Building credibility for your startup with social proof

You need social proof to sell your product or service. There are simply too many alternatives available. Users need an easy way to decide.

What’s an example of social proof?

Social proof can come in the form of numbers and scale. Websites will attempt to show how many people they’ve helped, or how many people have signed up.

Stripe does this well:

Stripe Homepage

“Millions of companies of all sizes.” Not five. Not five thousand. Millions.

I’d trust Stripe if I’d never heard of them after reading that.

Here’s the problem with most startups. We only have a few customers. We can’t highlight millions, or even thousands of customers. Because we’re not there yet. 

We may only have 30 customers today. So what can we do instead?

We want to look for 3 customers of our existing ones who had good results with our product or service. We’ll turn these customer examples into testimonials.

Only 3. However, we need at least 3.

Why three?

One testimonial is viewed as a fluke. Two testimonials is viewed as a rare occurrence. Three testimonials is viewed as a pattern.

If we can show other three people used our product or service and saw great results, your visitors will see how they could have similar results.

Action items

  1. Make a list of the different social proof your could share on your homepage and buy/checkout pages
  2. If recruiting testimonials, reach out to your customers and ask if they would be willing to provide one in exchange for a backlink or discount
  3. Update your website with your social proof