The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Social Proof'?

Social Proof is the process through which the actions of other individuals tell us that it's ok to behave in a certain way.

When a situation is ambiguous, we learn by watching the behavior of others. Add Social Proof to your offers to increase your sales.

Testimonials are an effective form of Social Proof to increase sales. The most effective testimonials are the ones that mirror the feelings of your prospects.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Social Proof'

Have you ever stood waiting for a stoplight to change before crossing the street when the person standing next to you suddenly starts walking? Chances are, you started moving too, unless you used Willpower to consciously Inhibit the response.

In most situations, the actions of other individuals in our situation is a very strong indication that it's okay to behave in a certain way.

When a situation is ambiguous, we learn by watching the behavior of others. If you don't know how to act in Rome, doing what the Romans do is a pretty safe bet.

Social Proof can take on a life of its own.

Fads often form when one person takes an action, others perceive it as a Social Signal, then act the same way-a social Feedback Loop.

Pet rocks, yellow "Live Strong" bracelets, viral videos, and stock market bubbles all gain power via Social Proof-if so many other people are doing it, it's easy to come to the conclusion that you should probably do it too.

Testimonials are an effective form of social proof often used in business to close more sales. There's a reason why Amazon.com and other online retailers prominently feature user reviews: stories about people who have been pleased with a purchase send a clear signal that an item is safe to buy, so more people purchase.

The best testimonials don't necessarily contain superlatives: amazing, best, life-changing, and revolutionary have been so overused that people expect them and discount their expectations accordingly.

The most effective testimonials tend to follow this format: "I was interested in this offer, but skeptical. I decided to purchase anyway, and I'm very pleased with the End Result..."

The reason this format is more effective than a litany of people gushing about your offer is that it more closely matches how your prospects are feeling: interested but uncertain. By signaling that the decision was a good one, testimonials tell your prospects that it's safe to buy.

Add a bit of Social Proof to your offers, and your sales will soar.

Questions About 'Social Proof'


"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

Anatole France, Nobel Prize–winning novelist and poet


From Chapter 8:

Working With Others


https://personalmba.com/social-proof/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

More about Josh Kaufman →