things you just mentioned previous about this company is great, work with them.
And that’s the general setup or the mass majority I would say of social proof that we see today. It’s really rare that people take those steps on the research side, the priority side, and then seeing what they’re doing because it’s, I’ve seen this before happen where I’m on a website or a landing page and I scroll down.
And it might not be the order that I care about, like my frequently asked questions that are being answered but eventually all of them become answered. I’m like, dang, I feel great.
And also, not just for the sake of converting for let’s say a demo or a trial. I now have even more likelihood from a confidence perspective to go through the demo or through the trial and actually wanted to be a paying user.
So, my seesaw or let’s say antsiness of saying, I don’t really know if I’ll sign up for this demo because some of the things they said were correct but I don’t really know if I’m gonna prioritize starting the trial or actually showing up for the demo.
And I think a lot of people forget the holistic nature of how impactful it can be to remove those friction points easing people into that, basically making sure that they know that the next step is okay to take, the next step is okay to take, and they have more comfort and more confidence in that.
When you guys look at that and also talk about not just initial conversion rate increases, do you get feedback from salespeople and things like that saying, “Oh my gosh, some of these questions I no longer have to answer”or “I’m not spending as much time.” Does it make the quality of the leads and the conversions higher as well, too?
Talia: Yeah, actually I love two things that you mentioned. One of them is the idea of using social proof throughout the entire funnel because it’s not just enough to use it on a landing page or on your home page. It’s about introducing it in every step of the funnel.
And it doesn’t have to be a quote each time. As we mentioned it could be a trust seal. It could be a logo, it could be anything. Just about every step a person takes they will need to feel like they’re getting their concern answered, that roadblock is being removed and they feel safer and better about their decision.
At the end of the day we are greeted daily by every decision that we make. We have so many hundreds of cognitive biases and psychological triggers that affect our decision making. So, when we make it easier for people to feel better, good about the decision that they’re making and the actions that they’re taking, we’re doing a good job in increasing those conversions.
And then on the other hand, on the other side of that, I feel that when it comes to social proof, a lot of us just look at it as a trend. It’s something that you just have to do and you have to slap someone’s logos on the page or you have to have a testimonial here or there.
But I really do see that the more you go about it in a very structured way, it doesn’t only help with that initial conversion, it helps the entire company. And the reason I say that is because the way that we conduct our research at our company isn’t just about, oh, we need to find some good social proof.
It’s the foundation of understanding who your customer is and why they make decisions, what they’re doing here on the page, what problem are they trying to solve. And when you figure all this out, you can spread that knowledge within the entire company, through product, email marketing, sales team, the retention team.
Everyone knows now the exact issues that people have, their concerns and of course the desired outcome. And that’s why when you see that, you know what social proof to put on the page but you will also know what to say to people when you’re on the phone with them.
So, it really is a holistic approach of just being customer-centric. When you’re customer-centric and you test that you are taking it to the next level and you’re helping the entire team, and not just one landing page or one email, really increase conversion.
Johnathan: And you say this beautifully. I’m even on your LinkedIn profile right now and your one sentence explainer of what GetUplift is is basically helping marketers become customer driven and grow their business and it’s so cool to hear.
And I’ve talked to a lot of people that I respect and you’re definitely one of them that I get on this show and I’m so thankful for. When we unpack things over and over again what we found out is everything is so customer-focused and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking email. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking SEO or content.
It all comes back to that which is really, really cool to see the common denominator that if you get this right it actually makes everything a lot easier. And like you said, it can pollinate across the entire organization internally for them to be having an easier time doing their job and also getting better results, too.
That’s amazing, so with that in mind on the research aspect which sounds like a lot of time and effort, for people listening, not to say that they’re all want to do shortcuts and trying to be quick at doing things but we all would love to be faster at doing certain things.
If you will maybe recommend the top three or even it’s okay if you have two, because you mentioned Cora, Reddit, G2. What are the things that if you are light on resources and light on time, what would you recommend from a research perspective that you would always, always do?
Talia: The one thing I would always do is a customer survey. So if you have customers already that are clients, then I’d do a client survey. Customer survey hands down. The most important thing you will do.
And I would also make sure that I’m asking the right kind of questions that aren’t questions, that aren’t leading questions but something that really focuses on the customer, their experience.
The value that they find in your solution, the roadblocks that they were seeing, what they were feeling before they hired you or they were using your software or purchased your product. So, hands down customer survey or visitor survey.
Number two, I would go into a Facebook group, sub-Reddit, I would go into Cora, G2 which as I’ve mentioned. I go into, I know Pinterest. I go into Amazon. Amazon is a goldmine. I learned this from Joanna Weeks.
She is amazing with this and essentially what she does is she goes into Amazon and she finds books that are dealing with the same issues and problems that you are trying to solve. So, for example, you may be an accounting software but there are hundreds of books about accounting to be sold on Amazon.
So, you go to those said books and you look at the reviews and you find out what people are missing. What are the missing pieces within those books? What are they complaining about? And you use that to lay the kind of use that in your copy and understand the pains that people are experiencing.
