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social proof

Episode 113: How Social Proof Can Help Increase Your Conversion Rate

Social proof can be an excellent way to establish trust and credibility for you and your pet sitting business. When we talk about social proof, we mean borrowing third-party influence to sway/persuade potential customers. Today, Erika & I will discuss the different types of social proof, the pro’s and con’s of each, and how you can use social proof to enhance your pet business!

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss

social proof

What Is Social Proof?

Social proof is borrowing third-party influence to sway/persuade potential customers. Some examples of social proof would be Bella’s endorsement on Barketing.co, testimonials on your website from influencers, or even a testimonial from someone who had the same problem as a prospective customer that you solved for them. Social proof helps consumers connect to your business at an emotional level as well as gain trust and confidence, which then helps them make a purchasing decision. Genuine reviews on native platforms are the best. If friends and family have used your services and tell people how trustworthy you are and how they had peace of mind while away, that’s money right there!

 

What Is Negative Social Proof?

Negative social proof is something you NEVER want to use. It means that you don’t publicly bash another company. Focus on your pro’s and not other companies’ cons. Focus on why you need a professional pet sitter instead of why you shouldn’t use a tech company (i.e. Rover or Wag!). Be positive! The negativity towards a competitor can actually be damaging to you.

 

Six Types Of Social Proof

 

1. Mini Case Studies 

This is when you tell a story that hits potential clients emotionally. Did you save someone’s house from a flood? Maybe you stopped a break-in? Did you go above and beyond? Do your daily dog walks keep dogs healthier? You’ll want to talk about the outcome the customer had with you and what the outcome would have been without your services. If you have facts to back it up, that’s even better! Mini case studies are an especially powerful tool for dog trainers.

 

2. Testimonials/Reviews.

This is when you ask your clients to reviews your services on websites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews! A happy client will happily write you a review. Be sure to add a link to review websites in your thank you emails that you send out post-service. Use these reviews on your website and add them to your social media strategy (with the clients’ permission of course!). Be sure to use images when you’re posting on your website and to link to the original review to show it’s real. Feature your happy customers on your website. This can also display what type of pets you accept (and if you offer retail, this is a great tool!). You’ll never, ever want to use fake testimonials or review your own services. Use quotes that are short, specific about the value of your service/product, include a picture, and make sure they match your buyer personas!

 

social proof

 

3. Social Media 

When customers share your business with their Facebook friends or on Instagram, that is another form of social proof! Monitor and save all of this positive promotion (can you say free marketing!?). Encourage social proof on social media by posting photos of pets in your care and tagging/telling their pet parents. There’s a good chance they will share the photos so make sure you add your watermark! Encourage sharing. Other ways social media can serve as social proof is through a referral program, leveraging local Facebook groups, encouraging geotagging on Instagram, adding social sharing icons to your blog posts, and finding ambassadors that will recommend you to their friends, family, and groups on social media!

 

4. Trust Icons

Trust icons are a form of social proof that makes sense sometimes but not always. If you have special certifications, won an award, or were mentioned in a well-known publication, this can help boost social proof. Do you have recommendations from a trusted Vet, real estate agent, or divorce lawyer? Publish them and play it up to your advantage! Use quotes from influencers (that your customers know) about the importance of professional pet sitting. If you have any media mentions or even a celebrity client that endorses you, that could be huge. Try to think like your customer and ask yourself if it would influence your buying decision (i.e. Chamber of Commerce might not impact your decision but being certified in Pet CPR or being insurance and bonded just might!)

 

5. Data/Numbers/Facts 

A single number can be worth a thousand words. What makes you stand out? Have you walked over 100,000 dogs? That shows something – experience! More examples would be 25,000 tired dogs when parents get back from holiday vacations, being a top-ranked service for the past 10 years, an official service provider for the airport, or helping avoid euthanization of 153 dogs because you trained them from aggressive to pet-friendly.

 

6. Other Social Proof Ideas 

Promoting limited availability can be a great tool. Using language like “only a few spots left for the long weekend!” This shows you are an in-demand service and instantly increases your reputation. Waiting lists also make your service sound exclusive. You can also ask your clients to send post-service videos or photos to show a job well done (or change in behavior). Last but not least, use urgency, fear of missing out (FOMO), and time clickers for special offers

 

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10 Tips For Creating Eye Catching Pet Sitting Videos For Google and YouTube

Video says it better. That is a proven fact. When someone can hear and see what you are saying you will make more of an impact. In your pet sitting business, this is no different. After all we have so many cute and fuzzies to take a video of, but what do you do with the video AFTER you have captured that moment? You need to put these videos on Google and Youtube.

Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind when recording your next pet sitting videos on Google and Youtube:

1 – You don’t have to be a pro. The more authentic, the better. We as curious people and when it is self done, people will be inclined to watch it! Grab your phone and press record!

2 – Watch your voice on the video. If you are like me, you don’t like the sound of your voice on video. If you are filming a pet doing something funny or interesting beware of the extra laughter, comments, or excessive talking that you might do. It will all be recorded in your videos for Google and Youtube.

3 – Don’t be afraid to flip the video on your own face. Doing a self portrait can be funny and interesting. It is personal and people feel like they connect with you better that way!

4 – Introduce yourself.  Let the world know who you are and who you represent. Do a short intro. Your video might get shared and whatever it was uploaded to might get lost in the shuffle.

5 – Give your video great titles (with your keyword inside) that are going to get people wanting to watch it. Usually asking questions generate lots of plays.

6 – Fill out your description.  The description of your video is your chance to add in words that google will find. Don’t just write “Here is Sophia. Isn’t she cute?” Instead write “While dog sitting in (city) with Sophia, she did the cutest thing on our pet sitting visit.”  Do you see how ‘dog sitting’ ‘pet sitting’ ‘city’ is now all in the description? ALSO INCLUDE: your website starting with http://

7 – Upload to Youtube AND Facebook.  Both are searched by Google. In fact YouTube is the second largest search engine. So if someone is typing in “I need a pet sitter in (city)” BOTH your videos have a chance of showing up if they say that or even just ‘pet sitter’ ‘city’

 8 – Be Authentic!  People love to see things that are not perfect. It makes people more able to relate to you. So if you stutter, say “um” (like me), just go with it! Trust me, no one ever says, “Wow! I love the way I look and sound on camera!”

9 – Beginnings and Endings – Programs like Windows Movie Maker can make you look like a million bucks! Add a slide at the beginning with your logo announcing the video and at the end, put your logo and website again. Bookend the videos!
Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpf08F9lDbQ

10 – Embed the video to your website and blog – To do this on Youtube go to SHARE > EMBEDDED > Copy and paste the HTML. Then go to your WordPress website and put the cursor where you want the video to appear, switch to TEXT format and paste the HTML.  You might want to change the dimensions to make the video smaller.

So, now your turn! What is the first thing you are going to do when you post your pet sitting videos? What questions do you have for me? Write them below!

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