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5 Simple Ways to Earn Social Proof as a Young Entrepreneur Can you make it as a business in today's world without tons of reviews? The answer is yes, but it takes time and targeted efforts.

By Mary Harcourt Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Can you make it as a business in today's world without tons of reviews? The answer is yes, but it takes time and targeted efforts. First, let's talk about why reviews matter. Seeing high ratings from other consumers provides reassurance to buyers in moments of indecision. This phenomenon is called social proof, and having visible proof of community trust in a product or service is a seriously powerful tool. This can convince potential customers they're able to safely spend their money with your business if they're questioning the purchase. Large, well-established brands spend millions on campaigns to collect detailed reviews and showcase high ratings from consumers to reduce purchase indecision.

Does it really take that much to establish trust? What about someone just starting out without millions to spend? As a young entrepreneur, you may not have the same budget as a household name brand. You can still win over potential buyers by strategically positioning yourself as the expert in your industry. Properly doing so can create the same credibility as having years of posted reviews. Here are five ways to get started:

Related: Need to Establish Trust With Your Audience? Leverage Social Proof.

1. Be a guest on podcasts

One of the easiest things you can do is be a guest on a podcast. You'll be brought on by another leader to share knowledge and expertise, thus positioning yourself as an expert in the conversation. Reach out to relevant podcasts, and don't be afraid to aim high. Not everyone will accept your application, but that's okay! Others surely will. For every "no," there's a "yes" around the corner. Websites usually have an area set aside for podcast applicants to apply to be a guest on the show. Read the instructions carefully, proofread your application, and submit it. Use your guest appearances as an opportunity to prove to consumers you are the right choice by sharing them with your target audience.

2. Article contributions

Article contributions are a great way to share your acquired knowledge in your industry. Everyone has something to teach, and more are looking to learn. Submit an article on a topic that you care about to a relevant blog, news outlet or publication. Share your articles, link them on your website, and include links to your social platforms. Any article you've contributed to or are linked in will build your online searchability. Your credibility will increase as you rank higher on search engines.

3. YouTube channel

Video is the fastest-growing form of content being consumed, and YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind Google. Create a channel with unique content to stand out and be discovered more easily. Not only will viewers see and hear you speaking as the expert in your field, but they will also form a strong connection with you as an individual. Barriers are broken with video content, and being accessible will encourage others to trust you and your brand. This will also help you show up in online searches about your topics when others are researching more information. Use these videos in marketing materials to gain views and subscribers. Followers often become loyal customers.

Related: 6 Simple Ways To Build Brand Credibility On A Tight Budget

4. Showcase recent achievements

As a young entrepreneur, you're constantly learning, growing and doing all you can to keep yourself at the forefront of your industry. Whether it be taking courses, earning certifications or any other credentials, use those earned credits as leverage to prove your credibility. Brag about them on your social media platforms and website! The visible evidence of your achievements provides assurance that they're in the right place with someone they can learn and buy from who is current, trustworthy and knowledgeable.

5. Create a branded website

Having a website is critical. It serves as a collection of your accomplishments and as a reference point for your target audience to learn more about who you are, what you do and why they should care. Feature the podcasts you've been on as a guest, highlight articles where you've contributed valuable information, showcase your video content, and list your recent achievements. Whether it's including your contact information, a contact form, a scheduling link or a purchase button, this is where your audience will go to connect and contact you. This is also where you will begin collecting reviews over time, which will act as additional social proof in helping consumers finalize their decision in choosing you above others.

Related: Add Social Proof to Your Website to Increase Conversions and Boost Sales

Your success as a young entrepreneur in today's world is ultimately up to you. It is possible to make it without tons of reviews if you are consistent. Put in the work to build credibility and trust. Establish an accessible platform where connections can be built. Great things take time, but each targeted step will get you closer to your goals. As a bonus, the reviews will also come while you're busy building other forms of social proof!

Mary Harcourt

CEO of CosmoGlo

Mary Harcourt is an inventor, speaker and CEO of CosmoGlo. She changed the world by bringing an innovative product to life through American manufacturing as a pivot during Covid. Nearly $1M dollars in sales in her first year without spending a dollar on advertising, now on the verge of being global.

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