98. Operationalize Your Social Proof

Friday, September 22, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/98. Operationalize Your Social Proof

98. Operationalize Your Social Proof


Social proof is incredibly important to demonstrate the value of our products and courses.

But it’s also incredibly easy to lose track of while we’re in the midst of everything.

This is why we need to operationalize this as much as possible! Make it automatic :)

When you take the steps outlined in this episode, gathering social proof will no longer be a heavy chore that you take on just when you need it, but a continuous and pain-free process that continues to deliver within your company

Discover more in today’s episode

Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Discover how to work with me: https://www.adamliette.com/work-with-me

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What's going on there smooth operators Welcome to a new week, happy Monday, hope you're getting after it'll be got some big plans for this week. And I am just I'm geeking out about this episode a little bit because it's it's designed around a specific topic. But it's one of those things like once you figure out how to do some of these things in your own company, like this process I'm going to lay out here it becomes replicatable in other areas. Like we we put like a whole lot of crap on our plate, a whole lot of stuff on our desks that we think we have to be doing all the time when we have automation all around us that we can employ. And we can play in a smart way, in a way that's rooted in things that work and keep the company moving forward. And specifically today, I'm going to be talking about operationalizing, your social proof. So we all know how important social proof is. Like it's just a fact of life. Like getting that social proof and getting those testimonials getting those videos getting those quotes. Like that's part of being in especially in the information business, like your your your account, your product is only be going to be as good as people say it is right and having more social proof will enable you to sell more, to sell better, to sell easier because your customers are selling it for you. But when we leave social proof to chance, when we leave it to manual, not only a is it one of the most frustrating things to have to do.

Because it just it just takes time. And a lot of time if you're doing it willy nilly piecemeal. But that just adds like so much frustration. Because you're you're just spending hours and hours of time and maybe not getting the results that you want. Because you're having to spend hours and hours of time. But if we find ways to automate this, like imagine how much more we're gonna get, imagine what results we're going to see from being able to do this. So let's look at operationalizing things, making them automated, we're gonna do it through the context of social proof. And so some things that I've seen work really, really well. And then, like, take some of this great, same creative thought, and put it into other areas of the business that are taking up a lot of your time. So you can have a lot of year, you know, a lot of maybe not your time, but your team time. And so kind of circles back to the last episode. Last Monday episode, we were talking about team utilization, like where are you losing time with your team? Anyway, we can automate that stuff. I mean, let's do it, right. So there's a couple areas for operationalizing social proof that are super useful. And I'll just go like step by step. The first is, anytime you're in a pre launch period, so you're getting ready to either launch a big promotion, relaunch a core product, like there's this whole period, or we're kind of prepping for it.

Now, I'm a big fan of using a survey as part of your pre launch strategy. Because that survey allows you to ask the audience what they already want, what you're not serving them with, what their desires are, what their wants, our needs are all those things, which can be super useful due to getting that information that direct customer words on how they're describing their problems, how they're describing the things that are standing in their way. So then you can actually use their exact language in your launch copy. So huge to do that. Make it a survey with open ended questions. So not just you know, multiple choice or yes, no true false kind of questions, but actually give some open ended questions so we get some actual customer words. There's certain art to surveys and how many questions someone actually answer. We really look in in like the four to 10 at the absolute max. If you can't get all your answers in 10 Questions like think again, look at it and tell me how many questions you actually need. What are you gonna get from that you're gonna get, if you ask the right questions, you can get past results of what people have been able to accomplish with your training, because a lot of times we're talking about repeat customers, right? People that have either bought something from us before, they might listen to our podcasts, or he may might watch our YouTube channel. So we can actually get social proof for all of those two, social proof is not just for our paid products, we can get social proof for everything. And social proof for everything is important. So build that into your pre launch period, make that part of your launch template, your strategy, and you're gonna get a whole lot out of it. And that can be as simple as one or two emails with the direct link to type form or to Google Sheet or, you know, what is it where you can do the surveys and Google's Google Forms? Yep, sorry about that. Live show, I don't edit it, as you can tell. But yeah, use Google Forms, or type forum or whatever you want.

