Nothing sells a product better than proof that it works, from satisfied customers who’ve actually used it.
How to get that proof is the topic of this SuperFastBusiness episode, where James Schramko and 10XPRO’s John Lint discuss how you can go about gathering success stories using the methods and tools that work consistently well for them.
01:12 – First thing’s first – get results
02:30 – The screenshot
04:28 – Why not just ask?
05:35 – Forget “testimonial”, talk about the experience
08:08 – Onboarding, scores and follow-up
10:18 – Leveraging the power of video
11:58 – Make it easy. Keep it simple. Reward them.
13:51 – Would you like to podcast about that?
15:23 – The text feedback that happens
17:51 – There’s nothing better than organic
James: James Schramko here. This is Episode 715. You’re on SuperFastBusiness.com, and have my good friend John Lint here. How are you going, John?
John: Hey, how are you, James?
James: Good, always a pleasure to catch up. We have lots of business discussions, and we also both surf, so it makes you a big part of my life. And as we’re on this episode to talk about how to generate success stories for your marketing, because I think there’s good ways to do it, bad ways to do it. And of course, some people can’t even do it at all.
First thing’s first – get results
James: Because it stands, you know, if you’re going to generate success stories, you actually have to be able to help people and help them get a result. So that’s really step one of the process – make sure, whatever it is that you sell, get results for people. And let’s say that you’ve been able to achieve that. I hope that’s certainly been the case with SuperFastBusiness. We get lots of members sharing success stories. And I’ll talk about that technique in just a moment.
And you have the software as a service platform called 10XPRO.io. And recently, because I’ve been working together with you to make sure we get the word out about this program, you sent me through this fantastic list of success stories that you’ve been able to generate. And I saw here there was like, a dozen or more, almost two dozen videos that your clients had made for you, raving about the program. And even when I log into my own platform, my membership, I see a lot of people talking about the success they’ve had. In fact, they talk about how they were stuck beforehand, and they couldn’t quite make it all work. And then they got the solution; they were able to now do what they couldn’t do before. And it got, you know, X, Y, Z result. And then this is how they feel. And they’re so excited about it, they go and share.
So there’s a few big nuggets in what I just said there.
Forego the fraudulent screenshot
James: And let’s break it down. So firstly, what are you doing to generate these videos? How do you end up with a video of your client raving about 10XPRO that you can then use in your marketing with permission? And that last part, it’s important, because I saw a friend of ours, Justin Brooke, post recently that people have been screenshotting his comments on Facebook and using that as if it were a testimonial, which is definitely not cool, right?
So first thing is you have to get permission. You can’t just screenshot something, if you’re going to identify them. I mean, there are times when I’ll screenshot a success comment, and I might post it somewhere, but I don’t identify who posted. It’s just that I’m really delighted to get it, and I haven’t gone through a formal process of permission. And I think a lot of my clients, and this is a particular quirk of being sort of a secret weapon, is some of my clients don’t want to mention that I’m helping them, because they want a competitive advantage. This was particularly the case when we had the SEO company, because our clients were agencies, and they were selling to end users for about twice as much as what they paid us. And they didn’t want people to know that we were the supply source. So that still happens a little bit with my coaching.
But let’s get back to the question. How do you generate these videos of your clients talking favorably about your product that you have permission to use in your marketing?
“Once you get the sale, your job is actually just starting.”
John: Yeah. I mean, it’s a great question and there are different steps involved. Now of course, like you said, number one, you need to have something awesome that people love, and you need to take care of your customers. And you need to make sure they get results, meaning that once you get the sale, your job is actually just starting. It’s not the end, it’s just starting. You’re going to have to go above and beyond to overdeliver. That’s what I always try to do. You need to make sure you follow up with your clients, you need to make sure that they get results, you need to make sure that you are here for them. You might lose some leverage, but you know, it’s all about taking care of your clients.
Why not just ask?
So let’s say this is done. Of course, okay, you are doing all that. Now you’re getting the results. The thing is that the number one reason people don’t get testimonials is that they simply don’t ask.
John: This is one of the biggest things, is that people are afraid. Like, you know, you see a lot of people, yeah, working hard, doing a great service, doing great product, but then they don’t have the systems in place to actively ask for a testimonial. Because they feel bad about it. They feel like Hey, no, I cannot. Like, I don’t want to ask. And, What if they say no? I’m going to sound like I’m needy. It’s not that.
I think it’s important to have a process in place. And as you know me now, you know I’m all about processes. I’m all about systems. That’s why we built 10XPRO.io, to have this whole platform that allows you to do everything you want. And I’m very much into processes and systemising as much as possible my processes, and that includes my customer follow-up, that includes my support, all of that. So number one is having a system in place for you to actively ask – in a nice way, of course; you know, in a win-win way, that’s also key, a win-win way – for a testimonial.
