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What's Your Proof

What's Your Proof

Great communication is vital to business, but communication with no proof is meaningless. Learn the 3 types of proof and how to use them in your marketing, design, and general communications.


Jeff Archibald

March 12, 2015


  1. What’s Your PROOF? @jeff_archibald

  2. top 100 agencies 2014: over 400k unique site visitors 82%

    average growth / year 12 posts w/total of 32,000+ shares
  3. Why did I tell you all that? To build trust.

    Without the background I provided, I’m just another guy claiming ro know something.
  4. Exercise Pretend a friend you wanted to impress a little

    bit asked you what your company does. Think about how you’d say that, and write it down. I might say, “We’re a design agency that specializes in beautiful, custom website design as well as brand identity design.”
  5. Examples “We create beautiful websites that grow your business” “We

    help businesses succeed online” “Canada’s leading digital post-secondary institution”
  6. They have no proof.

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  10. There are no sales without trust. And proof builds trust.

  11. 1. Experiential 2. Numerical 3. Third-Party

  12. 1. Experiential Proof Proving your statements through your past experience(s).

    What do your past experiences allow you to say?
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  16. 2. Numerical Proof The numbers to back up your statement.

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  20. 3. Third-Party Proof When other people or organizations back up

    or otherwise echo your claims.
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  24. 1. Experiential 2. Numerical 3. Third-Party

  25. A great example of proof in communications.

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  29. Proof means less risk. I don’t know about you, but

    I prefer less risk.
  30. Exercise: Reprise Go back to the statement you wrote down

    earlier. Knowing what you know now about proving your claims, write down 3 ways to prove your statement. Remember: Experiential Proof (using previous experiences & examples) Numerical Proof (using hard data/numbers to back up your statement) Third-Party Proof (other people / organizations echoing your claims)
  31. Examples!

  32. “We’re a design agency that specializes in beautiful, custom website

    design as well as brand identity design.” Experiential Proof View our Portfolio / Immediately Show Work Numerical Proof Creekside: +36% users; +17% Duration Third-Party Proof ACE Awards; GDC Finalists; Strategy Magazine Top 100
  33. How to Start

  34. 1. What’s your key message? What do you do and

    why are you better than the alternatives?
  35. 2. What do you need to prove it? Talk is

    cheap. How can you back up what you’re claiming so you stand out in the crowd?
  36. 3. Start gathering proof. Track and collect data; get testimonials

    and reviews; write case studies, etc – the pieces that make up experiential, numerical, and third-party proof.
  37. 4. Find recognition opportunities Look for opportunities to gain industry

    or media recognition, and act on the valuable ones that will help prove your key message.
  38. Saying your business or product is the best X is

    an empty statement in and of itself; every business on earth says that. The real question is: how can you prove that statement?
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