Social ProofIf you are in business for yourself online, it is especially important that you understand the concept of social proof.  When you are an online business, most visitors to your websites see you as as unknown entity, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, which makes them anxious. What if they give you their hard earned money and you vanish? They want reassurance. They want to know that you are a real, legitimate, established business.

How can you give them this reassurance that you’re real and legit? 

One way to do it is by using what is called “social proof”. Social proof is a concept first championed by persuasion master Robert Cialdini, and it basically just means that people tend to do what other people are doing. So if a lot of people are buying something, other people will be likely to buy it. If people see two restaurants, one with an empty parking lot, one with a full parking lot, they are much more likely to go to the restaurant with the full parking lot. People follow the herd. They figure that if other people like something, use something, trust something, et cetera, it must be legit.

Customer testimonials are one way to provide social proof. If you go to the home page of my site,, you will see that I have testimonials high up on the home page – along with a picture of myself, which is another way to reassure potential website customers that you are real.

Along with those customer testimonials you should use press releases. This doesn’t mean that you have to conduct an expensive publicity campaign. You can write your own press releases or hire someone to do it for you, send them out to a few press release distribution sites (good free ones are,, – and put them on the Media Room page on your website.

When people search for your company,  one of the things that they will find online is your press release.

Even if your press release is not picked up by mainstream media, you have created your own online publicity campaign. You have instantly created the image of a much bigger company, an established company that’s so important that they have their own media room, and that has press releases about their success all over the web.

Along with a well designed website with customer testimonials, this provides the kind of social proof that makes people more likely to trust your company when they are looking to do business with someone.