How to Use Side Projects to Attract More Reviews of Your Work
People aren’t sure what to trust online. They are bombarded with scams constantly, and there’s so much fake news everywhere. Online trust is at an all time low. This is why if you want to generate sales online, building trust by gathering social proof needs to be a part of your strategy.
One way you can go about this is by getting more reviews of your work. When people online read unbiased reviews of your work or your products, they will begin to trust you more. This is because someone who isn’t affiliated with your company will be more honest about your work and potential customers will trust their words more than yours.
The most common ways businesses get reviews online is by listing themselves on sites like Facebook and Yelp and asking for reviews. Some companies that sell products online also get reviews by allowing people to leave reviews on the product pages.
These reviews will help your company gain some form of social proof. But if you want to stand out and gain more reviews than your competition, you should run side projects that people often leave reviews for.
The more reviews you get online, the more trustworthy your company will become and the more number of people will want to work with you instead of your competitors.
Types of side projects you can create
There are an endless number of side projects you can run online that can help you gather reviews. Here are a few that are popular.
The easiest side project you can create is a podcast. All you need is to cover topics that interest your audience and record it properly. By spending a few hours, you should be able to create at least one quality episode a week.
After you create it you can publish it on a multitude of podcast listening platforms like iTunes and Stitcher, where people can leave star ratings and reviews.
An example of someone who is taking advantage of podcasts to attract reviews is Neil Patel with his Marketing School podcast. Neil runs this podcast with his colleague Eric Siu and distributes it on several podcast syndication platforms. The podcast then attracts reviews, which, in turn, drives up his credibility, helping people to feel all the more confident about reaching out to NP Digital, Neil’s primary business.
In this sense, it doesn’t matter that the content of Neil’s podcast doesn’t overtly promote his agency’s services. NP Digital’s customers publish plenty of reviews of their experiences with the agency regardless. It all helps holistically, because it’s all associated with his personal brand.
As you can see in the above screenshot, this podcast has got a total of 34 reviews and a rating of 4.9 out of 5, on Stitcher alone. When people see this, it reconfirms Neil’s status as a respected, trusted marketing expert.
Another popular form of side project many entrepreneurs take on is writing and publishing a book. Books can offer a lot of credibility. It shows that you know the subject so well, that you were able to write a whole book on it. And when you list it on a trustworthy site like Amazon and get a lot of reviews, it can take your credibility to another level.
So, if you like writing, it could be a good idea to write a whole book on a topic you specialize in. An example of someone who has got this right is Melonie Dodaro. Melonie wrote The Linkedin Code book and published it on sites like Amazon.
As you can see, the book has 60+ reviews and has an average rating of 4.6. This shows that she is a top LinkedIn marketer, which helps people feel good about working with her.
Another side project you can create is a free tool. People love free tools that can make their lives simpler. Many businesses create them to generate leads. But you don’t have to just let them lie on your site and wait for them to attract subscribers.
You can also list them on sites like Product Hunt and promote them to attract reviews.
Another form of side project you can take on is to create a mini course. You can either give this course away for free or sell it for a minimal price on a course platform like Udemy. There are thousands of users on sites like these who will buy your course and review it. This can help you build authority in your niche.
This Photography Masterclass course, for example got 21,000+ reviews (4.6 average). This will help the course and its authors build a lot of authority.
These are just four of the most popular types of side projects that can help you attract more reviews. You don’t have to use all of them. You should pick just one or two depending on your audience’s preferences.
For example, if your audience consists of more visual learners, a course might be a better option, but if they prefer reading, you can write a book, and for those who only want to listen, a podcast would work best.
So, survey your audience and find out the type of content they want before you embark on your side project.
How to get more reviews for your side projects
Your side project won’t automatically attract reviews just because you put it out there. You need to take some important steps to ensure this happens.
Only publish quality content
The content you publish should be of the highest quality if you want to attract good reviews. If you rush out below par content just because you “have to,” you will still attract reviews, but they will be negative and will have an opposite effect to the one you want. So, take time to create quality content your audience wants.
List it on sites your audience frequents
For each of the side projects you can use to attract more reviews that I have mentioned above there are multiple high-traffic distribution platforms to list them on. If you list them on all these sites, getting reviews on all of them will take a lot of work. This is why it would be better to list them only on a few sites that your audience frequents and focus your attention here.
After you list your project, you should constantly promote it to get as many people as you can to buy or download it. You can do this with social posts, emails, and any other promotion channel that you’d normally use to help draw eyeballs to your content.
Ask for reviews
A few people will automatically leave reviews after they listen or read or watch your project, but if you want a lot of reviews, you should ask for them. Whenever someone emails you to inform you that they liked your project, you should thank them and ask them to leave a review. This simple step can get you a lot of reviews.
This is the step by step process you can use to create side projects and attract reviews to increase credibility. This can take a lot of work, but in the long run it will help you beat out your competitors and sell more services and products.