Mikey likes it! Do you remember that one? That was the old LIFE cereal ad, and was my first exposure to testimonial based advertising …
Even though that particular commercial was dramatized, there’s no doubt testimonials work – not because I think so, but because they’ve been tested numerous times for their effect.
But most trainers either don’t use them or don’t use them enough. I happen to think that testimonials have a special and greater importance as it applies to the marketing of personal training, so that even magnifies the need for them.
I sent out a brief lesson to the SUPER-TRAINER LICENSEES on the subject recently, but I think the lesson is so valuable that it shouldn’t be kept under wraps –
Here was the note I sent them:
As we’ve talked about on the blog many times, REFERRALS are the absolute best form of marketing for any service professional.
Just do your job right and maintain the right standards doing it, and that’s all the marketing you will ever need. You will get more clients, your rates will get higher, your income will grow, and you will then suffer from the major problem that most successful trainers suffer from:
BOREDOM, because their businesses have become so simple that they now are completely out of challenges.
That being said, you cannot rely on your referral base to get you clients if you’re just starting out now.
But the next best thing to referral marketing can take place on all of your marketing materials in a completely INDIRECT way, and that’s through TESTIMONIALS.
If you’re getting your testimonials together, here’s one tip I have for you. If you’re starting out now and don’t have too many clients, realize that your referrals DO NOT all have to be from existing clients.
They can come from anyone that can testify to the quality of your fitness knowledge and commitment to fitness and educating the public. Just make sure they say as much in the testimonial, and you’re set.
And what they are saying isn’t the only important thing:
1. Make sure your testimonial pictures are attractive. If someone is saying good things about you, you want the picture of them to show they are a high value person.
2. Before and after pictures are always better than just head shots. Having these accompanied by VERY long testimonial are a killer combo.
3. When you are putting the testimonials into the body of your pages yourself, keep the look of the testimonial in mind. The look of your site is important; this is not said enough. That’s one of the reasons why I’m sure you jumped on the LICENSING program – you wanted an attractive site.
People will make their decisions based on their first impression of your business, but just like with referrals, they will also make their decision based on what other people are saying about you.
And that’s testimonials. You can never have enough. Collect them from anyone and everyone. Put them on every page of your site. Get as many video testimonials as possible.
As trainers we really do not get the volume of hits to test the effect of testimonials accurately. But in other website models where the effect CAN be tested, it’s been proven that sales are never negatively affected by having more testimonials – it’s only positive.
Did you catch that? You could add more and more testimonials to infinity and still not hit a point where you have too many. Well, let’s just say that point has still yet to be found!
I definitely agree that next to referrals, testimonials are the best way to get new clients. They add credibility and are cost effective.
Also, the fact that people are willing to allow you to display their pics/videos/qoutes, show that you are trustworthy and respected, which are both important for your business.
Dave Parise here…Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space. For the new year I want all who dares to be different and rewarded to follow that same star. Day after day see the light that guides you to a place where you shine over and above all. I can only wish for all to travel to that place. However!!!! A wish changes nothing- a decision changes everything!!!
Have a happy- Dave Parise CPT
“A wish changes nothing- a decision changes everything”….
Powerful stuff Dave!
Great point James – that’s exactly why it works – and I feel better for training than maybe any other industry –
Hey Dave! That reminds me – I’ve got some shopping to do!