#59: Social Proof and Influence for a Private Investigation Business

Nearly every week I am blessed to have a conversation with someone that participates or follows my blog, podcast or videos.  Some visitors are finding the website for the first time and just browsing around to find the specific answer they are looking for.   I will continually be looking for ways to present this information so readers can find exactly what they need.


This week I had the pleasure of speaking with someone in the chat room of the Private Investigator Advice website.  The individual identified himself as a former police officer who had become a private investigator.  The new private investigator said he was having a hard time finding clients for his newly formed private investigation business.  As any private investigator knows, this is a problem every private investigator faces or has faced at one point in their career.

I asked what type of work he was looking for and he said insurance, civil and criminal. I asked the new investigator what he had done to market his company.  He responded by saying he had called numerous law offices but didn’t get any results from his effort. He further indicated in our conversation that he didn’t have a website.

The focus of this post is not give every detail or action to take to find clients, though I think I will need to write a post on this very soon.  The main reason I am writing this is to emphasize one thing to everyone reading this.  No one cares about you and you are not important. There are 100’s of private investigators around you working with more experience and can likely do the job better.  Why should anyone use you over anyone else?


This business, as well as many other businesses are built on relationships and trust.  An insurance company will stick with an investigation company or one investigator for several years because they trust them and know what they are getting.  No one knows you, and a call to an office soliciting your investigation company is not going to win them over.  They will likely forget about you as soon as they hang up.  Why should they remember you?  They have private investigator calling their office to solicit services every other week.  What makes you different?  What makes you special?  I am not going to provide the answer but I want you to think about that question when you talk to potential clients.  Think about how you are going to get them to remember you and how you can gain their trust.

Secondly, don’t contact a potential client once, get turned down and then never contact them again.  You are the salesman or woman.  People in sales don’t quit on a client just because they were shot down on the first attempt.  Check in with them (in person) monthly or every other month.  Give yourself a reason to stop by like sharing a special promotion with them or dropping off pens with your company name and phone number.

It’s not that they are going to look at your pen one day and decide to call you.  It’s the fact that you are giving yourself a reason to stop by and talk with them.  You are giving yourself an opportunity to build the trust and relationship with that potential client.  The only way that you never have a chance winning over a client is if you quit.


I had a pretty long conversation with a listener/private investigator this week that had a question for me.  I did the best to answer his question and the conversation drifted into other marketing topics.  He told me that that he literally talked to 60 law offices in and around the city he lives in.  He had worked on Search Engine Optimization for his website because he realized how important it was to be on the first page of the Google results for his designated key word.

This passionate investigator shared candidly how his marketing strategies and conversations had evolved through every encounter he had with a client while developing his business.  One example in particular struck a chord with a strategy that everyone should have.  The important strategy that I am referring to is social proof.

Social proof is usually referred to by internet marketers in reference to how many followers someone has on their Facebook page, how many subscribers someone has on a Youtube Channel, how many times something is shared or commented on.  To describe this in simple terms, the individual believes that the services, information, or person in general is worth learning more about or in many cases worth trusting because many people are already trusting that person or company.  Wikipedia actually does a good job at defining it.

Take this one example and add it to a sales conversation.  What if you provided some social proof to potential clients?  Maybe you indicate you have done work for a specific attorney in the past or that you continue to be their only investigator (of course only if this is true).  If one attorney continues to provide work for you then you must be doing something right.  Right?

In the past I have seen companies actually provide who their business to business clients are.  They are not doing this to brag but instead to say these people trust us and you should too!  And why wouldn’t you trust them, they must know what they are doing to have that many clients. I am not recommending that investigation companies do this but only to see how it can potentially influence a new client.

I hope this helps you with your Private Investigation Company.  Be sure to add to my social influence and like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to me on YouTube for awesome informative videos.

A special thanks to with Ryan Adam Investigations for our conversation on marketing and reminding me of how powerful social proof and social influence is.