3 ways to build social proof as a new business

Kat Irwin Design
4 min readOct 13, 2021

Establishing public trust in your brand is one of the hurdles small business owners face when starting off. As a new business, you may not have many customers yet, or even an online presence — so how will customers trust your products?. Building social proof can be hard at first but there are a few things you can easily do to start.

But first, what is Social proof and why is it effective?

Social proof is the idea that humans will adapt their behaviours based on what others around us are doing. In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini says “we view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.” So the more we see our peers doing something, the more likely we are to follow suit.

As a business owner, you can harness this in order to sell your products or services. Consumers will look for ‘approval’ before purchasing — so it’s up to you to provide that approval! Below are three forms of social proof which you can achieve as a business owner to sell your products.

1. Reviews & Testimonials

If you have ever been recommended something by a friend, chances are you listened to them because you trust them. Nowadays online consumers have the same thought process when it comes to others’ reviews. It is said that 92% of customers read customer reviews before making a purchase and reviews can increase conversion by 270%. With numbers like that the value in reviews on your homepage is undeniable. Let your happy customers leave reviews, and these reviews will sell your products.

  • But what if I don’t have any customers yet?
    Although I would never advocate working for free, at the start of your business it may be an idea to accept reviews and feedback for your product or service instead of money. Offering a sample product, or free advice about your specialty subject may only cost you a small amount, but the return on the social proof will be worth it.
  • But how to get the “right type” of testimonials that will sell your products?
    Although reviews and testimonials are written externally, they will be more useful if they are in line with your brand message. Set up your review questions in a way to get the answers that you…



Kat Irwin Design

Web Designer - I create websites for entrepreneurs and help you to DIY your website 😊