Galatea Effect

Imagine this…

You and your best friend both buy a year long membership to Duolingo. You both want to learn Spanish and the plan is to practice for 30 minutes a day for 5 days straight.

Then something changes.

Your friend keeps practicing. They get their 30 minutes in every single day. You stop.

Your friend’s mindset is, “It seems daunting now, but I know I can figure this out. I believe in myself to learn this new language.”

But your mindset is a bit pessimistic. You’re thinking, “It’ll take me forever and I’ll still be terrible at it, so what’s the point?”

In 3 months, your friend is able to have a simple conversation in Spanish. 

You’ve already given up and deleted the app.

What’s the main difference between you and your friend?

In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re exploring the Galatea Effect – how people’s self-fulfilling prophecies drive achievement.

Let’s get into it…

“Top Marketing Newsletters You Need to Subscribe To”

The Psychology of the Galatea Effect 🧠

Whether you believe you CAN…or believe you CAN’T you’re right. 

That’s the Galatea effect in action. 

In 1961, Alfred Oberlander, manager of a life insurance company, realized new insurance agents signed more clients when they worked at a successful insurance agency than when they worked at an average agency.

When he paired his best agents alongside the best assistant manager and inspired employees to call this group “Super-staff”, there was a 40% performance improvement (on already *great* performances!).

We’re all subject to our own self-fulfilling prophecies. People put in situations inspiring self-expectations accomplish better results.

Our capabilities of achievement are directly tied to our self-confidence.

But that doesn’t mean we want to climb the mountain alone.

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind 🧐

Buyer’s read your copy, promising amazing results from using your product, and they wonder…

“Sure, someone else got those results. But can I?”

They’re not necessarily doubting your brand, they’re doubting themselves. But, the Galatea effect tells us they’re totally capable of reaching the goal they have for themselves.

They just need to believe it.

If they can believe it, they’ll know that relieving this pain point, getting this issue resolved, and optimizing a solution is totally in their wheelhouse. They can be the hero of this story.

They just need a guide to help them out.

How To Apply This 🤑

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Champion Your Buyer’s Abilities

Your brand can feel like your buyer’s best friend, cheering them on and telling them how smart and capable they are. From top-of-funnel paid social media posts to product pages—show your buyers how much you believe in their ability to get what they want from your products.

Breakdown Success into Milestones

Instead of creating one big, audacious goal for buyers, talk about the smaller goals that are more easily achievable. Buyers will feel more confident in their ability to achieve the smaller milestones. Then, you can use the confidence acquired by checking off those milestones to reach their big goal.

Instead of telling customers to improve all of their SEO in one big achievement, Ahrefs breaks down how new customers can get started step-by-step:

Gather Killer Testimonials

Ask your happy customers specific questions to evoke better testimonials—the kind that helps prospective buyers feel encouraged they can get similar results. Think of questions like, “What would have made you *not* buy this product? and “What would you tell someone on the fence about buying this product?”

Brain.fm has a killer testimonial from a happy customer that speaks directly to people feeling like YouTube doesn’t have great music options for focused work:

The Short of It 💥

If people doubt themselves, they’ll doubt that they can find success with your product. 

Self-doubt may stop them from buying your product or cause them to quit before they achieve their goals.

If you can help your customers to visualize their own success—to believe success is inevitable—you both win.




Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

There are a few ways I can help:

  1. Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
  2. *NEW* Learn how to mine online reviews from real buyers to generate ideas and copy that converts (250+ happy students)
  3. Book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn and get the answers you need to get unstuck and move forward with confidence

Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

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You're in!