There's so many different options. Another area I like to operationalize this is to have specific task for my entry level employees. Where they are looking at specific parts of the company specific discussion boards may be social feeds, any kind of communication channels that we have with our clients. So if, like, if we're using like Freshdesk, or HelpScout, for our customer service, ticketing, if we get quotes that we want to try to leverage into social proof, you know, it's really it becomes TAs, that entry level person, I do this for a couple reasons, especially for entry level, a entry level is getting paid the least. So you know, this is a good place for them to be, because this does take more time. And it's not always a guaranteed bang for your buck. But also when your entry level people, your newer people are in this part of the company, they're hearing about all the great things that are happening, they're seeing what the client results are, that is further cementing them into their role, further cementing them into the mission of the organization. So it's a great thing from multiple areas. But yeah, just to have them in that space. Like they're gonna have additional buy in to your company just by virtue of having to consume and digest and go through all the social proof prompts, collecting the data and putting it into some kind of a sheet where it can be action, but by them being the one that that does that, you know, it's that exposure that they're getting to the social proof that the company is generating. So that's number two, they get that weekly test for entry level.

For number three, I really want to automate social proof through my online courses as much as possible. So here's how I do. If you've ever gathered social proof from a course, we're likely talking about a one to three, maybe four questions survey. Just what were their experiences? What can be improved? What did you like about it? Did you have any breakthroughs, like those kinds of things, maybe one or two selections, and then the vast majority of your responses, you want to be open ended, where they can put their actual community actual thoughts in their own words. Here's the thing. I don't leave it to chance on when that email gets sent out. I don't just wait till the end and say, Okay, you're done with the course leave a review. That's actually not what we want to do. We want to automate the requests for social proof. When they're in that two thirds to three quarters way through a course. Two thirds to three quarter, you don't want to wait till the end. You know why? Because people reach the end and like, well, I'm done with that. Oh, they just, I just gotta send a survey, I'm done with that course. We're gonna take that survey. You want to hit them with the survey before they complete their training. That's where you're gonna get the highest propensity of responses, you're gonna get the best responses when people are still just right at the end of it. They're not quite done yet.

So I like to do this. Like I said, I like to make it automated. And I like to tie it to when they would started the course or perhaps when different parts of the course open. So if you have a four week course, for example, really, you want this email looking for feedback to be triggered right before they start the fourth week. You can either do that on time based or if your system allows for it on completion based, so if you're able to track when they completed the third week and you know Click their little mark complete button depends on the integrations you have. Right? It doesn't work for every single system. This is when I built this around in the first place was Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft was built in like our CRM communicated directly with our course and back and vice versa. So I was able to tell when they completed their third module, so I could trigger this flow. If the best UI is time based, then do that. But basically, what you're looking to do is they could start the course. And from there, it just puts them into a delay sequence, where it's waiting so many days or so many weeks before it sends them into the social proof section. So during this, you're just asking questions, have a place for them to upload a picture. If they'd like to provide a comment, you're getting their buy in, over the, through that survey that they're providing, they can choose to either share their comments with the broader community or not, but you're giving them the opportunity. So it's all within their means, and able to do it on their own. So the next really, if we want to level up even more just from text testimonials, I found I can automate video testimonials too.

So if you've ever done a video testimonial, I've done at least 50 Like face to face, one to one testimonial calls. And the funny thing is, each testimonial calls starts to be like the exact same. Like you're just asking the same questions, you're just having to spend your time sitting there. What does that enable us to do enables us to build a certain level of automation into here, right? Because it's, it's the same questions. Here's the thing, if you send someone an email, it say, Please provide a video testimonial, you can send that email to like a marketing guy, or a professional guy, you know, or gal. Like I just did a video testimonial for some LinkedIn training I went through. But I'm not normal, like none of us are normal. So stop thinking of what you would do. And put yourself in your customers perspectives that might not be business at all, they're taking your course for pleasure for self gratification. Like all those wonderful things. We need to feed them a little bit more, we can't just ask them to provide a testimonial. Instead, we need to ask them if they'd like to provide some feedback. Now, this is just one piece of software. I imagine there's others that do just like it but I'm a big fan of the video ask platform. Video ask is a the parent companies type forms if you already have Typeform, you just have to add the video ask access to your profile. But with video asked it allows your customers to self record their testimonial video. So it provides them a place to record it, where it's then uploaded to the cloud for you to download later. But the important thing is they don't have to figure out the tech themselves and send you the information for example, it's all just right there for them. You can also break things up into multipart videos. So let's say I have five to 10 questions I want to ask them that I would ask in an in person testimonial interview, I just record to five different videos of me asking it one more time. And then I upload the videos to that it's like a funnel, where instead of you know each it's like a tight like a type form funnel where each page has a different question. Each page has a different video of me asking the question.

