As an author, you need more than just your own press to tell the world how great you are, or worthwhile your books are. You need to gather indisputable evidence that you’re great at what you do, and that you have bona fide fans, or an ability to back up your claims. But how to get this and what forms of Social Proof are available to you? Here’s how to get good social proof as an author, expert and leader in your field.
Anything that is not obviously a paid-for advertisement of customer delight will be a great start.
- LinkedIn Recommendations – give some to get some. Be generous, and also stick with only giving and accepting ones that are genuine and meaningful. Don’t buy into the ‘tit for tat’ options offered by some people who don’t really know you, or your products and just want to gather less genuine ones for themselves.
Enter your industry awards, local business awards, and anything that allows some independent review and analysis of your business, product, best practice examples. Yes, that gold label on the bottle of your wine, or your X of the Year label on your website do mean a lot to your market when they’re researching you. Finding that someone you’ve been referred to really does have the kudos you are seeking impacts on you and the more ‘genuine’ the award is, the better too.
- Speak – from the boardrooms to the convention centres – get on stage and do a great job of inspiring your market to take action, and review your presentation positively. Get feedback, ask for reviews. The best option of all is to grab quick video testimonials from your audience members and put these on your website. These are extremely hard to go past when you have someone in a life moment saying how much they enjoyed your work, your presentation, or how inspired they feel as they leave the room.
- Write more than just one book – grow a series – don’t end up a one-hit-wonder. BE more! Do more. Nuff Said!
- Collaborate with other ‘stars’ (and be selective in this area) you can work with on joint projects. Help and support each other to be extra-ordinary at what you can do. Some people are well worth aligning yourself and your brand with. But take your time to do this well, and ensure its a win-win situation.
- GET GOOD, no, make that GREAT at what you do. Own your space, and strive for excellence. Always.
This is something you need to prioritise as part of your regular marketing efforts. It’s far too easy for opportunities to slip by, but incredibly important to nurture them. Plan for this.
I have one client who has not ever bothered with getting recommendations, and ahead of launching his book, had a massive job to ensure that there were people out there talking about him being good at what he does. It’s the same with reviews for books when they are published. Having other readers say they like your book enough to rate it and comment means the marketing you do is supported by these reviews – not just in the obvious way, but also by Amazon. (See the article I wrote on the importance of Amazon Reviews here)
I have other clients who regularly seek award opportunities and use their books as part of their marketing strategy. For example: In 2016, David Stannard – The Vision Guy, used his books as the primary theme for marketing his winery and on a budget that was less than 5% of his closest competitor, took out the International Silver Stevie Award for Marketing.
In a nutshell, you need to know this, the social Proof you get from awards, recommendations, reviews, and speaking is worth a lot in terms of your book sales, marketing, and ability to rise to a level of excellence in your industry. So seek and grab all those opportunities.