4 Reasons Why Social Proof Is Essential to Building Your Brand From establishing credibility to creating consumer trust, demonstrating every interaction matters.

By Maleeka T. Hollaway

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Brand awareness.

Social clout.

Online presence.

Offline networking.

Each one of these concepts has a place in entrepreneurship and points back to visibility, and visibility as an entrepreneur is golden.

Being an entrepreneur requires you to have your hand on the pulse of your brand so that you can focus your attention where it's needed the most. One mistake entrepreneurs make more often than not is that they allow the daily grind of working in their business to stop them from improving it. The lack of balance while building can sometimes act as a barrier to extend the reach needed to see an impact on the bottom line. The seesaw effect of building and balancing can be lessened when a social-proof strategy is implemented.

Your social proof is the elements of conversation that verify your brand. From customer and client testimonials to media interviews and even contributed content, your social proof is built with every interaction you make on behalf of your brand. Even if you are just starting out or making a transition into a new market, one of your main focuses should be building and maintaining a high level of social proof. Consider it your way of maintaining a relationship with those people who desire to do business with you.

Here are four ways your social proof helps you increase brand awareness to add to your bottom line.

Related: 5 Psychological Reasons Social Proof Beats Everything Else in Marketing

Your social proof establishes your credibility as an industry authority.

Nobody wants to work with a novice. They want to invest in working with the person or business who they know can deliver the results they need. When your industry is searched for or mentioned, your brand should be at the top of your industry recommendations. You can build your credibility as an industry authority by centering yourself around other leaders, sharing your insight on trending topics in your space and giving your audience value every time they interact with your brand.

Your social proof highlights you as a subject-matter expert.

Standing out as a resource in your area of expertise makes all the difference. You've done the work. You have the experience. Shedding light on the tenure you have in your area of knowledge separates you from the masses. Subject-matter experts know more than most about a particular thing. They stay on top of trends, changes, possibilities and current happenings. When you focus on being one step ahead of the rest when it comes to your knowledge area, your audience even your peers will notice.

Your social proof showcases the results you've helped customers and clients gain.

Word of mouth as a form of social proof is golden. When you can publically share with your audience how your work or product has created transformations for those who do business with you, naturally, people are inclined to pay attention. Results speak for you whether you are present or not.

Excitement sells long before value is provided. When you have created raving fans of your clients because you helped them achieve a goal, their excitement will become contagious. You get on the radar of people who may not have known your brand exists. People will start to want to know if your service or product will get them favorable results. And at a minimum, you'll start getting word-of-mouth attention.

Your social proof builds immediate trust with potential customers and clients.

It's true that the internet can be a shopper's best friend. It's a library of almost everything you need to know about a brand. In society today, a simple search can influence a buyer's decision to take action or to keep browsing. The fact of the matter is that when your name, business and results are easily found and shared, people take notice. You are seen as credible because you have the visibility and social proof to support the claim. When you are visible and credible, you are trusted. Your social proof is what helps push a prospect from being a follower to a buyer. When you acquire more buyers, your brand footprint is extended.

Related: Why You Need Social Proof on Your Website

All told, don't feel overwhelmed when considering ways to boost your social proof. If you do a survey of your previous work and your current audience, you may notice that you do have an arsenal social proof you can use and circulate to help increase your brand awareness.

Get creative. Make it a priority in your business to gather as much information as you can about your brand so you can position yourself to have the ultimate social proof. The growth of your brand depends on it.

Maleeka T. Hollaway

Branding & Communications Specialist, Speaker & Best-Selling Author

Maleeka T. Hollaway is a millennial entrepreneur, speaker, and writer obsessed with professional development and small business growth. Her goal is to teach entrepreneurs to position themselves to grow sustainable businesses and brands using social proof. Meet her on socialproofsuccess.com.

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