If you’re wondering how to ask for a video testimonial, you may find yourself coming up with reasons why it’s a bad idea. I know. It’s vulnerable.
I once applied for a film directing program and had to get three letters of reference. It was intimidating. I ran through all the fears. Because what if they say no or they’re too busy or what if they think you’re an ego-maniac for asking? Or worse, what if they say yes and submit the equivalent of a complaint form! And a bunch more unnecessary (but so relatable) worries.
But I promise it’s worth it. If your customers keep paying you and have told you before that they’re happy with your service, you can trust that: they like you.
Even if you don’t have any of these negative thoughts running through your head, you might just not be sure how to ask your customers for a video testimonial. Totally understandable. You have your customers to thank for keeping you in business and you want to be mindful of how you interact with them. You don’t want to ask too much of them. I’m right here with you.
So, what’s the best way to ask for a video testimonial from your customers? In this post, I’ll share some ideas, including an email template you can cut and paste. But first, let’s talk about what’s at stake.
The value of video testimonials – for you and your customer
You may already have written testimonials. Great start! Taking the next step with video is key because you’re going to have more success with getting your message across with video. According to Forbes Insights, “59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, they prefer to watch the video.”
Benefit #1: Video testimonials are like someone else giving you a personal introduction to your prospect.
Which leads are the easiest to close? Referrals, obviously!
Whatever you do to generate leads, whether it’s inbound or outbound, there’s nothing quite like being introduced to a prospect by someone they already trust.
Personal introductions are a shortcut to winning business, and video testimonials are like personal introductions that scale.
Benefit #2: Video testimonials make you feel great about your business.
Do you like crying tears of joy?
Good, because: get ready, your eye might leak a little. As uncomfortable as it may be to receive praise directly, it’s a pretty darn good time to watch a video of your favorite customers talking about specific things they love about you and the way you do things. It’s the ultimate validation and inspiration for you as an entrepreneur.
And there’s no shame in watching your testimonial videos yourself to help pump you up on a bummer day or before you have a big presentation or sales call. We can all use a real boost!
Benefit #3: Video testimonials give you insight into what your customers really appreciate.
A great video testimonial will also help you tune into what’s working really well about your business. Knowing what your customers appreciate most reminds you where to focus your attention.
Benefit #4: Your customers feel honored being asked to participate in video testimonials.
This may surprise you, but it’s true.
I’ve enjoyed interviewing dozens of people for testimonials and there is a consistent tone to these conversations: gratitude for the work that was done and a feeling of genuine honor to be asked to talk about it. If your customers have truly benefited from your work with them, they’ll be glad to give back.
It’s a little like being asked to be the maid/matron of honor or best man in someone’s wedding–there’s an honor in being trusted to provide support for something important.
Benefit #5: Video testimonials give your customers brand exposure.
Some of your customers may take the opportunity to wear a branded shirt and recognize the value of brand exposure for their own company. They’re savvy! All of our customer testimonials include an onscreen title for your customer, to lend credibility for you and brand exposure for them.
OK, good! now you’re fully convinced! So, now: how to ask for a video testimonial? The next section includes three email templates that you can literally cut and paste, depending on how you record your testimonials.
Make it easy to say yes
Making it as easy as possible for your customers to say yes is key to asking. They also want to know what to expect and that they’re in good hands with the experience.
As much as your customers will want to praise you, appearing on camera is a vulnerable thing to do. Approach your customers with a spirit of confident gratitude will help alleviate any self-consciousness they might feel about the process. And of course, if they say no to you, just choose to believe it’s not personal. There are many legitimate reasons (or personal hangups) that might get in the way of saying yes. That’s fine. You only need a few really great customer testimonials.
How to ask for a video testimonial: Follow FTC and SEC rules
With all this in mind, you may be tempted to offer gifts or something else in exchange for your clients’ participation. That’s natural. For our remotely recorded customer testimonials, we give our clients the option to let their participants keep the remote recording gear as a gesture of thanks for their engagement. You definitely do want to know and be mindful of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules about what you can and cannot offer and who can appear in a customer testimonial. Keeping this in mind is another key component of how to ask for a video testimonial, as well as who to ask.
For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some very particular rules outlined in this document. I’ve reviewed it and it’s not scary but it is super important to give your attention to these rules, especially in certain industries. For example, medically-related video endorsements have especially intricate rules about customer testimonials. Financial advisors must also adhere to recently-loosened SEC rules (and you may also be required to follow the lead of your broker dealer).
Get permission in writing
You also want to be sure you have proper permissions from your customer to use the recording how you want to use it. Make sure you get all that in a contract. We have a simple, clear document that covers all this and we make it easy for all participants to sign it digitally.
- Video testimonials have benefits not just for your business, but also for your customers
- Make it easy for your customer to say yes by telling them what to expect and equipping them with gear
- Make sure you and your production company are familiar with and adhere to rules related to customer testimonial videos
And finally, remember to enjoy this process! It really feels amazing to get those positive praises. Well done, you earned it.