The Power of Testimonials

Today I would like to explore the Testimonial and why it is used as a sales technique, I will be explaining the different types of Testimonials and their relative effectiveness and using this to analyse just what Brian Campbell has been doing in the past 2 days and why he has plastered testimonials on every group page he can get his links onto.

Establishing Trust

Have you noticed that whenever you read a sales letter or visit a website that is selling you something, or see an advert in a magazine or newspaper they are often Jammed packed with Testimonials from satisfied customers who thought the product or service was amazing. How often do you think that some of them are fabricated, that the website owner or Business just sat down and made them all up. If you had this suspicion then the testimonial that you just read didn’t do its job effectively. A Testimonial is designed to establish a feeling of trust.

A Total Stanger

If you meet a complete stranger in the street, you would relate to them very differently if they were on their own or if they were accompanied by one of your best friends. A total stranger is an unknown quantity, you know nothing about them, they might want to hurt you, cheat you, steal from you or take advantage of you in some way, you approach them with caution to see if it is safe to interact. You might exchange a few words but you wouldn’t invite them back to you home straight away. Only after establishing some type of conversation would you decide if you wanted to develop the relationship further, but often this conversation would never even begin.

A Friend of a Friend

On the other hand, if this stranger was with your best friend, or a good acquaintance you would instantly have a different attitude, Because your friend is establishing the strangers credibility and trustworthiness by association you change the way you would interact, you are instantly more friendly and receptive because this person could be a potential new friend. I can give a great example from many years ago when I was living in Israel, I knew a lot of people by sight, having gone to the same social events but never really felt accepted by them, I always felt like an outsider because I was not Jewish and didn’t speak Hebrew, I realised that as a nation Israelis have an inbuilt mistrust for non Jewish people following centuries of persecution and invasion in their own country. But it didn’t make any sense to me that this was carried over into the social sphere. It wasn’t until I became close friends with an Israeli woman who happened to be one of those people who everyone knows and likes that I got welcomed into what was before a closed community. Suddenly everyone accepted me and treated me in a totally different way than before. My association with a trusted friend had lowered peoples defences and gave me access to a much richer social life and deeper more lasting friendships. She had given me a non verbal Testimonial just by being my friend.

The Cold Sale

No one really likes to have a Salesperson trying to convince you to buy something, It can make you feel uncomfortable and manipulated , like someone has mentally assaulted you, or invaded your privacy. Unsolicited email, Telesales cold calling or doorstep sales men often use this old tactic, that has most normal people running a mile. The technique relies solely on statistics, that out of every 100 people someone might be interested. Conversion rates for this type of method are generally low. If you want to test it there are many companies that sell email lists of 1,000,000 names that you can spam with your sales message.

Soften up the Ground

For a smart marketer, engaged in a sales war, testimonials are like artillery barrages fired against a prospects defence mechanisms and B.S. detectors. They are a way to soften up the ground for when the real sales message is to be delivered. This is the way to establish trust and credibility through the opinion of your customers peers so they will actually listen to what you have to say.

Written Testimonials

There are several types of testimonial, the first I would like to discuss is the written testimonial, using words in print to convince and cajole into taking your sales message more seriously.

If you study the best copywriters, you can learn some of the subtle techniques they use, most of these were developed in the direct response mail arena, where they could track and test to see what is the most effective. One technique is to reprint the customers actual letter, showing their actual handwriting, a variation of this is to make the testimonial in a separate coloured box with different typeface to make it look like a typed letter. What happens now, due to the internet and the widespread use of email the testimonial is written to resemble an email, they even use the same calibri typeface and the same font sizes to make it seem more like a personal email from a friend. This is subtle but has been proven to be very effective. It goes under the radar and makes you more likely to believe and trust what is being written

Background and Photo

Showing where the person is from and their employment status is also important, and depending on what type of product or service you are offering, it can be an indicator of the type of person who you want to attract. And also including their picture so you can really see that they are a real person, further increasing the credibility of the Testimonial

An Audio Testimonial

Radio, Podcasts, Teleseminars and Audio Postcards are another way to deliver powerful testimonials, The power of the voice creates a much more personal connection, You know that it is a real person who is talking, and you can pick up subtle hints through the tonality, degree of excitement or enthusiasm whether they are telling the truth or hyping something up. Teleseminars can be used as a backdoor testimonial where the interviewer can express their own personal opinions about something that is being discussed. Done well, and you hardly even notice you are being sold to, done wrong and the Interviewer an quickly lose their credibility and the teleseminar can feel like one long commercial advertisement. If you want to listen to one of the masters, check out anything done by Alex Mandosian, he is a someone who really know how to use the power of Audio to sell.

