Imagine waking up one morning in the third week in January 2015, at 10am. Shocked at the time, you quickly splash some cold water over your face, reach for your featherweight, curved iPad6, and see – yippee – that over night you just booked another $5,431 from the US alone. You stretch, put on your new Gucci slippers, go downstairs to make some coffee and start your day.
Which involves a long and probably rather good lunch at Scotts Restaurant in Mount Street with one of your customers, who’ll be referring you some more.
So as you whizz silently off in the electric zero-emission cab, you recall your fellow entrepreneurs a week earlier – all members of your £3,000/month Mastermind Group founded and chaired by the 43 year old entrepreneur who’d sold his social media agency for £35.7m. You wondered why then, across the table, they looked poor. From their sallow, tired faces came complaints over Google’s changing algorithms, decreasing website conversion rates, increasing pay per click costs and the challenge of Facebook, the fading star, that people across all ages and social strata are leaving in droves because it’s just so not cool anymore. How can we learn and master so many other platforms – Pinterest, SnapChat, and Instagram to name some? And which will be the most dominant? It’s not just the cost in money, but the time of the varying quality, 16 hour long video courses, endless 8pm webinars, whole-day seminars and obligatory reading of umpteen articles. Which leaves none for family, friends and enjoyment, and certainly not much for the “small” business of finding more customers.
As you try hard not to feel smug, you then reflect on your own success. The simple mastery of the oldest marketing technique in the world: testimonials – gathering, deploying and leveraging them to the max and turning your customers into ardent fanatics of what you do for them, which provides a long and steady stream of referred new customers without any encroachment on your time worrying about other marketing.
So if that’s where you want to be in 2015, here are 5 things you can start doing today: –
1. Make testimonial gathering a matter of process.
This way, you’ll capture more testimonials. If testimonials are sought after every transaction, but only 20% of your customers provide them, you’ll have more testimonials than having no system at all.
To do this you need to choreograph the sales process so it’s optimised to capture testimonials. So introduce a customer feedback system. Ask your customers to agree to provide regular feedback so you know how to serve them better. Then explain that you prioritise your marketing by spreading your message by word of mouth and gathering testimonials and referrals. Make it plain that you believe in aligning acquiring new customers with doing a great job for your existing ones. It’s is a win-win for everyone. Ask them if they agree. If so, when subsequently you ask for testimonials and referrals, they’ll be more forthcoming.
This process should start at your first meeting, even before your customers sign up. It should become part of your pitch stating your corporate values: that you believe your successful marketing should be linked primarily to providing amazing customer experiences.
Once your customer agrees to provide feedback, give them the telephone number to your automated telephone feedback line that Diggbite can set up for you. From their constructive criticism you can hone your operations and from their positive recorded comments, you can produce testimonial content for posting online. Or you could get an outside and feedback consultant to run a case study recorded interview, which Diggbite can then turn into a video testimonial.
2. Get testimonials from authority figures.
Their testimonials carry much more weight than others. They could be respected experts, admired industry figures or celebrities.
Their testimonials will be more powerful because people will be impressed, will want to associate themselves with them and you’ll have more credibility. Prospects will trust you more.
To do this you need to work out who exactly are your top 10 ideal customers. Research their companies on Experience and learn as much about them through Google and social media. Then do whatever’s necessary to win their business. We have a number of ideas – but that goes beyond the remit of this article.
Next, when you meet them, get them to commit to your system of continuous feedback, as described above, as part of your first presentation. Then their testimony will be as straightforward to gather as any other customer – assuming you excel and do a great job of course.
3. Make your testimonials geographically relevant.
People are attracted to others like themselves. This can relate to age, sex, ethnic origin, religion and profession. But it also applies to geography.
So simply get your customers to say the names, company and where they are based. Then integrate into your website IP geo-location software by companies such as Neustar, so viewers of your testimonials see those that are nearest to them.
When they give their testimonial, they need to say the month and year. This is so that their testimonial comes across as fresh. The more recent the testimonial, the more credible it has.
Failing that, you can edit the date onto the video, but it will be even more compelling if they were simply to say it.
The Feedback Line Diggbite asks the specific question: please say the month and year.
5. Make your testimonial apply across all media.
This way you can maximise the distribution of your testimonials across different media, on and off line, and make them more shareable.
Once you’ve recorded your customer’s testimonial, either through your Customer Feedback Line or through recorded conversations through an Independent Feedback Consultant, you can make a video from it. The good news is you don’t have to worry about film crews, high corporate video costs or having to expose your customers to the camera lens. Instead you can simply use slides and/or live-written words of what they say to visually convey their testimony, supported by live-drawn videocartoons, photographs and images such as logos. You can do this in house, or you can outsource to your web designer who’s set up to work with Diggbite.
Once you’ve produced your video, you can transcribe the words into text for your website, press releases and blog posts and you can strip out the sound and create a podcast. There are over 1 billion Botcast downloads every month, and many of them are by business people. But you can also upload the recordings to your telephone greeting system so that prospects hear testimonials whilst they are waiting for their call is to be answered.
If you implement strategically a word of mouth marketing process that systemizes the gathering of testimonials and referrals, you’ll not only have a means to understand how to improve your business to delight customers, but you’ll have sufficient hot new leads that turn to customers to not worry when Google change (again) their search algorithms. Plus you can spend more time with your other half (happily) at Scotts.
About David Bradley
David Bradley is founder of Diggbite, owner of the Diggbite Line, the world’s easiest, simplest and quickest way to get testimonials onto video.
Diggbite’s mission is to empower good companies to shine the light of delight into the dark room that is ignorance, doubt and indecision of prospective buyers.
For a FREE copy of 9 Essential Steps to getting testimonials that sell, click here