How to Get VC Funding with Social Proof
The prevalence of new startup companies today seeking to secure VC Funding means the race to finding sponsorship is as tight as ever. With investors looking for social proof to guide their decisions, it pays to know your way around social media to promote your brand and get the nod of approval from your social circle. So what is social proof and how can we use it to secure VC Funding?
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is using your network and other credible sources as leverage to help investors conduct significant evaluations about your brand and what you have to offer. A classic example of social proof in action is seeing a group of people get in line for a particular product or service and other people begin doing the same. This is because if others think the product or service is worth lining up for, other people have a tendency to think that it truly offers something of value.
Here are some examples of social proof that startup companies can use to help them get the VC funding they need.
Getting Approval from Experts
No matter how cutting edge your business idea may be, not having some sort of proof to test viability makes it difficult for investors to make informed decisions. New and promising startup brands and companies have been surfacing for years, offering smart ideas, the latest technology, and innovations. Not having enough social proof to promote what you can deliver spells the difference between getting a yes or a no from a potential investor. Getting the nod of approval from a notable expert in the same field can help get the traction you need to get things moving for your brand. This is because products and services that are recommended by known and credible experts are more likely to gain the trust of other people as well. This can be seen in the majority of health and fitness product commercials that leverage medical specialists to recommend what they have to offer. People are more apt to trust you when you have a credible expert to back up your claims. Making the most of expert opinion to promote your business can get you the attention of possible leads as well.
Getting celebrity recommendations
The growing popularity of celebrities and their millions of subscribers and followers make them a perfect advertising medium and a great example of social proof. New products and brands scramble to give celebrities free sponsorships just so they can post a picture of them using the product on social media which is bound to get a lot of attention from their followers. This increases traffic and prompts the audience to push your brand online. The concept of having a popular personality recommend a product or service that you have to offer is a tried and tested method of getting the traction you need and is the ultimate nod of approval from investors looking for promising brands and ideas. Some people, celebrities included, go out and buy fake Twitter followers from the internet, however, many platforms (including Instagram) recommend a more organic approach.
Getting customer and user proof
Perhaps one of the quickest methods to get social proof is by getting the approval of your customers and users. A huge majority of consumers turn to online reviews and other customer feedback to find products and services that are worth trying. A perfect example of this is Amazon’s product review and feedback section. With the huge selection of products offered on their site, customer reviews do a remarkable job at helping consumers filter out the best products. Consumer studies can attest to the fact that around 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews prior to trying out new products and services for the first time. This works the same way for start up businesses that are looking to amplify their presence and get the attention of potential investors. By focusing on building up your product or service through positive customer feedback, investors can weigh in on your brand’s marketability and help them make an informed decision on whether funding can get them the returns they want for the long haul.
Making the most of testimonials
Similar to product reviews and feedback, adding user testimonials for a particular product or service highlights your brand’s bankable qualities. Testimonials can also be used to speak more about who you are as a brand and what you are trying to achieve. Marketing yourself and promoting your business online has been made easier through the prevalence of social and professional networking sites liked LinkedIn. Establishing a great LinkedIn profile, for example, allows you to create a positive public persona and build a professional network that can offer recommendations and testimonials as well as be a part of your Linkedin B2B marketing strategy. It offers full control over what you want other people to see about who you are on a professional and business perspective. You can link other social media accounts, join targeted groups and connect to industry-specific individuals. With a community of skilled professionals and experts, getting stellar recommendations and feedback from your LinkedIn network helps create tangible social proof of your professional background and skills which gives investors a better idea about who you are. In a world where everything is found online and people’s profiles highlighted in Google search listings, creating trust and promoting yourself online in a positive way helps build your online presence which is a deciding factor in creating social proof for your brand or business.
There are multiple sources that you can use to amplify social proof for your brand. It’s more than having a great idea for a product or service; all investors respond best to great ideas that have been established, tried and tested and backed up by a community of people who can speak for what you have to offer, as this highlights the most potential for success. Making the most of these social proof examples not only helps create a solid foundation for your brand but helps pave the way for leads and investors to find you.