Forget “testimonial”, talk about the experience
I think the word testimonial is not the right one, because testimonial is like, “Hey, can you give me a testimonial?” It basically kind of means, “Can you say something nice about me so I can record and use it?” Rather, I would like to find out their experience. How was it, you know? Because it’s a great opportunity for you to know if someone doesn’t want to do that, or why not? Because you spent maybe a month or weeks working with that client making sure they get a result. In theory, there shouldn’t be any problem. And if there is a problem, you must know about it. Like, why? Is it because I didn’t deliver on the promise I made? Are they not happy? Why are they not happy? Is there something lacking? And for me, it’s very important for me to know that, because if someone is at that stage, maybe it’s because they think that maybe 10XPRO is missing this, or maybe they don’t like how that works, or maybe something happened with support I wasn’t aware of. This is an opportunity for me to have that personal touch point where we can basically find out, Hey, is everything cool? Are you happy? I really want to make sure you’re happy. And that’s how you first want to approach the asking for a testimonial. Like, Hey, I just want to check in. Is everything cool? How was your experience? And you kind of want to have like, a yes or like, Yeah, I love that, or like, Yeah, it’s great. Awesome. Would you mind…? Then you can go into the testimonial if you have that sorted out, you know?
James: So I know some people have a system where they use a tool like the Net Promoter Score. And for people who give them the top score, then the next sequence is asking them if they’d be able to share their experience.
James: You know, to publish that for others. I’ve seen people be very successful with incentives, where they give a gift or a coupon. I’m wary of those. I feel like they are paid-for testimonials. And I think they lack a little bit of integrity compared to a heartfelt gushing of praise that was, you know, well-earned. So it’s nice to dislodge a positive story, but it’s a different thing to go and buy a positive story. Whenever you’re making an incentive, or some people, they do sell things cheaper because it’s, you know, there’s an implication they can have it cheaper, as long as they provide a testimonial. I think it’s important if you do that, to make sure they just have to share their feedback, positive or negative. So they don’t, it’s not implied that that has to be a positive testimonial. Because as you said, it’s a tremendous opportunity to grow and to get good feedback. And a lot of users will not venture to you if they’re not happy. They’ll just quietly drop away or just pop off the vine and not say anything. I’m probably like that as a consumer. I’m generally not too vocal when I’m getting a negative experience, but I will avoid in the future. I’ll leave it alone, and I certainly wouldn’t endorse them. I don’t endorse things I’m not happy about. And I can’t be bribed, either. So that’s the other thing.
Onboarding, scores and follow-up
So tell me what your system looks like.
John: Yeah. So actually, we do a mix of a lot of things, right? So number one is the client onboarding sequence. Like I said, the first month is all about them. What do I do? I have bonus strategy sessions that people can book directly with me, one-on-one. We can talk about whatever they want. I make myself available 30 minutes, an hour, whatever, and we can analyze their business. That’s an extra thing that I do. So as soon as you become a member, for me, it’s all about, okay, how can we make sure that you’re successful?
Of course, we have different bonuses that we provide in terms of training programs to make sure that they learn different things. The support team as well is there to provide an awesome experience and to be there. So we do all that. I do have the, what you said, the Net Promoter Score process, which is, for people who are not aware of it, it’s basically asking your client, sending an email or asking them, “Hey, on a scale from one to 10, how would you rate your experience with our system?” And If they answer anything below eight, then it’s actually a concern. It’s not, oh, great, I got a seven. Or, great, I got a six. The idea is for you to get a 10, maybe a nine. Eight is okay. Seven and below is not great. There’s something that’s happening, right?
John: So of course, we have that. If you have a seven or below, there needs to be a process in place to follow up. That can be me sending an email, that can be the support team contacting them. That can be okay, what’s happening? How can we get to 10? Right? Thankfully, with 10XPRO, we have great results. But you know, like every single business, there’s some people who are in different stages. So make sure that you follow up with that; make sure that people are taken care of, make sure that they are happy. It’s all about what you said at the beginning. Make sure that they’re getting results, make sure that they are happy with their purchase, and then all of that.
If you have eight, nine or 10, then you can have, as part of the process anyway of the NPS, there’s always a question about, okay, well, what’s the score? Great. Hey, by the way, what would you say your experience was? And they can describe a little bit. And then, is it okay to share it or to use it as a testimonial? Yes or no? It’s all built in, and they can say yes or no right there. Right? So that already gives you one way of following up and making sure that, you know, they are taken care of.
