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Successfully validating your business, new products, services and/or features requires a varied approach. There are countless tools you might use as part of your overall strategy — traditional ads, social media, SEO… But if you neglect the most important tool of all, your efforts won’t be nearly as effective as they could be. To become a world-class business and gain the trust of your customers, you have to prioritize Social Proof.

Social proof is one of the simplest, most cost-effective, and crucial ways to validate your business. Even after you’ve attained initial traction, as you roll out new products, services, features or pivot in entirely different directions, social proof is the constant that sets you up for success in each instance. According to Nielsen, 83% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family, while BrightLocal found 85% of respondents trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. …

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