Updated: May 26
Robert Cialdini, author of the best-seller Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, decoded the meaning of “Social Proof” many years ago when he wrote-
“Since 95% of people are imitators, and only 5% are initiators, people are persuaded more by actions
of others than by any proof we can offer.”
While it shouldn’t be surprising that he was spot on with his observation, authors and other thought-leaders still find it hard to crack this code. The success of books, like any other product or service on the market, is now measured by reviews, endorsements, and recommendations. Ever since the era of large advertisements and flashy television commercials concluded, Social Proof is the best way for new readers to learn about you by far.
According to a study by researchers at Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know, so before you start begging for readers to review your book (which, spoiler alert, is the wrong strategy), there are 5 important ways to improve your Social Proof and ultimately boost your book sales.
Nobody wants to be the first to buy or consume a product or service, and social counts are a great way to start. The most common examples include follower count on social media and total amount of likes and shares. If you are still working on growing your audience, however, you can highlight the number of products shipped, hours of services supplied to clients, satisfaction rates, and your years of experience in your field and why that is beneficial to the consumer.
TESTIMONIALS AND ENDORSEMENTS
Praises from previous clients have the potential to boost conversions by 34%. Always keep in mind that it should come from people who have similar characteristics with your target audience so that your audience can picture themselves in the same situation. Every piece of feedback you receive counts, including a nice email you got from a previous client or a comment on social media. When you are launching your book, those endorsements and testimonials can be about your book, your business, or yourself, but don’t overthink it. This is especially important for non-fiction literature. The best way to gain testimonials is through a nice email asking for a review from your audience.
WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN FEATURED “AS SEEN ON”
Make a list of every single seminar, conference, and webinar you’ve attended or contributed to, podcast shows that interviewed you, or guest blog posts you’ve written, making sure to highlight it on your marketing material. A Press Release is extremely helpful when your book is launched, and adding several of these badges to your credentials will certainly increase your audience.
If you have any certification in your industry or if you are a member of associations related to your niche, be sure to display them to improve your Social Proof. Make a list of every qualification, certification, and award you have received and list them all together.
Not all Social Proof goes straight towards your website and social media channels. A strategy to get referrals is incredibly important to encourage customers and business partners you already have to introduce you to a new audience. An email with a referral or a newsletter shoutout can be a powerful tool and open new doors for you. Ultimately, you should nourish your network on a daily basis to widen your audience.
If you work on these five steps, traditional book reviews will come organically, and you will improve your conversion rate, you will get more book sales and consequently, more book reviews. To restate, while there is no need to beg to your friends and family to review your book on Amazon and other retailers, there are a few steps you should take to improve your reviewer’s reach. Submit your book to professional book reviewers educate your audience, showing them all the options they have besides Amazon, such as Goodreads, Google Books, or even Social Media Reviews.
While achieving the results you desire is demanding and requires much of your time, if you are consistent and have a clear view of your goals, you will certainly get there.
Reach out to PRESStinely Consulting for assistance on how to write and publish your book through our social media channels or visit us at www.PRESStinely.com.