Today's post comes from Jeff Evans (Olympia, WA) one of GigMasters' talented magicians. The topic is one that should be close to the hearts of performers and party pros of all types: getting great client testimonials.
You already know that client feedback is vital to your success on GigMasters. What we haven't yet mentioned is that it is also crucial to your overall success in this business.
Jeff knows that you won't get anywhere without happy clients and he was kind enough to share some of his tips for getting those all important client reviews:
I love getting client reviews because they help sell me to other prospects. It's always better when someone else tells the world how great you are!
In the "old" days, clients would write letters of recommendation on their letterhead and mail them. I still have several, dating back to 1991. I'd copy them and include them in my profile. Quotes could be lifted from these letters and used in brochures.
How do you receive relevant quotes? Simply ask a thrilled client, "Can you write a testimonial for me? I'd especially appreciate it if you could mention..." and prompt them with what you'd like them to say. If you don't give them a clue, all of your reviews will say, "Jeff did a fantastic job. We would re-book him in a heartbeat!" Although a nice review, the catch is that it's not specific. Perhaps you want to emphasize that you "arrived early" or "customized the show for my theme" or "were so impressive, that my guests have all asked for your return next year!"
I like to have testimonials in different places and in different forms. On my website you can read testimonials, find links to online review sites (Yahoo works best for me, while others prefer Yelp), and listen to audio reviews. Some of my friends rely on video testimonials. Use what you're comfortable with.
Understand that not all clients will want to be videotaped. Others get tongue-tied and aren't comfortable even speaking into a voice recorder. However, they may be eloquent writers. In that case, you send them a link by e-mail where they can post a review.
Match the kind of review that you request to your client. Was the client a Facebook fan who later hired you? Use the "Reviews" tab on Facebook and suggest that they share their experience. You can then reply to their comment, and in the process all of your fans as well as the friends of your client see the interaction. More visibility!
If you connected via LinkedIn, then use that platform. And of course, all GigMasters clients are prompted to rate and comment on their experience with performers.
Only ask for one type of review. Don't overwhelm the client, and of course if the situation isn't appropriate you can skip this altogether. However, once you have a great testimonial you can repurpose it and use it in many different ways. I've used audio testimonials to literally turn an un-usable piece of video (no audio!) into a mini promo piece: http://youtu.be/lUyLPS9Sps8
I've also taken written testimonials and added them to video. And if you have video, you can use only the audio portion or transcribe the words.
Sometimes clients can help you even more with an endorsement or a referral. These are powerful tools and deserve their own article.
What is your favorite way to collect reviews? How do you use them? I'm always looking to sharpen my marketing tools!
Check out Jeff's Profile to read a few of his stellar reviews and let us know your fail proof methods for scoring great client feedback. Any questions about Jeff's tips? Leave us a comment and we will pass it on.