Jonah Berger in his fabulous book, “Contagious; How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age” does an excellent job of breaking down the reasons for why something, whether an idea, service or product becomes contagious and catches on. Why do some people talk and share video’s, articles and other people’s ideas and why are some simply ignored? Today I’d like to look at one of Berger’s ideas and explain how it can relate to a financial advice business.
Have you ever noticed how we like to imitate others? We like to take advice from someone who we know has given successful advice to people very similar to ourselves. But how can we imitate others if we can’t see whom they have used and whom they value?
When you understand that concept, you can start to look at your own business and decide whether you are clearly showing the public what it is that you do and who you do it for. I’m not suggesting that every single one of your clients needs to be displayed on your website. What I am suggesting is that social proof of your business can lead to more social influence; that is, others spreading the good word about your advice.
Neuro marketing is something of a buzz phrase at the moment and it supports the ‘public’ concept that Berger discusses in his book. We like to do business with someone that can demonstrate that they have helped people just like us verses someone who has no experience. Social proof achieves this.
When you say how good you are, it can be seen as bragging. However, when others say how good you are, it can be seen as far more credible evidence. Where on your website, LinkedIn profile and so forth, is your social proof supporting what you claim?
How public are you? How do other people know that your advice has been taken? Becoming the worlds best kept secret in a highly competitive service driven profession wont help you grow your business.
In his book Berger talks about the highly successful Movember Foundation, an Australian born idea. They have been extremely successful in taking something that many would rather not talk about and made it into an event men are proud to be part of. They made it public by growing moustaches. If you are part of Movember everyone knows because they can see your moustache! They made it public – genius!
How public is your business?