Many successful small businesses will tell you their most effective marketing is simple word of mouth. If people have a good experience, they like to share it with others. So why not build testimonials into your marketing strategy?
Done badly, testimonials can be counter-productive. You know the ones with cheesy quotes that read like they were workshopped to death by a focus group.
So, here are a few pieces of advice to follow when it comes to letting client testimonials work for your firm:
Let the client speak in their own voice.
The first rule of testimonials is that they have to be in the client's own voice. You achieve this by asking the right questions. Not, "please can you tell us how good our service was?", but "What financial and personal goals did you need an adviser's help in accomplishing? What steps have you been able to take in accomplishing these goals? Have your overall aims changed as a result of receiving financial advice?"
Video testimonials are almost always better than written ones.
Video gives viewers a chance to relate emotionally to the stories being told, and to feel the sincerity behind your clients' testimonies.
Have the client talk about their life before working with you and their life after. Focus on the things that viewers will be able to relate to – the emotions and the experience, not the technicalities. How do your clients feel now compared with beforehand?
Put potential clients first.
Your goal in presenting testimonials should not be to present yourself as the best in the business, but as the right fit for these people. When prospects look at testimonials, they are inevitably thinking: "Is this person like me?"
Let it happen organically.
You can offer incentives for testimonials, of course, but the best results will come from those wanting to do it for their own sake. So, tell them that you know how hard it is to find the right financial adviser and that you understand the hours involved in doing so. Tell them that they can help a lot of people to secure the right help more quickly and easily by sharing their experiences with others.
Ideally, client testimonials shouldn't feel like marketing at all. They are a genuine research tool for prospects. And they work best if they focus on how the services you provide helped these particular people in their particular circumstances.
Of course, this opens up a risk that prospects might conclude, "Yes, but that's not the problem we're trying to solve." But more likely what happens is that the prospects get invested in that person's story and see how the service has made them feel better.
You don't even have to ask clients to do testimonials for your business. You can just ask them if it's OK if you share some of the pictures and stories of the holidays and life experiences that they've been able to have as a result of your advice. Just from that, a prospect can see that you have formed a close and trusting relationship with these people. And that can be recommendation enough.
Testimonials can be one of the best ways to use video marketing to grow and promote your business. To find out more about video marketing and what our colleagues at Regis Media can provide, take a look at our website.