Smart authors know that social proof is an important marketing tactic that eases the minds of worried customers.
Social proof is defined as the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or online) have on our own behavior.
There are basically five types of social proof:
- Expert: When an industry expert or well-known personality recommends your product or services.
- Celebrity: When a celebrity people like endorses a product or service.
- User: When current users of the product or service praise it.
- Crowd: When a large crowd of people are using a product or service as shown through social media or events.
- Certification: When a person or product is given a stamp of approval by an authority in the industry, such as winning a book award or obtaining a seal of approval.
Social proof is extremely important when selling books. As humans, we want to know that what we are getting ourselves into will be worthwhile—especially when it comes to buying a product or a service. Buyers want to know what others are saying about the product or service.
Even wise King Solomon understood this concept when he wrote “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2)
The two easiest types of social proof for authors to secure are expert and user. You gain expert social proof by obtaining endorsements. You gain user social proof through reader reviews.
Sadly, few independent authors take the time to secure expert social proof (endorsements). A recent quick survey of books submitted for the Christian Indie Awards showed that only about one-third (one out of every three books submitted) featured any type of endorsement or review on the book’s cover (front or back) or in the front pages of the book.
If you are not securing endorsements, you are losing out on a very important social proof that will help you sell your book.
It’s never too late to secure endorsements. With today’s print-on-demand technology, you can still get endorsements after you have published your book and then adjust your book cover to feature these endorsements.
If you are unsure about how to go about securing endorsements, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) provides our Members help. Members can watch the on-demand seminar Endorsements Help You Sell More Books to learn how to obtain endorsements. The webinar includes a sample template letter to use when requesting an endorsement.
The on-demand seminar is also available to authors who are not Members of CSPA. You can pay a fee to watch it at https://mcbuniversity.selz.com.
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