Guest post by Craig Jarrow, author of the Time Management Ninja.

In today’s world, it’s not good enough to tell people about your talents; you need to show them. The question now is how big is your social proof?

Recently, I was solicited for some web design services. An individual overheard me discussing my time management blog and approached me to say that he and friend had a website design company and they would love to provide services for my site.

I was not really in the need, but because he was local, I decided to take his info for future reference. I asked him for the address of their company website. “Um… we haven’t gotten our site up yet.” OK. Well, do you have some examples of your work online? “We are working on that.” As you can guess, the conversation went downhill from there. Needless to say, I left without his contact info. Why would I want to do business with you, if you don’t have any social proof?

Where is Your Social Proof?

Social proof has traditionally been associated with social influence. However, these days, social proof is about the public proof of your experience and work. Social media and the Internet are forever changing how the business world works. Your accomplishments and reputation are online for all to see. This holds true whether you are an individual or a business. Consider:

  • The musician who got her career started on MySpace.
  • A college student who made headlines recently with a job offer for his online creation of “YouTube Instant.”
  • The restaurant that is always booked because it is the highest rated on Open Table.
  • A bed and breakfast that is full because it is No. 1 on Trip Advisor.

Their “social proof” is out there for all to see.

How Big Is Your Proof?

Traditional resumes have always been troublesome. It is difficult to determine from a piece of paper just how much a person has done. Or better yet, how well they actually did it.

In the future, your social proof will be your proof of experience. And it will be publicly viewable online. When engaging in a business relationship, look for the social proof. If you are the one providing services or looking for a job, is your social proof readily available? Can a customer or potential employer be assured of your work and experience?

If you are looking for services or doing the hiring, ask to see the proof. Don’t tell me that you did design at your last company. Don’t say that that your business is great. Show me the proof. Where is your social proof? Is your experience online for all to see?

Craig Jarrow is the author of the Time Management Ninja. He helps individuals and companies reclaim their time.