The celebrity endorsement. It is highly potent, but seldom utilized by small businesses.
Because let’s face it, you’re not going to be able to hire Michael Jordan to take a picture, smiling with your product.
But, I have good news for you. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity, it can simply be someone who is perceived of as an authority.
The value of having an endorsement cannot be overstated. Dr. Robert Cialdini has addressed this exhaustively in his best-seller: Influence.
Let’s get creative and see how we can use this for a variety of businesses:
Bookkeeper: Find a quote from a famous finance-related person (like Warren Buffet) of him saying that good bookkeeping = more income, and put that on your website. He’s not endorsing your firm, but he is endorsing the value of your work, which indirectly endorses you.
Pizza shop: Every city has their “city’s best [insert food type here]”, reach out to the groups that issue such awards and get them to review your menu. Don’t just wait around hoping they discover you. They need new restaurants to review, so you’re doing them a favor. Then put the awards on your website.
Personal trainer: Search through your contacts and find a doctor, and quote him on something related to personal fitness, and put it on your website.
General contractor: Find a firefighter through your connections, do some quality work for them, and then ask them to publicly endorse you, and put it on your website.
Whatever your business is, be it products or services, there is a way for you to get endorsements from authorities. So, go out and get them!