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Can a business survive in today’s world without countless reviews? The answer is yes, but it takes time and focused effort. First, let’s see why reviews matter. Seeing high ratings from other consumers provides buyers with reassurance in moments of indecision. This phenomenon is called social proof and having visible evidence of community trust in a product or service is a seriously powerful tool. This can convince potential customers that they can safely spend their money with your company if they question the purchase. Large, established brands spend millions on campaigns to collect detailed reviews and show high ratings from consumers to reduce purchase indecision.
Does it really take that much to inspire confidence? What about someone who is just starting out and doesn’t have millions to spend? As a young entrepreneur, you may not have the same budget as a well-known brand. You can still win over potential buyers by strategically positioning yourself as the expert in your industry. Doing this correctly can create the same credibility as having years of reviews posted. Here are five ways to get started:
Related: Need to build trust with your audience? Make use of social proof.
1. Be a guest on podcasts
One of the easiest things you can do is be a podcast guest. You are drawn to another leader to share knowledge and expertise, positioning yourself as an expert in the conversation. Reach out to relevant podcasts and don’t be afraid to aim high. Not everyone will accept your application, but that’s okay! Others certainly will. For every “no” there is a “yes” just around the corner. Websites usually have a section reserved for podcast applicants to sign up to be a guest on the show. Please read the instructions carefully, proofread and submit your application. Use your guest appearances as an opportunity to prove to consumers that you’re the right choice by sharing them with your target audience.
2. Article Contributions
Article contributions are a great way to share your knowledge gained in your industry. Everyone has something to learn, and want to learn more. Submit an article on a topic that interests you to a relevant blog, news outlet or publication. Share your articles, link them on your website and include links to your social platforms. Every article you contributed to or linked to increases your online findability. Your credibility increases as you rank higher in search engines.
3. YouTube channel
Video is the fastest growing form of content consumed and YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Create a channel with unique content to stand out and be discovered more easily. Viewers will not only see and hear you speak as the expert in your field, but they will also form a strong bond with you as an individual. Barriers are broken with video content and being accessible will encourage others to trust you and your brand. This will also help you show up in online searches about your topics when others are looking for more information. Use these videos in marketing materials to get views and subscribers. Followers often become loyal customers.
Related: 6 Easy Ways to Build Brand Credibility on a Tight Budget
4. Highlight recent achievements
As a young entrepreneur you are constantly learning, growing and doing everything you can to stay ahead in your industry. Whether it’s taking courses, obtaining certifications, or other credentials, use those earned credits as leverage to prove your credibility. Brag about it on your social media platforms and website! The visible proof of your achievements provides reassurance that they are in the right place with someone they can learn from and buy from who is current, reliable and knowledgeable.
5. Create a branded website
Having a website is critical. It serves as a collection of your achievements and a reference point for your target audience to learn more about who you are, what you do and why they should care. Showcase the podcasts you’ve been to as a guest, highlight articles where you’ve contributed valuable information, show your video content, and list your recent achievements. Whether it’s your contact information, a contact form, a scheduling link, or a purchase button, this is where your audience goes to connect and engage with you. This is also where you start collecting reviews over time, which will serve as additional social proof to help consumers finalize their decision to choose you over others.
Related: Add social proof to your website to increase conversions and drive sales
Your success as a young entrepreneur in today’s world is ultimately up to you. It’s possible to make it without tons of reviews if you’re consistent. Do the work to build credibility and trust. Establish an accessible platform where connections can be built. Great things take time, but each focused step brings you closer to your goals. As a bonus, the reviews also come while you’re busy building other forms of social proof!