How to get amazing client testimonials

Having amazing testimonials in your promotional material is one of the best ways to build social proof. People aren’t going to believe you if YOU say you are amazing, or that your show is great, but they will believe it if somebody else says it. Testimonials can be used on your website, social networking, business cards, brochures, post cards, and promotional videos.

So now that you know that you need testimonials, how do you collect them?

The evaluation form:

I’ve had several people ask me how I’m able to get so many great testimonials like these from my clients:

“Leif was a pleasure to deal with. From the initial consultation, he was able to focus immediately on the needs of our event and tailor his performance perfectly to suit the crowd. Leif arrived early for his performance, was professional and most importantly delivered an entertaining performance which appealed to both our younger and older guests. It was a perfect show on a perfect day. Thanks Leif.”
David Knapp, Business Development ManagerCIBC Banking Centre

“Leif, out of all the vendors hired for that evening, you demonstrated the most efficient and effective communication. You arrived in plenty of time to prepare and presented yourself with enthusiasm, professionalism and personality. The families LOVED the show and we would love to have you back next year. Thank you for adding to the wonderful experience of the Fun Fair!”
Wendy Delcourt, Anne McClymont Elementary School

“Leif David did an awesome job performing for our families! The interaction with the crowd got them involved and the kids loved him. Great job!”
Ron Skwarczynski, Summer Family BBQ

The not-so-secret method that I use is that I collect a testimonial from every single show that I do. I also try to collect the testimonial immediately after the show is finished while they’re still on a “high” from the show. This way they are more likely to give you a glowing review.

If you’re just starting out, it may beneficial to intentionally have them fill out your evaluation a few days after the event and ask them more critical questions. This will help you improve your show.

Here is a sample of my current evaluation form.


This evaluation form accomplishes three goals:

  1. Quickly assess and make sure there aren’t any areas where they were displeased with the service
  2. Collects a testimonial for future marketing materials
  3. Collects their email address and grants permission to email them future newsletters

Most of the time the host will be able to fill out the evaluation in just a couple of minutes however not everyone will want to take the time to write a testimonial. Even if they don’t write an evaluation I’ll still know if the show met their expectations and hopefully sign them up for my newsletter. At corporate events and festivals it’s more difficult to get the host to fill out an evaluation immediately after the performance because they are usually busy with other tasks. In those cases I email them a copy of my evaluation form.

Evaluation
I appreciate you taking a minute to complete this evaluation.

Your name:
Event:

Please rate the below areas on a scale of 1-5.
(1 = Poor, 2 = Fair, 3 = Good, 4 = Very Good, 5 = Excellent)

Quality of Performance:
Appropriateness of material for the audience/venue:
Organization:
Communication:
Professionalism:
Ease of booking:
Overall satisfaction:
What was your favourite moment in the show?:
Please add your testimonial:

Do you know of any other companies/groups that could benefit from our services?
May I distribute this information for reference purposes?:

Write your email address below to receive my eNewsletter:
(Receive exclusive bonus offers, contests for cool prizes, tips for organizing an event, and magical news)

Thanks again!

If neither of these methods appeal to you, or if you already have a follow-up thank you that you mail to your clients you might want to include a website link where they can fill out your evaluation. Although I have one on my website I’ve never used it.

Free evaluation template: Download a free generic copy of the evaluation form that I use for my shows. The file is in Microsoft Office Format (.doc).

Video Testimonials:

Collecting video testimonials is a bit more difficult. Most people are naturally shy about being on camera and they will often freeze up. I help combat this by going through the following steps each time.

  1. I only request a video testimonial after I’ve had them fill out a written evaluation form. That way they’ve already internalized what they thought about the show, and I can just ask them to repeat what they wrote down on the evaluation.
  2. I reassure them that I will edit the video down to just a few seconds so that they won’t look silly
  3. Once I hit record I ask them to say their name, spell their name, and say where the event is taking place. This will help you later on when you’re editing the video footage you won’t have to rename the files or keep them organized since all the relevant information will be at the start of the clip
  4. Then I ask them a very open ended question such as “So what did you think of the show?”, and “What were the reactions like to the performance?” People tend to talk in run-on sentences once they’re on camera, so once they are done talking I’ll ask them to say the same thing again in a small “Sound bite”. That sentence or two is usually what I end up using in my videos.
  5. Leave the camera rolling for a little longer than what feels natural and normal. You’ll want a little bit of extra time at the end of the clip for editing purposes. This will give you more flexibility while editing so that you can add in effects and edits.

Here is some raw footage of me collecting a testimonial after a show.

 

When I first started collecting testimonial I used my Canon HV30, but I found that the size intimidated people. Now I use my iPhone to record instead. The video quality is exceptional, but the audio quality isn’t as great. Even so, I prefer the iPhone because people will look and act more relaxed in front of an iPhone compared to a bigger camera. All of the testimonials in the video below were captured on my iPhone.

Get out there and start collecting testimonials!