With the 2012 SuperConference in Dallas less than a week away, like other GKIC members, I’m planning out how to make the most of this awesome event. Many of us provide services to each other and the GKIC SuperConference is one of the few occasions when we’ll have the chance to catch up with friends, colleagues and clients. Did you consider that the SuperConference offers a golden opportunity to collect a stack of powerful testimonials from clients who you might never otherwise see in person?
The key to maximizing the benefit from that opportunity is to prepare in advance your action plan so that you get testimonials from past and present clients that will skyrocket your business. You can then move quickly through the 1,500+ attendees and leverage your time with each client to squeeze every drop of marketing gold out of them with the minimum of hassle.
The smartest way to get testimonials at the SuperConference is to get them on video. That way you can re-purpose the video and audio, as well as using screen-grabs for photos and the transcript as content-rich copy. To help you do this, I’ve put together some tips that will help you get exactly what you need.
The first thing to consider is what you want to have a reputation for. This should frame everything else that you do in acquiring testimonials.
Here are some important questions you should answer about your market positioning before acquiring your testimonials:
- What do you want your product or service to be known for? What is it you’d like everyone to say about you and your product or service?
- What are your key differences and USPs compared to your competition?
- What do you want your testimonials to look like?
Instead of just asking your clients to freestyle their testimonial by saying whatever comes into their head, put together a list of questions that guide their responses and make it easy for them to say great things about you and your business.
- Ask a short series of questions that help your client tell their story of their pain, why they hired you and the difference it made to their business.
- You can put words in your client’s mouth. Rig the argument by asking loaded questions that stake out your marketing position and focus on your USPs. Here’s a couple of questions I wrote for Chicago IBA, Steve Sipress, and his monthly `Celebration’ chapter meetings:
- “How much would someone have to pay you to stop listening to Steve or attending his events?”
- “Why is Steve Sipress your business’s secret weapon?”
- Connect with people’s emotions. Ask them how they feel. “How did you feel when the penny dropped and you realized that not following Simon’s system was costing you a fortune in marketing and lost sales?”
Plan of Attack
Don’t just plan out what you want your testimonials to say; plan out who you’re going to target for testimonials and how you’re going to use them after you get them. Draw out your implementation plan so that you can start to leverage them as soon as you get home after the SuperConference or even while you’re still in Dallas.
Here’s a few suggestions:
- List and prioritize your clients who will be at the SuperConference, with your ideal clients at the top of the list.
- Let your clients know in advance that you want to record a video testimonial at the SuperConference so that it’s not an unwelcome surprise when you pull out your camera.
- Plan your implementation so that all you have to do afterwards is a simple exercise in filling in a `placeholder’ with the real testimonial that someone actually provided.
- Ensure prompt use and leverage of your testimonials. Publish your testimonials online while they’re still fresh, according to your plan.
- Immediately follow-up with those people who provided testimonials after you’ve published them. What could you say to build on their experience? What can you offer? What do you want them to do? What are your calls to action?
How to Get Great Video Testimonials
Now a few tips on how to actually get those great video testimonials at the SuperConference:
- Be systematic in your acquisition of testimonials at the SuperConference. Determine how to ensure you hit up as many as possible in the time you have.
- Asking someone for `feedback’ is less threatening than asking for a `testimonial’.
- Full sentences. Save yourself a lot of editing – when you’re getting a video testimonial, get the interviewee to include the question in their answer.
- Equip yourself. If you come up with a list of 6-8 questions, put them on a laminated pocket-sized card. Make numerous copies. Keep one in your wallet or purse and one in each pocket. You will always have a prompt card to turn to so that you get straight to the questions you need to ask.
- Move quickly. So much happens at every conference, so be prepared to move quickly and just flick on the camera and grab a testimonial from someone.
Finally, here are some tips on the technical aspects of getting video testimonials:
- Use a proper HD video camera if you can, like a Kodak Zi8. The video quality will be superior to that from many smartphones.
- Use a small, lightweight, portable tripod. The shot will be steady and you can stand away from the camera, enabling your clients to talk to you instead of into the lens, making the whole experience less intimidating.
- Check your lighting in the shot. Don’t film people with their back to the sun, or with their back to a window if inside because they’ll look like they’re in the Witness Protection Program.
- Try to avoid ambient noise if you can and consider investing in a decent lapel microphone.
- Rehearse with your equipment. Make sure you know how to use it so you can move quickly.
- Buy spare batteries for your camera, microphone, and anything else you’re using. Check Ebay or Amazon, they’re available for around $10 a piece.
- Buy a spare charger, allowing you to charge your batteries while you shoot video.
- Buy spare SD cards so you don’t have to worry about running out of recording media.
If you can find just 15-30 minutes to make the most of these tips and create an action plan in advance of the SuperConference, I guarantee you’ll be a Testimonial Machine generating outrageously powerful marketing for your business that will massively reward you for your efforts.
I look forward to meeting you in Dallas and finding out what your clients are saying about you.
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