128 - Three Tips To Use Social Proof To Grow Your Business with Afton Negrea

Afton Negra is one of the sharpest people I know when it comes to systems and building a business.  She has some of today's biggest online personalities as some of her clients, and she's a rockstar at tips and tricks and tools to simplify your business life.  She's technically a social media strategist but does so much more beyond just that title.  Her mission is to help the smaller companies learn the tips and tricks to get the bigger reach and leverage that they may need to grow.

In this podcast, we're covering three areas where you can improve your social proof of your business.

The first one is content, can we dig deep into understanding how your content aligns with the social proof of your business and how to use it grow?  First, social proof is the positive influence when others find out when someone is doing something.  This is crucial in social media.  A great example of this is a nightclub, and why they make people wait outside.  They want people to see that this is someplace other people want to go.  People see that and think that this is the place to go since everyone is there.  This is the same thing we want to create with our businesses.

The more people we can get stopping and looking at our content, the more others will see it.  It's not about selling, but it's about telling.  The more of a story you can weave, the more people will stop and listen.  We expect that by throwing content out, people will stop and listen, and that's simply not true.  Stories deeply connect people and help buying decisions.  Don't use social media as a broadcast system, look at social as a two-way conversation.  Weave your story together.

Humans of New York is a great example because the photographer is using micro-content to tell stories.  Then people comment and add to the story.  It resonates with people on a much deeper level.

How do you make your content not about you, but about you in a backward way?  First, you need to know what your personal hook is, and why people would be drawn to you.  It's also looking at the underlying story as to why people are looking at you.  Really work to weave your stories at an emotional level.  Then it starts the conversation.

It's important to share those little things, and that you may take for granted, but those are the things that hook people to you.  People love to talk about themselves too.  If you show a bit of yourself, then people will reciprocate, and tell you why it resonates with them.  Look at the emotional part of your story and find that pain point, and speak to that story.  People are making social media way over complicated.

Testimonials are #2.  Why are these so key, and what do you do to get these out?  First, you want to have great relationships with the people you know online.  Great relationships build lasting impressions and testimonials.  We always want to make sure we make their experience better.  Then you can ask if they'll give you their testimonial.  There are 22% higher conversions with five testimonials on a page.  You can also look at how you get testimonials.  It's not about asking and getting an email back.  Afton gives a great example, of how she was getting great feedback on simple things like Twitter.  Those are social proof in and of itself.

You can also do feedback surveys and user generated content.  There are so many different ways and use them on your home page and sales pages, etc.  You can even put them in your email signature.  Many people forget that testimonials should speak to what you're selling.  Make sure those testimonials are speaking to specific pain points.

The third place is influencer outreach.  How do you do this right without just asking people for favors?  Influential sources have the Midas Touch.  Leverage for your business online is needed, and the best one you can have is an influencer in your back pocket.  It can come as a friend or even paid.  However, there are many others ways you can use influencers to help build your business and to have them talking about your stuff.  Even something as something as simple as a podcast can help to show people like you.

Afton loves using a tool called BuzzSumo, and you can type in keywords to see who the people are that are talking about this particular subject.  It will come up with all the most shared blog posts, and it will show how many shares they received.  Afton then takes those names and starts engaging with those people.  After they work on that relationship, she will then mention how she has something that they may be interested in promoting.

They key is building a relationship before you ask for something.

Are there any tools you use to make sure you're staying on their radar, etc?  There's an app called Cloze, and it will help you create lists of people.  It's basically automated stalking, in a nice way.  It will show you what their posts were, and it will log any communication you've had.  This is great because it cuts through the noise and hone in on specific people.

Where do you get comfortable for the ask?  One great place to start is when they respond to you.  For Afton, it's a feeling.  Too many people treat it like it's not real life or real people.  However, you can tell when someone gets a little closer to you.  She suggests doing it earlier than later, so they know your intent and be sure you're offering value to them.  Keep in mind many of these influencers are looking for content to share.  It's not about you, it's about them, and tell them you would love to help them out.  Touch base with them and see if you can connect with them again.  Then follow-up!  That's the key thing!

Connect with Afton: AftonNegrea.com

Here is also the link to her Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialproofcollective/

More About Afton:  While working in digital and social media marketing, Afton has collaborated with solopreneurs and businesses from around the world to amplify their voice and have their message heard online, including many of the world’s most influential authors, coaches and speakers. She is also the founder of the Social Proof Collective, a community of difference makers who are looking to connect, learn and grow together through ongoing digital marketing training and resources to truly prosper online.



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