A Video Testimonial

Since the invention of the Television video has become the most powerful means to advertise a product or service and now with the advance of Web2.0 and 3.0 technologies, anyone with a webcam , or video recorder can make their own adverts and ask all their customers to give them what is now becoming a standard, The Video Testimonial. One of the top Marketers, Joe Polish, from Piranah marketing even buys his customers a cheap camcorder as a freebie gift for making the testimonial. He knows how powerful it is and knows that for less than $50 he can get something that will attract even more customers to him

Cover all your Bases

Everyone is different, not all your customer like to watch Youtube videos some prefer to listen to radio and podcast, and others like to read in print. That is why the best strategy is to repeat all your sales messages in all three mediums, this way you cover all your bases. Making sure that you provide written audio and video testimonials will greatly increase your sales conversion and build a stronger rapport with your potential customer. Check out Travis Greenlees webpages for an example of a true master of using testimonials to generate sales

Help your prospect Identify themselves as a customer

What you are really trying to do with a testimonial is to get your customer to identify themselves as your customer, so they come to you instead of you to them. This is why the content that you choose is important. Testimonials work best when they identify a difficulty and show how it has been overcome or show an areas in your prospects life that can be greatly improved by using your product or service. If your target market are overweight people who want to learn about dieting then your ideal testimonial will be from an overweight person showing a before and after picture. Anyone who is overweight can instantly identify with the pictures and its easy to develop a propulsion desire towards the slimmer looking body, especially if someone else has already achieved this result.

Brian Campbell

So now back to the Brian Campbell story, I left it until the end so that those who are oversaturated can leave having enjoyed the main article and those who want to hear more can listen to my analysis of what Brian has been doing these past few days. If you have noticed there are a lot of video testimonials scattered around all the group pages.


Earlier this week, Brian gave all his students an offer many of them couldn’t refuse, he said that in exchange for an honest video testimonial of their experiences in the Social Media Marketing System he would upgrade their membership to the next level. This was great motivation and all the really serious students whipped out their Webcams eager to get access to more than they initially paid for. What it also did on the Inside of the Social Media Marketing System was to make a lot of the members come together to help each other.

Helping each other

Brian has been unavailable to answer questions so many of the newbies and non technological members were having trouble making their videos and uploading them to Utube. What followed is typical for how this community of paying it forward members acted, those with the most video experience started sharing their knowledge, giving helpful hints and tips of how to make an effective testimonial, One member even went so far as to offer a free training, her name is Dulcita Love, from, she made a whole free course just for members, showing them all the steps so even a total beginner could learn how to make, edit and upload a video to Utube and then post a link onto a website or facebook profile. If you know how to do this already, please remember back to your first time and understand the frustration and difficulties some members were having. To see a Dulcita in action here is the link to her testimonial – Dulcita Talks about the Social Media Marketing System,

She gets my prize for the best testimonial and you can see how she has embedded text into it. After I saw hers, I immediately went out and tried to improve the one that I had made.

Action gets rewarded

So what Brian has done is mobilised his whole membership to action, given them a great incentive and also forced them to learn a new skill and to help each other in the process. Brian effectively ensures that only those who are motivated and who take action are shown sharing their experiences and they are the ones who will reap the real benefits.

Participation is essential

Anyone who expects a free ride had better not bother joining, you have to participate in order to benefit. There are plenty of other systems and programs that promise the world and will allow you to be a passive observer, The Social Media Marketing System is not one of these systems. Its true strength is not in Brian’s leadership or fantastic marketing and sales skills but actually in the combined energy and experience of all the members. You don’t have to be an expert, but you have to be prepared to learn to become one.

Real People

So while you are bombarded with all these testimonials, remember these are real people who are sharing their honest experiences, you can probably identify with at least one of them, I would expect that many of them are already your friends on facebook, and you will soon be learning alongside them when you sign up for the free training that Brian will be releasing soon,

Earn while you learn

As part of his affiliate scheme where he wants his students to earn while they learn he has made it so that if you want to register you need to get the link from one of the existing members. I am sure that you have heard from many of them already, and I trust you will choose the one who has given you the most value.

Social Media Monetisation

Here is the backdoor link to the Social Media Monetisation training go and sign up now to ensure your place. In the meanwhile I will be keeping a close watch on what Brian is up to and give you some insight into what he is doing and his underlying motivations.

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