When you first think about running an event, the last thing you think about is probably your copy.
You may not have realised that you need to write… a lot.
Sales pages, ticketing pages, flyers, promotional posts for social media, event ads, invitations and FB event pages are just the beginning.
But did you know that there is one incredible way to not only get the copy you need to help sell your event without you having to even come up with one single word?
That, my love, is the power of a testimonial.
A written testimonial is a statement from an attendee talking about their experience at your event and endorsing it publicly.
They are social proof that helps people decide whether or not they want to come along to your event the next time around and are an important part of your promo in the lead up.
WHY TESTIMONIALS ARE SO GREAT
Because testimonials are written independently and are not done for payment, they encourage trust with the reader. It’s exactly like the reviews you read for hotels and restaurants – they are written by people who want to share what their experience was like.
For people who are interested in going to your events but are a bit wary because they have had limited interaction with you or are new to you, testimonials provide them with an objective point of view that they can then use to help make their decision.
Testimonials are fabulous for showing people:
+ The outcomes they can expect from the event
+ Reasons why they should attend
+ How you can solve their particular problem
+ How it's made a difference to their lives
+ And basically why they should listen to you and pay money to be in a room with you.
HOW DO YOU GET TESTIMONIALS?
You can gather testimonials either through a written form or video testimonials on the day, or an email survey or invitation for feedback post event.
Getting written testimonials at the event when attendees are in the moment and feeling the positive energy is much easier than afterwards when they are back in real life and they are busy catching up on work/grocery runs/housework etc. so you will have a higher response rate if you request people to do them on the day.
On the flipside of that though, because there is limited time to complete the feedback and they haven't had time to process the day or implement what they've learnt, the answers may not be as in-depth.
If you send out a feedback link post event in the thank you email, the quality of answers will be higher but you won't get as many completed forms.
If you are after quality, in-depth testimonials, I would let people know on the day that you would love their feedback and will be sending them the link.
If you can and you have the opportunity, also grab some video testimonials with your videographer or even your iphone and a lapel mic for your website. Be prepared with a few key questions you can ask the person being interviewed if they get stuck.
And don’t forget to always ensure you clearly communicate the fact that you will be using these publicly for marketing purposes.
You can ask for people’s permission on the form with a simple check box that they tick if they agree for the feedback to be used publicly.
THE QUESTIONS YOU ASK ARE IMPORTANT!
When asking for testimonials, make sure you think about the questions you are asking and ensure they have a purpose rather than be quite general.
Asking questions like 'How did you enjoy the day?' will give a really generic answer that won't be as enticing for people considering coming along to your next event.
For example, if you are doing a workshop on yoga, some questions you can ask are:
How did Sally make you feel on the day?
Were you positively challenged by the new yoga poses that you tried on the day?
Will this workshop enable you to continue your yoga practice at home with confidence?
What do you have from the workshop now that you didn't have before?
Would you recommend this workshop to a friend and if so, what are the main reasons?
Try and word the questions so they are prompting a genuine AND informative response so that the people reading have a holistic view of your event. That's the key information that people want after all.
And finally, if you do use written testimonials, ask the writer if you are able to use a photo and even their web link with it. Having a picture increases trust for those reading them and shows them that it is a real person saying those words.
HOW TO USE TESTIMONIALS
So, how do you use them once you have collected them all? Easy!
+ Put them throughout your event sales page to help reiterate a point or highlight what they will get from the day
+ Create social media posts with them
+ Put them on your website in your Praise/Portfolio/About pages
+ Put short excerpts on your promotional materials
+ Use them in your documents such as your speaker briefs or sponsorship proposals
There’s no limit to how you can use them. Now gather those testimonials, enjoy the lovely feedback that comes your way and be proud to share them!
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