Leveraging the power of video
Something else that I do as well, as part of the process, let’s say month two. Because I do a lot of things that, you know, I learned from you, and a lot of things that I try to go above and beyond, like I said. So I’m going to send a welcome video. For example, every time someone joins 10XPRO.io, they get a welcome video from me, individualized, okay? And I do a ton of different things like that throughout the journey. In month two, I’m going to have maybe another one. I’m going to say “Hey, just want to make sure, how are things going?” etc.
When I get a reply, it’s a way for me to engage with that person. Right? What I want as part of this whole process is I want people to say “Yeah, love it,” or “Yeah, it’s awesome.” When I get anyone who says that, then of course, I just, you know, follow up, make sure we are on point with the discussions, but at the same time, I’m going to say, “Hey, would you mind sharing your experience with others?” And it’s either going to be something written if they want to do it fast, or it’s going to be, “Hey, you can do a quick video, a two-minute video.”
And I have an article that we created, almost like a template, because, you know, doing a video takes time, it takes effort, and some people are not comfortable on camera or doing a camera. So I really tried to simplify the whole process, like, hey, just use your smartphone; don’t worry about the quality; it’s just cool. Just take your iPhone and say, you know, the four things that you mentioned at the very beginning of this, because that’s why I loved it. You know, introduce yourself, tell them how your experience was before using the product. What were you struggling with? How are things now, obviously after using the product? And what would you say to someone sitting on the fence? These are the four things that if they say, if they create a quick testimonial with their iPhone or a smartphone, talking about that, they don’t need to be the best speaker in the world. They just need to talk about those four things. And that makes a great testimonial, video testimonial, you can then use on your website or something like that.
Make it easy. Keep it simple. Reward them.
So I obviously, I’m going to ask them about if they could do a video, I’m going to show them the template if they need to. So for example, I use maybe some video testimonials I’ve received from you, James or from someone else or whatever, you know, and say, Hey, this is an example. Keep it simple. Don’t worry about it, right? Sometimes what I do as well, because I do realize, and I like to reward people, I like to thank them for their efforts.
John: I say, hey, if they do that, I understand that it took time and effort to do. I understand that some people are not comfortable doing this on camera, and there’s their long-term effects, because now their face is going to be online for a while. So I recognize that, and I usually offer something in exchange as a thank you, because I can say thank you, but I really want to thank them. So it’s either going to be a bonus strategy session with me, or it could be maybe a little discount on their renewal on one time, or whatever they want. I want to make sure they are happy and they’re like, Okay, cool. You know, it’s kind of like a reciprocity, right?
John: You gave me something valuable. I want to make sure you’re taken care of. I know we over-delivered before, but now you just took that time. So I want to reward them for that. And then, you know, they basically send the video. And in terms of sending the video, my process is that, “Hey, just upload it to YouTube or wherever you want. Send me the link.” And usually, people do that on their YouTube account. And then from a YouTube account, we can download that, and that’s it. You’ll have your video testimonial, right? But nothing will happen if you haven’t done the big work up front, you know? You do this amazing job – I learned a ton of things from you about that – making sure that you know, once they buy, then our job starts already.
James: Yeah. And I think you’re working mostly with people who have already expressed that they have positive feedback. You know, when you’re offering them a thank you, you have a high empathy for what’s involved. You’re considering that they put themselves out there; they’ve put their name up there on the internet, their image.
There are a couple of other things I want to talk about, just to cover off on this. Other things you can do.
Would you like to podcast about that?
So you’ve got a system, you’re bringing people in, you’re getting them a great result. They tell you you’ve given them a great result, you ask them if they could share that, you give them a formula that is easy for them to follow. And then they get a thank you, which is all a nice system. So some of the other things around that, you can use podcasts or video shows to broadcast great case studies. So what happens in my community is we have a success forum, and what happens there is people post successes.
Now this is less structured and less engineered then having a specific prompt. However, I’m constantly amazed that I log in, there’s a brand new success story. And often it just blows me away. It’s like, hey, I’ve launched my new membership. I got all these new members. And I couldn’t have done it without James, I couldn’t have done it without 10XPRO, without John Lint, and they say this.
So what I will do is what I call an add-on, and I’ll say, “Would you like to podcast about that?” And I might say, “I’d love to share your story with our audience,” and I’ll bring them on to the show. And it’s really beneficial to them, because we’re getting barraged every day – people want to be on the show. We put hundreds of thousands of downloads out there every year, they will get exposure, so it’s good for them. It’s good for whoever got them the result, and in this case, it’s often me in my own community, and it’s also people like you, the people who are providing the platforms and tools that make it possible to do what used to be impossible. And it’s good for those people. It’s good for me to bring on a successful student, because someone listening to the podcast can say, “Oh, I can relate to that person, I’ve got a similar problem. And maybe I can get the same solution.” So putting it out there.
