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Why Social Proof Matters for Authors2086

Teacher Winsome1 private msg quote post Address this user
While preparing a presentation for a class of aspiring young writers, it occurred to me that there was an opportunity to not only teach author platform building but also talk about social proof. A couple weeks ago, I posted a cartoon which featured a teenager with a book in her hand. She commented that the book was “A bunch of tweets with some words added in between.” My posts received over 600 likes and shares across all of the social media platforms. What was this? Social proof that this is what the older generation thinks of its younger counterparts.
What exactly is social proof? In a nutshell, it means that people look to others around them to judge the value of something. For writers, that may mean that there are 100 comments on a blog. It may mean that a book on Amazon has 150 reviews and is ranked as a top seller in a particular category. Winning an award and being able to place the badge on your cover may be another validation of social proof. This can apply to receiving a traditional publishing contract. Traditional publishers require you to prove you have social proof to consider you for a contract. Not only does your book have to be great, you also have to prove you have a large following.
So why do writers and authors need this? Social proof is all about having an audience for your blogs and books. New authors don’t think they have to build an audience. If their book is on Amazon, it will sell, right? The answer is a big, fat NO. You have to spend time building an audience to have social proof. Building an audience doesn’t mean that your Facebook page has 500 likes or you have 5,000 Twitter followers; it means engagement. If you don’t have engagement on your author or business page, you’ve built the wrong audience.
My business FB page has little engagement. Why? Because when social media experts made their sweep through my community, the seminars were all about how to set up your page and get likes. Getting your friends to like your page. Many of my friends liked my page but they aren’t one bit interested in writing and publishing. My next move? I started a writing community on Facebook. Now, I have daily engagement among people who like to write and would like to publish.
Other social proof builders? E-mail lists. If you want a targeted audience of people who are committed to what you have to offer, start building your e-mail list. I always tell my clients that you need to be converting your social media contacts to your email list. Why? Because social media changes daily and one day you may wake up to find that it has disappeared and so has your audience. If you convert them to your email list, no one can take them away.
So what about social proof on Amazon? How can you raise your book visibility? Reviews! Ask readers to review your book. By ask, I mean on social media or your e-mail list, not your friends and family. If you are Amazon savvy, you can cut through the friend reviews and the real reviews. How? Look at the dates. Typically, the reviews that are posted in the first few weeks, that are all five stars, disregard. They are friends and family. Social proof on Amazon is also viewed by rankings, how the book is book selling. I meet authors all of the time who tell me their book is selling and I look at the rankings and see one review and a low ranking.
One of the best ideas I have heard about social proof for authors was from Milana Leshinsky, who coaches JVIC. She asked Brian Tracy to write the forward for her book. He said yes and was very gracious about doing this for her. This is amazing social proof when you have someone who is highly respected and also a bestselling author help establish your credibility.
What are you doing to build your social proof quotient?
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Member Jonnner private msg quote post Address this user
Good Job Winsome1
I always appreciate it when someone makes me think!
Thank You!
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Member Seniorpreneur private msg quote post Address this user
@Winsome1 Greetings again! I always thought that 'social proof' is related to the content of your book as having some social value to it's readers. Personally, I have given hard copies of my book to some respected sources and to date they have refused to give me any book reviews. I also find that many book ratings and e-mail solicitations are manufactured, because the authors in these cases are always asking or pestering you to give them some high ratings. Also for many of us initial book sales are very low which limits the amount of book reviews that is possible for any single new book. All that being said it seems like the topic of 'book marketing' has not significantly evolved. It's still the sizzle, the hype or book cover not(the steak)that eventually gets the sale. I suppose that if you give away your new book for FREE to achieve another purpose, then this becomes a whole new ball game. Thanks for your great post! It inspires new ideas and new discussions.
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Teacher Winsome1 private msg quote post Address this user
Nice insights! No, social proof is different than the social proof in your book.

Book marketing has not evolved because author education is poor. That is why my company provides programs and masterminds for authors.Here is the deal, most people would not write a book if they understood that a book is a product. As a product, you, the author are now a business. You need to be educated on how to build product funnels to effectively sell books. Most authors are experts in their own fields but know nothing about these concepts. Here is the good news! If you are building out your book funnel correctly, you will also be a better expert because your business will be easier to market as well.

On the note about fake reviews. Amazon changed the review parameters last month. Those fake reviews are no longer allowed. Many of them came from If you look on Fiverr today, you will see that is no longer an allowable gig. Amazon filed suit against Fiverr for the fake reviews.

When you build a book funnel, you will already have an audience and a pre- launch strategy that will propel your book to number one using your own fans.

I hope that helps!

Thank you for joining my FB group.

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Member tammysoffices private msg quote post Address this user
I couldn't agree more @Winsome1, not just for authors, for all. The engagement part is huge - no matter what platform. Like you say - you can have hundreds, thousands of 'followers' or 'connections' but does not good if you are not getting engagement.

Finding your right 'buyer persona' is one of the best things you can do for your books/company engagements and then when you target the audience that is actually interested in what you are saying or questions you are asking...then you have something!
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Social proof is sometimes what we depend on to create the 'herd mentality.'

Herd Mentality - If everyone thinks so or is going there ... then I'd better go, too.

Social proof is, well, proof, that people go there.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

But did that forward result in more book sales?

Better than a forward in a book, I think, is for that would-be forward writer to put a recommendation on his/her website, in his/her social networks telling people why they should buy the book. No?
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Teacher Winsome1 private msg quote post Address this user
This author is huge in the Joint Venture world. My guess he is that he promoted her book.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

I have lost count of the number of JVs I have participated in where I did my part, but when it came time for the other side to do theirs they were nowhere to be found.

Do you or anyone else here have an actual successful case study with a JV that they can share?
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Teacher Winsome1 private msg quote post Address this user
I coach for a group called the Joint Venture Inner Circle. Making sure that your partners have all of the pieces in place and are capable is a big part of the process. We call it being "JV Ready". The second piece is building relationships. I thoroughly vet partners before I commit. Most of my partners are my friends because i have built business and personal relationships with me. The friend aspect adds an additional layer of "I've got your back."
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Thanks for the emphasis on friendship and commitment.

Have you done a JV with someone in your group?

How'd it work out? for both of you?
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Teacher Winsome1 private msg quote post Address this user
I have done JV's with people in my group. They have worked out well. My most successful program launch was in September and I crushed it with JV partners. My business doubled.
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