Last updated on June 29th, 2021

FACT: Social proof marketing or using testimonials is a big part of any online course launch (or relaunch).

And while we’ve already shared a GIANT resource on how to get the best testimonials and optimize them for sales…

…there’s SO much more we can do with social proof when marketing our online courses.

That’s right.

Today, you’ll discover SIX conversion-spiking strategies to maximize ROI from each piece of social proof.

Social proof marketing

But before that, a social proof marketing systems-related tip:

When gathering testimonials, make sure you’re organizing them.

Here are a couple of hierarchies (there are SO many more!) to use for ensuring your testimonials aren’t just a giant Google doc (or screenshot!) dump:

Hierarchy One: Organize according to tangible and intangible benefits and outcomes. This is great when you want to highlight how your course can help participants move forward.


  • About You – the Course Creator
    • Teaching Skills
    • Empathy
    • Expertise

  • Emotional/Psychological Growth
    • Increase in Confidence
    • Increase in Clarity
    • Reduction in Lack of Self-Belief

  • Expertise-Related Growth and Skills
    • Able to understand _______
    • Can do _________
    • Saw how to accomplish __________


Hierarchy Two: Organize testimonials according to milestones and audiences. This is great when you want to showcase both tangible results and also, overcome hesitations, like “will this work for me?”

Example for a course on starting a business:

  • Milestone #1 – Revenue Goals
    • $1K
    • $5K
    • $10K

  • Milestone #2 – List Growth
    • First 100 subscribers
    • 500 subscribers
    • 1000 subscribers

  • Brand-new to online business

  • “Not a North American” business owner

  • Business owner who’s also a parent

You get the idea. Whether you use these exact hierarchies (or not) is not the point. The point is you organize your testimonials so you have the perfect proof to share when your prospective students need to hear it or see it.

Social proof marketing

Now that you’ve organized your testimonials…

How can you maximize exposure so you can get the most out of each piece of proof? 👇🏻

Social Proof Marketing Strategies for Course Creators 

1. Create Downloadable Case Studies

Offer your best social proof examples as easy-to-read, well-designed, story-style case studies that prospects can download (or you can email them out!) and refer to them conveniently. You can include links to your sales page in those PDFs. 🙀

2. Wall of Proof

We’ve seen this a fair bit now and that’s because it works. Create a dedicated landing page with all your testimonials, organized, of course. Make it easy for prospective students to find a testimonial that they can relate to.

3. Contact a Student

Another little-used but effective strategy is to let prospective students contact former students. With their permission, of course. You can set this up on the sales page with a scheduler link and automate it or do it more organically and offer to connect them via social media or a personal email.

4. Micro-copy

You can always use “excerpts” from a testimonial (with credit, of course!) as:

  • Subject lines
  • CTAs or calls-to-action
  • Cross-heads or subheads on the sales page or opt-in page.

5. GIFs for emails and social media posts

As much as we love Harry Potter and Schitt’s Creek GIFs, we know using social proof as GIFs is huge. Turn that snappy screenshot into a GIF to double the impact.

6. Real Time, Real Talk with Alumni/Ambassadors

Last, but definitely not least, invite some of your alumni (or student ambassadors) to chat with prospective students, real-time. How?

  • On webinars
  • AMAs or Ask Me Anything
  • Emails (and/or Blog Posts)

These are just 6 of the many ways you can repurpose and maximize social proof instead of just plonking it on the sales page or in an email or two.

Exploring intentional, effective ways to connect with our audiences while also selling the courses we’ve created.

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