So I'm able to have that personalized touch and make the person feel like this is an experience without needing to occupy my entire calendar with these types of calls. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, we can also automate this. So if we want to do a push for video testimonials, this can be automated based upon their activity inside the website. When they started a course when they started a membership, did they choose to cancel the membership. You pick your poison, there's multiple different areas where you can apply this automation so that you consistently are bringing in more and more video testimonials. From there, I like to add it to the stack of my entry level person where they are ultimately pulling down that video and making helping make it into something presentable that we can put on the website. Alright, the last thing I want to dive into is the use of CRM tags. So what I've noticed is that you basically have Three types of people when it comes to testimonials. One is the person that will gladly provide a testimonial whenever wherever, tell me where and I'll be there. On the flip side, you have the person that will never provide a testimonial. And right in the middle, you have The Inbetweeners, you capture at the right time, they'll provide a testimonial the wrong time, they will not. So let's, let's treat all those peoples very different. One thing that we've built in, is the ability to be able to look at someone's contact profile, and be able to know what type of person we're dealing with. So if it's someone that we've asked, Can you provide a testimonial? And they click the hell no button?

Or tell us outright? Nope, I just don't do that. Make them a specific tag that says, you know, refuse to give testimonial. Now, you can exclude them from future request, you already know they want to they don't want to do it, they're not going to do it. So why bother them with another email? Why bother them with another Ask? When you know, they're not going to do it anyway. You can have also another tag for submitted testimonial or completed testimonial. Why would you want to do that because if we have 40 videos of testimonials, and three are from the same person who also submitted five text testimonials, man. And we're starting to dilute our message a little bit by having repeats. So we can choose to exclude that person from future testimonials if we wish. But now we have a tract in our CRM who has and who has not provided a testimonial who has refused to versus who has not refused to. So we can make our request a little smarter. We're not bothering people that have already given us their perspective. And whether or not they're actually going to be willing to do it, like why bother them. Instead, I'm going to be far more worried about getting them to another sale, versus bugging them about a testimonial that they might get annoyed with. If we can just do that little bit of care to just be tagging things, then that is just another way of us treating our customers really, really well. And making sure that the feedback that they're giving us is properly actioned. So just to wrap things up, we've talked about operationalizing social proof. We want to make use that pre launch period. We want to delegate whatever we can to a more entry level person, especially weekly feeds and weekly polls.

wherever we can, we want to automate our social proof have it tied to the date of a launch or a course open date. And don't wait till the end look for that happy two thirds or three quarter complete stage before we send out a request for a testimonial. We can also automate video testimonials not only tell us what you think, and they can record for 10 minutes, but we can walk them through a step by step process, especially for trying to lead them to the right answer.

And track track track track track. Who's giving testimonials refusing testimonials, received testimonials, I would try to track as much of this as possible through tags. So then you can action that in the future to either include or exclude people as needed when you go out and mass request testimonials. All right. I hope this helped. And like I said biggest thing like this is attached to one specific area of the business. But if we start thinking of business in this way, and the tools that we have are at our disposal, I think you'll find there's a lot of other areas we can put similar structures in place that take things out of the human hand where we're having to manually trigger everything, but allow for operationalizing and really automating as much as possible. So our brains and our employees brains can be working at a higher level and not mired down in the details, automate wherever we can to make it much easier for everyone on the team and get better results.

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