What’s Social Proof — and How Can It Help Your Biz Grow?

content marketing digital marketing marketing marketing strategy online marketing Apr 20, 2021
Why You Need Social Proof to Grow Your Biz by Christa Gurka

Did you know over 75% of customers read reviews, testimonials, and case studies? Did you ALSO know that 88% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations?? Those are just a few reasons why you need to really start sharing how you’ve helped current or past clients! That’s really what social proof is, but let’s dig in a bit deeper.



What’s social proof, really?

Social proof is literally “proof” that others have benefited from your services or business products. It’s not just anyone, though. People like to know that their specific needs or challenges will be met, and that you have what they need.


That’s where specific social proof comes in — people who had similar issues (“I had horrible back pain before visiting Pilates in the Grove!”) or identify on a particular pain point (“After having kids, I was struggling to exercise my abs”). They also want to know what they can expect as an outcome, including weight loss, pain relief, timelines, or even new habits they can build. For example, your clients might say, “After just 3 sessions with Katie, I felt more stable and confident doing my home exercises.”


This not only makes it easier to book new clients, but it builds a brand reputation and sets you apart from your competition. Sold on social proof? Good. Now, how do you build social proof?


How to build your own social proof

If you’re just starting out, I know you’re probably thinking, “I can’t get social proof because I haven’t had many clients!” I get it — I’ve been there. The key is, though, to find a process that helps you collect social proof, reviews, and testimonials from the clients you do have coming in the door.


Do you have a dream client who has gotten great results with your services? Ask them to write a note or an email about how they’ve changed. Has one client reached their weight loss, fitness, or recovery goals? Ask them how they felt before and how they feel now!


These are incredibly simple ways to encourage reviews and testimonials, but it requires getting people in the door. So do the thing! Offer discounts or free sessions to get people to come in and leave a review. Ask friends or peers to come to a class and leave a review. Offer a free workshop or event at the park. Do whatever it takes to get more people in to get their feedback!


Systematize your social proof

Once you’ve got a few testimonials or reviews under your belt, I’ll bet you feel a lot more confident about your services. You may have even seen an uptick in interest — because social proof works! But don’t just stop at that initial push. Make asking for reviews or testimonials a part of your client process.


Maybe you…


  • Take screenshots of Facebook check-ins, where your clients say “Can’t wait to get my sweat on at [insert studio name]”
  • Ask students if they’re comfortable sharing their thoughts about your studio/services on camera or in writing
  • Send a link to current studio members or clients to ask for a Google My Business review
  • Send a follow-up email after a member’s package or recovery is over to ask for a review
  • Interview a client/student who’s had great results with your services to create a full case study for your website


Really, there are so many great ways to make asking for social proof a part of your process. You should make sure that you have a place to KEEP all your testimonials or reviews, in their various forms. For example, I have a folder of social proof screenshots (when people tag us on social media), a folder of video or audio testimonials, and I use tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey when I send out an email. Then, I drop those results into a spreadsheet where I have all our text testimonials in one place.


This makes it super easy to go in, grab a testimonial, and share it wherever. But … how should you share your social proof? Keep reading.


How to leverage your social proof

As I discuss in this episode of Female emPOWERED, there are two types of social proof: brand-centered and customer-centered. Brand-centered social proof includes things like, “I love coming to Pilates in the Grove, it’s the best studio in Miami!” whereas a client-centered testimonial would be, “My Pilates sessions at Pilates in the Grove are the best hour of my whole day, and I’ve been able to really heal my body from injuries acquired from other workouts.”


The key to really using social proof correctly is to use a blend of both — and to lean heavily on customer-centered social proof when you’re marketing a specific service or product. There are also different ways to share brand- or customer-centered testimonials.


Ways to share customer-centric social proof

  • Write customer testimonials in story form (“Jane was worried about Pilates, because of past knee and back injuries. But after just 2 sessions, Jane felt relief from her chronic pain for the first time in 3 years, and she was hooked!”)
  • Ask for video testimonials. This is especially great to do after a fun and engaging class, or to show how your studio setup has adapted to COVID-19 protocols. Bonus: You can also use these videos for social ads!
  • Share transformations on your website. Before-and-after’s get a bad rap, but it’s really powerful to show people how a client has changed since working with you. Even if it’s not in pictures, you can ask clients if they want to share their weight loss, strength-building, or reduction in symptoms since working with you. You can create a transformation account, like a case study!
  • Use it reviews in an email. If you have people on an email list who haven’t booked a session or come to your studio in a while, send them a quick message to let them know you’re still booking — and people love working with you!


Ready to build your social proof now?

Have I sold you on the power of social proof yet? Do you have an idea of how you could attract some reviews and use that to build your brand? I hope so! Of course, I know that “getting it” and “doing it” are two entirely different things.


That’s why I want to invite you to my 30-Day Build Your Biz Bootcamp



In addition to helping you create a plan to book more clients, we’ll also dig deep into how to get social proof. You’ll get my own nurture sequence template to ask new clients for reviews and you’ll learn how to send a survey to clients or people who’ve worked with you in the past. We’ll use all of that to boil down your business’s message — what makes you and your brand stand out.


All of that will then be combined over the next 3 weeks to create social media content, email content, and a plan to attract new clients in less than 30 days. If you want to attract more clients and feel like you’re really building a business that can grow, I highly recommend that you lean into social proof, and join my 30-day bootcamp because that’s going to be the best way to make sure you actually get the proof you need to book more!