The Revenge of the Credibility Zombie

How to Wake Up and Start Marketing on the Internet

Even if you have the best product in the whole world, people need to trust you before they’re going to fork out their money to you. In other words: you need to be credible.

Personalized touches help, like posting your picture and answering emails swiftly. But credibility goes way beyond that.

Offering Real Proof

You already know that evidences of social proof like testimonials are very helpful.
Your potential customer is more likely to believe other people saying, “this product is great”, then when you say so. It gets even better if a well-known, trusted person in the field recommends your product.

But even better than recommendations are case-studies. You take a individual with a problem, hand them your product and register the results of how your product helped them. Where possible, you need to provide proof.

For instance, if you have a weight loss book launching, find a group of people who want to slim down (promote this offer in the same way you would promote the program once it hits the market). You can offer the program to people free of charge in exchange for you applying them as a case study.

As a matter of fact, you can even make a competition out of it. Have all entrants take “before” pics of themselves and at the end of the contest take “after” pics. Not only will you get case-study proof, you will also get a buzz going about your product!
(Hint: want to see someone who’s built a multi-million dollar conglomerate doing what I described above? Check out
www.bodyforlife.com ).

Let’s suppose instead you have a dog obedience program. For proof, show the obedience awards your canine clients have won.

Do you teach people how to play guitar? Feature clips on your site of students playing the guitar.

Do you have a money-making site? Show verifiable proof. Anyone can photoshop a check. Instead, provide a verifiable letter from your merchant account or an affiliate program manager stating how much money you bring in (for example, “he’s in the top 1% of all affiliates”).

Do you sell a book on growing award-winning roses? Show pictures of the roses. Show awards that you’ve won. Show awards that other people have won using your gardening tips.

In short: Show verifiable proof. Give ordinary people (i.e., potential customers) your product, and then use their results as proof that your product works.

Bonus Tip: Let’s face it, people are lazy. They don’t want to actually “work” to achieve the desired results that your program results. They are much more content to dream about it. The same goes for the people you are trying to get to use your product for a case study.

See, if you have a book, it’s easy to get plain testimonials. Plenty of people will say things like, “wow! This book was an eye-opener! Highly recommended!” Ho hum. Your book is a good read…. but does it WORK?

It’s a lot harder to get someone to do everything you lay out in the book and then have them provide proof of their success.
They’d rather dream about being rich then optimizing their sites for the search engines. They’d rather take a diet pill than exercise.

In order to get case studies, motivate your individual cases to stick with your program by following them closely and posting their updates regularly. In short: hold them accountable to the public!

For example: if you’re selling a weight loss program, create a blog or forum where the individuals must post their results at least every week for the duration of the program. They’ll be motivated to stick with it, because all these people will be asking them about it. This works especially well if you select individuals who are already vocal on forums (and thus are less likely to just “disappear” if they drop out of the program…. the accountability will work really well if everyone on the forum “knows” the individual).

Admitting Your Weaknesses Or Your Competitor’s Strengths

Yikes! That’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it? If we are going to say anything at all about our competitors, we usually rip on them a little bit in order to build our product up. You’ll even see this technique taught specifically (e.g., “say that everyone else is a scam…. so buy my stuff instead….”).

But your potential customer expects you to say that. And the thing is, they’re probably also aware of your weaknesses and your competitor’s strengths. So if you admit these things, you aren’t telling your customer something they don’t already know…. yet when you DO “confess” these things, your credibility goes through the roof!

But here’s the trick: turn your perceived weaknesses into your strengths. Give it a little bit of spin.

For example, look at Listerine. They KNOW their mouthwash tastes like crap. Their competitors try to rip them down on this point by using taglines like, “no more medicine breath”. But Listerine has spun this perceived weakness into a positive by saying, “You can handle it. Germs can’t”.

Brilliant.

Let’s take a fictitious example that you can apply. Let’s suppose that you are just breaking into a niche, and so haven’t formed relationships with all the big names in your field (yet!). Unfortunately for you, your competitor seems to have all the “celebrity” endorsements.

It would APPEAR that one of your weaknesses is that none of the “big names” endorse your product. You can spin this into an asset by asserting that ordinary people get extraordinary results using your product.

Think about it. If Tiger Woods endorses your competitor’s golf book, you know your competitor is raking in the sales. People are awed by the name Tiger Woods. But let’s face it – Tiger Woods doesn’t need a whole lot of help with his golf swing.

So what if you can’t get Tiger Woods to endorse your golf book? Instead, you can show potential customers PROOF that your product produces awesome results for the regular person. You tell potential buyers that you don’t “shock and awe” them with star-studded endorsements that celebrities seem to give away like candy. Instead, you provide PROOF that your product works.

Make sense?

Another example: let’s suppose your competitor’s product has more features than yours. You can turn this perceived weakness (less features) into a positive by saying that you don’t stuff your product with filler or fluff. Or you can “admit” that your competitor’s product has more features, but that you charge less.

Bonus Tip: If you use risk-reversal methods like a guarantee/refund policy, state the obvious. For example, if you have an ebook that you don’t “lock up” when customers ask for a refund, then tell customers they can KEEP the ebook even if they ask for a refund.

Provided an ebook isn’t protected, it’s pretty obvious that the person requesting the refund can in theory keep your ebook since you probably aren’t going to show up at their house any time soon to see if they wiped it off their hard drive and didn’t make a back up. So just by stating this obvious fact, you can actually make more sales and decrease refunds.

Go ahead and test it for yourself on your site!

Then, come back and post your results here in the comments section.




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