Testimonials, a powerful marketing tool?

Your clients, their experience of you and your company, in other words their testimonials, will provide credibility and vouch for how good you’re at what you do.

An ideal testimonial should tell the story of the experience of your client. It should give a picture of ‘before, during and after’:

  • how was it for them before they met you? (e.g. what problems were they experiencing before you?)
  • what was it like working with you? (e.g. how responsive were you to their requirements?)
  • what impact your service/product had on their business? (e.g. have they generated more business?).

How you present your testimonials is as important as its content. You may choose to gather testimonials in different formats: text, audio or video.

My favourite form is video, which is one of the most powerful ways to tell a personal story. The components of human communication are body language, eye contact and voice as well as words, therefore conveying our clients’ message in this format have the greatest impact on our audience. View our latest video testimonials here.

Your clients are real people kindly sharing their stories with your audience.  A potential customer is more likely to engage and identify with the real person on-screen when deciding whether to buy your product or service.

Moreover, if you’re filming your clients it’s a great way to meet them again face to face and find out what has been happening in their business and in their life.

In our experience, investing time on video testimonials brings in better clients and greater returns.

Here are a few general tips on obtaining testimonials:

  • Obtain them as early as possible after delivering your service or product.
  • Your questions should allow your clients to talk about themselves and their business, remember, this is an opportunity for them to promote their business too!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask whether there is anything you can improve on. You do not have to use the answer in the testimonial but it’s an invaluable feedback you can work on!
  • Always use full credentials by stating their full name, title and the company they work for in their testimonial, especially if it’s a written one.
  • Share their testimonial on your website and all social media platforms you use (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
  • A small gift to show your appreciation (a box of chocolate or biscuits for their office) to say thank you goes a long way! Remember, they gave up their time for you, which is worth more than money!

And specific tips on video testimonials:

1. Equipment:

  • You do not have to use the latest technological equipment, although it might be worth investing in a good camera which also can record HD.
  • You will need a tripod to avoid shaky camera movements.
  • It might also be worth having a microphone for a better quality sound. Always remember to turn your equipment on (we made this mistake and learnt to double check everything!)

The equipment and software we currently use are:

  • a Canon EOS 600D camera
  • a Sherpa 200R tripod
  • a Sony IC Recorder stereo microphone
  • iMovie for editing, and Vimeo and YouTube for video streaming to our website.

2. Filming and Editing: 

  • Try to film your clients in their own environment – we suggest our own clients to use their company logo/sign (this could be a sign on their office wall or their branded company car) as a backdrop for an extra promotional opportunity!
  • Read some information about how to position your client in front of the camera and how to use light. Here’s my favourite website for very simple and useful tips: www.12starsmedia.com/
  • Send your questions to your clients a few days before filming. They do not need to rehearse or prepare a script, but it helps them to prepare – the more natural they are the better!
  • Ask open questions to allow your client to talk in detail. Not all of us like being on camera! If your client is nervous and his/her answers are short, try to rephrase your question and do not be afraid to ask him/her to give examples. Keep your camera rolling before and after the interview not to miss any other useful feedback.
  • Editing is almost as important as the filming itself. The Apple iMovie tutorials are a good place to start if you’re using iMovie.
  • Enjoy the experience and if you need a helping hand with your video testimonials, just let us know. We’ll be happy to help.

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