It’s such an awesome thing and you don’t have to have any budget for either of those, nothing. Customer surveys and not be the review mining. And the last thing I would do is I would do a competitor research which isn’t about features or your pricing or how amazing the website is.
I would actually just do a competitor research with reviews and just see what your people that should be buying from you, what are they saying about your competitor?
Johnathan: Got it, got it, yeah, that’s really informing.
Talia: And all this information adds up at the end, all of it, because it really gives you an idea. Yeah, exactly.
Johnathan: Totally, totally, and then like you said, none of these things really have to cost any money, nothing other than time and I think if anybody has to balance those two resources, one will always be available. If you don’t have time, you don’t have the money, you might not be doing the right thing in general. So, we can talk about that in another episode.
But super, super straightforward, I love that so much. And it’s so crazy, like for us a moment of truth, we get a decent amount of traffic for our website KlientBoost. The problem, and we also get a decent amount of leads. The problem is we have a 0.5% conversion rate.
And I’m like, I feel like that’s very low considering what we offer our clients and do very well with but I don’t feel like we’re eating our own dog food or as they also say drinking our own Kool-Aid sometimes. And so, one of the initiatives for this quarter here in 2020 is to definitely get that figured out and solved and just make it a lot more robust.
And I’m okay if, for example, we have a lot of higher funnel traffic that might not ever convert. That can of course skew our conversion rates, but for the people who do look for our services and need our help, I know that we can do a lot better job of communicating that.
So, anybody listening today, go to our website. Take a screenshot of what it looks like today. I guarantee you in 90 days or sooner it’s gonna look completely different. And I’m gonna bug you, Talia. I’m gonna get some more help from you if you’re okay with it because that’s
Talia: Yeah, I was just gonna say, definitely to me. And I feel like this sounds, and I might be incorrect, but it sounds like a stages of awareness thing that you should be tackling.
Johnathan: It could be.
Talia: It sounds like you have a few different people in different stages of awareness coming to your website. And the home page is the hardest page to tackle. But the journey of people coming in different stages of awareness. And by the way, the different stages of awareness, you need to have different social proof but I’m not gonna get into that today.
Johnathan: Let’s drop that nugget.
Talia: Once you better understand who is that person coming to your website, it’s better.
Johnathan: Yep, 100%. No, and I know for a fact that that’s the case and I also know that we have a lot of competitors checking out our stuff as well. We made the joke internally that we believe that some of our competitors consume our content more than we do internally which is also a problem. But again, problems to fix. I’m excited about the opportunity.
Anything else? I know that we talked about, I wouldn’t even call it foundation because everything is like you will, if you follow what Talia is saying, you are gonna have a ton of stuff to do and it’s gonna be pretty eye opening once you actually start seeing and can connect the dots.
Before we leave off, Talia, because I know we’re running out of time, is there anything that you think of that I haven’t asked you that we should talk about?
Talia: Oh, there’s so much.
Johnathan: I don’t want to open the door too much but I want to hear from you.
Talia: I mean, I can go on and on about conversion optimization and AB testing and all that stuff but I feel like if you, if there’s anything that you take from this today, from whatever, everything I’ve been saying today is that you want to treat your social proof as yet another way to reach into your customers and help them.
And I feel like this is the biggest thing. When you take away the whole perception of you have to achieve goal, you have to get conversions, you have to get more sales, and you understand that you’re solving someone’s problems.
And when someone comes to your page whatever they’re trying to get done, if it’s trying to find something to wear for a date or if they want to solve a communication problem with their company or they’re looking to hire someone, whatever it is every person that’s on the other side of the screen is trying to solve a problem.
And when you get that into your head, like when you solve people’s problems you achieve your own goals, you get those conversions.
So, I think if you take that step back with everything, every single piece and element that’s on your page when you think about it, is this solving a specific problem or is it just vanity, just taking up space? You will be, you will have a far more high conversion page, any page.
Johnathan: Yeah, no, it’s a super great point because I think one example of people not doing that today are the people who let’s say, I’m not gonna say like growth hacking is bad, but I thought of the vanity metric of X amount of people have just bought this in the last 24 hours or are viewing that in the last Y hours.
And while those things can definitely help, it almost seems that if you’re putting what we call lipstick on a pig or you’re putting a bandaid on something that has a deeper issue.
And you’re right, if you don’t step back and actually try to solve the problem, well again, even if you get a temporary spike in conversion rates from doing something else, you’re gonna be dealing with the same problems of maybe having a lower closing rate, lower tenure, lower lifetime value.
People might not be coming and converting for the deeper reasons that they care about. And so, if you can meet them halfway and just focus on that being your priority then it seems like you’re setting yourself up for much bigger long term success, too. Did I get that right?
Talia: Yeah, completely.
Johnathan: Cool, well Talia, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you being all across the Atlantic joining us here. Super, super thankful and I’ll definitely reach out to you once we get started here with our own redesign and everything.
Talia: Sounds awesome, thanks, guys.
Johnathan: Thank you, talk soon, bye.