Bragging rarely works.
Or, if it works at all, it usually works as a repellent…
… Making people run away faster than they do from that “amazing” timeshare opportunity their cousin is always telling them about.
Sounds interesting… but I gotta go check on something…
Still, you look at almost any company out there and they’re proud to brag:
“We’re the “premier” provider of X, Y and Z…
We “excel” in delivering “superior” quality… and “industry-leading” customer service. Etc. Etc.
They just can’t seem to get enough of themselves.
Or understand that – the more they brag, the less they impress.
So let’s face facts.
Every company, every entrepreneur, and every product, in fact, needs a high degree of credibility within the target market before anyone will buy.
That’s the only way to open the profit floodgates.
So you’ve got to figure out how to systematically inject credibility elements throughout your marketing, so people know that what you’re offering is for real.
The trick is to find a way to do so – without sounding like “that guy”, pictured above.
But if you don’t have much time…
… And you’re desperately in need of the shortest, simplest route for burnishing your credibility, there’s no doubt in my mind that testimonials are the way to go.
But not just any testimonials, mind you.
A page of people saying you’re “great, great, great” is easy for your audience to ignore, because it still seems so self-serving.
And cynically, they might even think those testimonials were made up.
That’s why you need to make sure your testimonials are filled with real human drama – so your readers can essentially see themselves in your client’s shoes.
That’s the key.
Because the more they see themselves in your testimonials, the less braggadocious those testimonials seem, savvy?
So let me give you an example of how to do that, from a campaign Daniel did for weight loss expert, Sue Heintze.
And make sure to pay extra special attention to how you start empathizing with this woman’s story, as you read.
I want to thank you!!!
First for your personal and prompt reply to me.
Your encouragement to eat your prescribed way has been the turn around for me.
I asked for your advice in the beginning of May after truly 2 years of researching, attempting, and working out madly, only to be the same and seeing very little changes.
I know, you hear that same scenario over and over! I’d read that scenario many times too yet didn’t believe it was my scenario…
All I can say is WOW! And thank you!
Although the scale hasn’t changed but 4 lbs. I have lost cm’s and my body is drastically changed!
If you hadn’t taken the time to answer me, I’d still be on the same hamster wheel. I just wanted you to know how grateful I am to you for sticking to your motto of being there to support your programs!
I’ve never interacted with any online trainers before and you answered promptly and pulled no punches.
Thankfully I trusted you because of your personal changes as well as your age being near my own.
So, at 45, after 6 kids (single pregnancies- the youngest nearing age 9), having Multiple Sclerosis, and having been an athlete in my former days, I can now say I’m nearly at the size I was when I got married!
And to think I’d been so committed yet never seeing results!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do.
I just wanted you to know how your support has changed me – literally!
With deepest gratitude!
See how much drama this has?
How much emotion… because of how she talks about her struggles…
… And how Sue’s help was the thing that made her transformation possible?
Most importantly, do you see how this story helps make the sale, by gently overcoming the reader’s natural ‘fear of failure’… with some genuine re-assurance that this system will work for her, too?
Pretty powerful stuff, wouldn’t you say?
So how can you gather testimonials like this for yourself?
How can you encourage people to share their real-life stories with you, instead of just leaving reviews?
First, you need to know what you’re looking for. Specifically, which emotional outcomes people are looking for in your product or service.
Is it love?
Is it pride?
Is it confidence?
Get really clear on the outcomes people are looking for, and then start thinking about the things that might be preventing them from getting there.
- Do they want to be respected, but they’re no good at public speaking?
- Do they want to be loved, but they keep having bad relationships?
- Do they want to end the stress, but they’re always straining to make ends meet?
Whatever it is, think about the struggles that your market might be dealing with and then start creating little vignettes of ‘what it’s like to be them’ in your mind.
Picture the struggle.
Think about all the little details of what it’s like to go through that struggle.
Take some notes.
Then look at the people you’ve worked with and see if any of your vignettes might match their real-life stories of struggle and success with your help.
If so, reach out to each one of these folks and get to know a little more about their story, on a deeper level, and talk about how things have changed for them since they started working with you.
You don’t want to pry, of course…
… Just engage them in a casual conversation by asking how things are going… how things have changed… what helped them most along the way, and why.
Then, after you’ve got a real sense of their story, just ask if they’d be willing to share that ‘transformational testimonial’ with others… so more people can experience that same level of satisfaction.
Most are happy to oblige.
And when they do, here are a few words of instruction you’re going to want to be sure to use:
“Like you, most people have major fears when it comes to XYZ, as I’m sure you know from experience… That’s why it’s really important for us to share the real nitty-gritty of your story, especially what your life looked like before you started this program… and all the details of what your life’s like now. Because we’re never sure what’s holding someone back. People cling to their old habits and patterns of behavior like Velcro. But your story can be the thing that helps them change and puts them on the path to a better life. The more specific and emotionally provocative your story, the better.”
Because you only need one…
When it comes to testimonials, it’s great if you have lots…
… But quality really is just as important as quantity. One powerful testimonial can absolutely make a business.
Just look at how Subway profited from Jared’s story (before the scandal).
From 1998 to 2011 (13 years!) Subway attributed one-third to one-half of its growth in sales to Jared’s testimonial, tripling their revenues.
Again – all from just one story.
So, the more pain… the more pleasure… the more drama and transformation you’re able to infuse into your testimonials – the better.
Because, testimonials – when done right – aren’t about how great you are.
They’re all about how great you’ve helped others become.
That’s the difference that can make all the difference to how open people are to you and your marketing…
… And, in turn, how quickly you’ll be able to ramp up your revenues and grow your business.
So go back to the people you’ve already helped… and work with them to uncover the ‘before, during and after’ details… and the real-life drama of their narratives.
Because the more your audience can ‘see themselves in someone else’s shoes’, the more confidence they’ll have to buy.
And the more successful case studies and transformational testimonials you’ll be able to create in the future.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your success with this business building strategy.
Also, feel free to post what you come up with, below.