The art and science of getting testimonials

Getting good testimonials is more than just doing a good job and hoping your customers will be so thankful that they will send you a Thank You note. There are some planning required and certain ways of asking for it so that you have a higher success rate in getting good testimonials.

Video or written?

Video testimonials are many times better than written testimonials. Videos are harder to fake so it is perceived to be more genuine. Also, most of us love videos more than texts.

It is worth the trouble to do some editing to your testimonial videos so that it is complete with introduction screen and proper captions. I did mine using iMovie in MacBook Pro.

If you need to learn video editing from basics, consider investing in a course. Check out Sam Choo’s Filmora course.

If you want a text version of the testimonials later, you can always get someone to transcribe it for you at an affordable cost through freelancing websites like Upwork.

Pre-frame your customers

You need to pre-frame your customers right from the start of your engagement. Mention that you will need their a few minutes of their time later on to make some video testimonials if they feel that you have done a good job.

The likelihood is that most people will gladly agree to give you a good testimonials if you ask at the onset of your engagement. Most of us are hopeful people, and the fact that your customers engage your service, means that they have hope that you’re going to help their kids. Strike the iron while it’s hot. People are more likely to keep their promises than to agree to your last minute appeals for testimonials.

Let them know how important the testimonials are to you. Explain that it is to help other people know about what you do. When you have done your pre-framing, those who are willing to help only need a simple reminder to give you the video testimonials.

When to actually get the testimonials

Once you feel that you have managed to deliver quality lessons a few times, and when you feel that you have built sufficient rapport with your customers, that will be the best time to ask for a testimonial.

If you are getting a written testimonial, set a timeline of 1 week or so. All it takes for someone to pen down a piece of testimonial is probably just 10 minutes. And it will never be perfect. Not setting a deadline, or saying something like “take your time, let me know when you are done.” will lead to inaction.

If you are shooting a video testimonials, inform your students or their parents at least one day in advance. They will want to look good in front of the camera, so inform them in advance and remind them with a text a day in advance will help them to make special efforts to look good for your video shoot.

There are so many ways to give testimonials, so to get a consistent look and feel in your testimonials, show an example of how you want their testimonials to be like.

While shooting the testimonials

Prompt them with a question. For example, in my online workshop, we always ask for a 20 second testimonials, and prompt with this question, “Please introduce yourself briefly. What is your biggest takeaway from the workshop?”

Check immediately to ensure that it is done properly. Ask for retake if need be. Remember, everybody wants to look good, so you are doing your customer a favour by making sure that he or she looks really good and talks smoothly in your video.

Where to keep your written and video testimonials

For written testimonials, I keep them in a page called “All testimonials” in my website.

For video testimonials, the sheer size of the video files may be quite big for websites. I keep mine in YouTube under the “unlisted” Privacy setting. What this means is that I am able to store my video in YouTube for easy access but the video will be invisible to everyone. The only persons who can view the videos will be someone I give the url to.

Pre-frame to get more share

Promise to share the url to the final product with them when the video is out. Ask for their favour to share it with their friends.

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