The text feedback that happens
The other thing that’s worked well is, because I’m doing so many responses to people, I get a lot of text feedback via email, via direct messages, via public Instagrams. I had an Instagram the other day, I got tagged and someone was giving me huge credit for helping them get up and running with their mastermind model years ago. And I said, “Well done. It’s great to see.” And she said, “Oh, well, if you want me to send you a testimonial, whatever, you let me know.” Like, they volunteered. I said, “Look, I’d be happy with just permission to publish what you posted here.” She goes, “Go for it.” So permission gained, screenshot possible. Pull it on the social media, put it in your story, put it on your Facebook page.
I logged in yesterday, and I got this note. And it was, “I’ve just had a realization. You know, this is the time of year people do goals, right? You have helped me create a lifestyle and business that a lot of people would kill for. I’m really happy with my life right now. And this year is shaping up to be even better. Your guidance has put me on the right track to get here. Thank you very much for everything. You’re a great bloke.”
James: And, you know, that’s like, yes, yes. We’re not just talking about work less make more. We’re not just talking about creating a lifestyle and having a good business. This person for the last four years has struggled through January, but this year, sailed through. Just sailed through it, and had that realization – life is actually different. So I would then, I would be in a good position to go back and say, you know, “This is a great story. Let’s share it with other members, with our communities, on our podcast. Let’s get it out there and let people know this isn’t BS. This is a real thing. You can actually achieve this.” Right tools. This is also another 10XPRO convert, by the way.
John: Okay, cool.
James: So, they’re out there. And the reason this episode was inspired is because you sent me a couple of dozen success stories. And firstly, well done for having an awesome tool. Secondly, how do you do it? Like what’s your system? You’ve explained your system. We’ve covered it. I think one of the most important things you said is you show people an example of what a good one looks like, because it’s easy then to make something similar on that.
“The reason why kids don’t get A papers at school is they’ve never seen an A paper.”
And I remember Dan Dobos, a previous guest of ours, told me the reason why kids don’t get A papers at school is they’ve never seen an A paper. So pick a good case study. Pick a good example and send that as the benchmark and say, “This is what we’re shooting for.” But I always say, “Listen, I only want you to say what you feel, like what’s the truth.”
There’s nothing better than organic
James: And for me, these organic ones that just spring up are the best, because they haven’t been forced in any way. They’re just organic, and I’m shooting for that as the minimum. And I get tons of messages, like, pretty much every day. Like, you know, “You still have the single best investment I’ve ever made online.” That was one I got last week. And the week before is, “I’ve got like 15x return on my investment in the first month. You know, if you keep this up…” So on and so forth, it keeps going. So that’s what I consider the measure of where the product needs to be. And you can then take those and put it in other places.
And something really interesting is, for my SilverCircle product, I get videos from clients. Often they submit them, because they’re very savvy, because they’re operating at a high level; they actually make them and send them to me. But we don’t even publish the video, and this might sound really weird. Like, James, why wouldn’t you publish the video? So what we do is, we look for the sentence or the part of the video that is the 80/20, the real point, the one sentence that describes what we’ve been able to do. Because SilverCircle’s kind of a special product. And I’d picked the most choice part of the video and taken a specific quote from it word for word, and then put it on the page with a picture and a name. Because I know my SilverCircle client is so time-pressed and so busy and so switched on, they can just glance and they can digest 20 or 30 snippets instantly without having to watch videos. So that’s just using our medium, text medium.
“If you start with a video testimonial, you can really leverage it in multiple ways.”
John: Yeah. I think that’s the beautiful thing with videos. If you start with a video, you can really leverage it in multiple ways. You can have the audio, maybe you can add it to your podcast, you can make an image testimonial, you can just have tags, whatever you want. So it’s great to always start with a video. And sometimes, you know, you’re not going to get the video. I like to have the video because then there’s no dispute about, Hey, you made it up. I didn’t make it up because it’s on camera, you know.
James: It makes a lot of sense, you know? And I remember this classic guy who was speaking on platforms when I was speaking, about 2009. So this was a long time ago now, right? And he would change his product often, but he would cut and paste these testimonials across product to product. And then we found out they weren’t even real in the first place. Like, he was so lazy, he didn’t even make up new ones each time.
John: That’s crazy.
James: So, please, if you’re going to use testimonials/case studies, etc., make sure they’re real. And like, who can argue when I have a podcast guest and they’re telling the story? Like, that’s the ultimate. If you’ve got a video, then I’m sure you’ve got your back covered. And as Justin Brooke recommended, don’t go and cut and paste people’s comments on your Facebook page and pretend that they’re endorsing you. That doesn’t cut it.
So I think we’ve really covered the nuts and bolts of it, and I thank you as always for coming and sharing your message, John, and your system is definitely working. And I look forward to our next conversation, whatever that’s about.
John: Thank you, James.
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