Using Testimonials to Grow Your Membership
Testimonials are an extremely powerful tool in your marketing arsenal because of the social proof they provide…
Demonstrating your ability to help others get fantastic results, and having those people advocate for joining your membership, will go much, much further than any marketing copy you write yourself.
And testimonials from happy successful members are amongst the most effective types of social proof there is.
However, too often membership owners take a passive approach when it comes to getting and leveraging testimonials…
Waiting for members to provide them with feedback rather than proactively encouraging them to do so.
Regular, focused campaigns aimed at collecting member testimonials – and most importantly using them effectively – will add a whole new level to the marketing of your membership…
Let's take a closer look at how you can do this…
What makes for a good testimonial?
Social proof is all about building trust…
Showing someone who might be considering joining your membership that they can put their full faith in you to help them reach their goals and achieve their desired outcomes is crucial.
And proving that this is true by providing verifiable evidence in the form of positive feedback from real people who have taken the leap and joined your membership is the way to do it…
In other words, by gathering and sharing good member testimonials…
In order for your testimonial process to work, it needs to follow our TRUSTED framework.
This means they should be:
- True: Don’t make things up or even massage the truth! It may be tempting to inflate or even invent testimonials but please don't consider trying to hoodwink people into joining your membership. That won't end well.
- Recent: Things change, new trends emerge, old trends and tactics lose their effectiveness. A good testimonial should demonstrate your ability to help people in the current environment. Make sure if you're using old testimonials that they're still relevant, but focus your attention on recent ones.
- Understandable: The content of your testimonial should be both relatable and relevant to your intended audience. It should feature someone like them, who was in the situation they’re in now, facing similar challenges. They've overcome them and are sharing how your membership helped them do that. Show potential members what’s possible.
- Specific: The more testimonials you collect, the less effective they’ll be if they’re generic, broad and vague. Specificity creates variety and also improves the chances of striking a chord with your audience.
- Transformational: People will join your membership because there’s a specific result or outcome they’re seeking, a goal they want to reach, a transformation they want to undergo. Great testimonials will demonstrate your ability to take someone from where they are now to where they want to be.
- Evidence based: Every testimonial should be verifiable by your audience. That means attributing the feedback to its source, using their full, real name, a photograph, business name and website and so on.
- Distinct: Don’t just focus on collecting testimonials that talk about the same type of results or experiences everyone else in your industry is talking about. Feature more unusual stories, less obvious outcomes too. That provides more variety and makes you standout.
So now we know what makes a good testimonial, what format should it be in?
There are a variety of ways you can present testimonials to your audience…
This is perhaps the one we're most accustomed to…
It's the easiest option for someone to provide…
And also easiest for you in terms of setting up processes for collection.
However written testimonials on their own can lack the impact of other formats.
You’ll want to collect a photo to use alongside the text of nothing else, but they don't have the same punch and gravitas as other formats.
These are kind of a middle ground between video and written.
Hearing the voice of a real person makes the testimonial more credible…
But it does require a little more effort on the part of the member and suitable tech.
The good thing is that it can be transcribed to create a written version too though.
This is the most powerful type of testimonial.
Its more effort for member to create so this could cause more friction that discourage some…
After all not not everyone is comfortable on camera…
But it is by far the most impactful as it puts a real human face to the words.
It can also be repurposed into both audio and written formats, which is a bonus!
So video is king when it comes to testimonials.
While video is the ideal format, if it's a case of someone giving you a written testimonial or not testimonial at all then you should still seek to get it.
Asking for testimonials
The key to being successful in obtaining member testimonials is to actually ask for them!
And creating a process to get them will help you do that…
Here are some things you can do:
- Regularly reach out to your existing members
- Add an automated email to your member onboarding
- Set up a wins section or start regular wins post in your community
- Create a testimonial page with a form using a tool like Gravity Forms on your website and link to it from your menu
- Conduct periodic testimonial drives
It's really about having a more mindful proactive approach to securing those testimonials.
And then when you have the testimonials, you need to make sure you actually use them!
When it comes to using testimonials there are a variety of different options available.
Add testimonials to your sales page
Every sales page should incorporate social proof wherever possible…
And testimonials from actual members are really a necessity.
You can feature these liberally throughout your page without interrupting the flow of the rest of the content.
If it's a written testimonial then be sure to show a picture of the person it’s from with their name and ideally with company name or website address to demonstrate that it’s legit.
If it's a video or audio testimonial then you can embed those directly on your web page.
Add to sales email campaigns
You likely already have a core sales sequence in place which is triggered when someone signs up to your email list where you're telling them about the membership.
An email highlighting up to 4 of your best member testimonials makes a great addition to this sequence…
And adds an alternative approach to the typical sales messaging many people use.
And if you’re an Academy member, we have an example of this type of email within the copy and paste email templates we give you.
Create social media assets and share regularly on your channels
The most popular social media channels all have an emphasis on content that’s very visual.
For video testimonials, the visuals are right there in the testimonial itself, so you can start sharing those right away.
Written testimonials can be turned into great looking images which you can post across all the main social media platforms.
Share screenshots in your social Stories
Most social media platforms now include the popular “Stories” feature – where temporary video or image content can be shared.
Because this content expires – typically after 24 hours – it’s more acceptable (even expected) that it’ll be a little “rougher round the edges”.
As such you could simply share screenshots of entries from your testimonial form, emails you’ve received or posts made in your community.
Use clips in your podcast or video content
If you publish content that is video or audio based – like a podcast, regular Facebook Live show or a YouTube vlog – then it’s even more beneficial to collect testimonials in a format appropriate to that content.
If you have video testimonials, find a way to include them in the content you publish on YouTube.
If you have audio (either originally provided as audio, or audio taken from videos) then start incorporating those into your podcast episodes too.
It doesn’t have to be every episode or every show, but making an effort to dot these around your content schedule is worthwhile.
The keyword here is effort…
If you just sit back and do nothing, you will get unsolicited positive feedback from your member base…
And that's awesome…
But unless you have a strategic, proactive approach to both collecting and utilizing testimonials, then you're never going to be able to really tap into just how powerful they can be in terms of social proof with your Membership Marketing Flywheel.
To learn more about the Flywheel, simply login to Membership Academy if you're a member…
If you're not a member, head over and join thousands of other like-minded membershippers who really know their stuff!
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