How do you avoid losers as clients?
How do you completely sidestep the clients that don't pay, cause trouble and push you around?
Surprisingly, the answer lies in testimonials.
There are elements of testimonials that cause clients of a certain kind to get attracted to you. So how do you harness that latent power of testimonials? And how do photos, details and tone come into play?
Find out in this podcast.
In this episode Sean talks about
The whole concept of testimonials and why we are more like elephants. He covers:
Part 1: How photos act as a mirror on your website
Part 2: Why you need to explore the detail in your testimonials
Part 3: What is tone and how does it affect your testimonials
Right click here and ‘save as' to download this episode to your computer.
Useful Resources and Links
5000bc—How to get reliable answers to your complex marketing problems?
Learn more about Testimonials—The Secret Life of Testimonials
Psychotactics Newsletter—Weekly slightly crazy, mostly zany marketing newsletter
This is the Three Month Vacation. I'm Sean D'Souza.
African elephants are one of nature's most amazing communicators. They rumble, they roar and snort, scream, and they trumpet. Yet most of their communication is never heard by humans because it is on the level of infrasound. Infrasound is an extremely low frequency rumble that falls way below the hearing range of human, and yet humans can feel t sound.
Michael Garstang, a meteorologist at the University of Virginia explains how elephants communicate. Many of the rumbling calls occur at the level of infrasound. This is a very low frequency rumble that's below the audible hearing range of humans, he said. Humans can hear the upper end as a rumble, although you're not hearing it in your ears. It's more like feeling the vibrations in your diaphragm. This feeling, rather than hearing, is what we encounter when we run into the concept of testimonials.
Today we're going to look at this whole concept of testimonials and why we are more like elephants. We're communicating through this infrasound, this low level. We can see the testimonials but we're not exactly paying attention to what's written there or what's presented to us. Instead, we're kind of communicating in a completely different way. What are the way that testimonials communicate that we're not aware of but we can feel? The three elements that we're going to look at today are the photo, the detail, and the tone.
Let's start off with the first one, which is the photo.
Part 1: The Photo
If you were to go to a dating site today and start to look at the photos, you would find that something very interesting starts to fall into place. That is you are choosing some people's photos over other people's photos. Why do we do this? It's because we recognize something within the photos, and that something draws us to that person. Now this doesn't just occur on dating sites. If you go to a marketing site, and let's say you look at the site where you have all these promises like become a millionaire overnight or get these results very quickly, look at those photos. As you scroll down to photo after photo after photo after photo, you find that you don't really like many of those people, but you haven't read any of the testimonials. You've scanned them but you haven't really read the detail in the testimonials, and yet the photo is sending this low frequency message.
This photo is telling you these people aren't like you. They are different somehow. They're more greedy or they want quicker results. They don't want to work for it. Even if you had not a single word of text on that page, you would still feel uncomfortable. Then you could sense someone who wanted that kind of result, who wanted to be that millionaire overnight, who wanted all those quick results. They would find those photos very appealing.
This is what happens with photos. Photos send out this message, which means when you're putting your photos of your clients on your website, you can't just take the clients that give the best testimonials. You've got to put clients that are very, very reliable, clients that are ethical, clients that you like, clients that you want to work with in future. Those are the photos that you want to put on your website.
Why? Because it's like a mirror. There is a message that's coming out from those photos. That's why on Psychotactics we have photos of people that we like, clients that we've worked with, clients that we've gone out with, clients that we would love to have all the time. The results have been very clear. People often get on our courses and they say, “How do you get such great people in your courses?” They come to our workshops and they go, “Wow, this is amazing. What kind of filtration system do you have in place?” When you look for that answer, at the very core it is the photographs.
Whenever we put up a photograph of a client that we didn't like just because we needed a testimonial, we start to get other clients that are similar to that client. If you want to try an experiment and put all the bad clients, all the clients that don't pay you on time, they give you a lot of trouble, put their photos and you'll start to see that low frequency rumble going through, that communication going through, and you get more clients just like that. You put in some good clients, clients that you like to work with, and you start to see the clients that you want to work with show up time after time. It's a simple filtration system, and yet it works amazingly well.
But photos alone will not do the job. Of course they'll attract clients that you want but they still need some more information. What is that more information all about? The more information is the detail that is in your testimonials. This takes us to the second part where we start to explore the detail in your testimonials.
Part 2: Explore the Detail in Your Testimonials
What is this detail all about? Let's take a look at one of the testimonials at 5000bc.com, which is our membership site. The testimonial reads like this: 5000bc is one of the few sites I've been a member of that has so little drama. There are no huge fights, no negativity. Everyone tries their best to be helpful.
Then it goes on to talk about how he's been a member of several membership sites over the years and how they've charged over $100 a month. They were big and crowded and scary. Some had just a handful of members and some were strictly moderated, and some were just overtaken by promotion from the members, and how 5000bc is the only membership site that he's stuck with year after year after year for over nine years.
As you're reading that testimonial, what you're getting is a feeling of safety, of being in the safe zone. That when you're in 5000bc you don't feel overcrowded and pushed around and all these promotions coming at you. You suddenly feel that you can ask a lot of questions, that you can get the answers, that the people out there are people like you, because that's what we're looking for. That's what we're looking for in the photos. That's also what we're looking for in the detail.
The testimonials start to reflect what you want to be, where you want to go, how you want to be. A lot of testimonials don't do this. They don't explain that experience or they don't give out that experience. What they do is talk about how great they are. It doesn't come from a user experience. It comes more from how great that website wants to be rather than how safe you need to be. When a customer comes to your site and starts to read the testimonial, they need to read the experience from the user's point of view. When they do that, then they feel that mirror effect. They can feel that low rumble coming through and they know this is the place where they would thrive and succeed and move forward.
Whether you're selling a product or a service, what you're looking for first are photographs, because photographs form that first mirror. But then the second thing you're looking for is the user experience. It's not so much about how great it is but how the user has gone through that feeling of feeling insecure and now you're feeling great. Or they needed some questions answered, and how the questions were answered. Or how they weren't expecting to find such a fun group, and then how they ran into an honest, fun-loving group.
All of this becomes the experience. It becomes the mirror. Immediately you feel I need to be part of this place. I need to be part of this experience. As you ask the six questions that I mentioned in The Brain Audit, you start to get this response from your clients. You start to get the response that you're looking for, which enabled them to give their experience. That is what others get attracted to. Suddenly 5000bc is filled with all these happy, friendly people and you have a great experience.
This is true for your own product and your service as well. When you have your workshops, when you have your training, when you have your courses online, when you sell your products you will find that most of the people, if not all the people, are remarkably similar. Their ethics are similar. Their behavior is similar. You don't have trouble. Or you can have a lot of trouble if you start to put in photographs and experiences that are not congruent with what you really want to achieve.
This takes us to the third part, which is the tone.
Part 3: The Tone
We looked at photos and we looked at detail, but what is tone? This part we cannot control. I don't know what it is, but when people speak like right now I am speaking to you, what kind of feeling do you get from me? That's the kind of question that cannot be answered. You feel this at a diaphragm level like the elephants feel … You feel their energy at a diaphragm level. You can't hear it. You don't know what it is but you feel there's something happening. The tone comes from clients as they answer your testimonials. The testimonial tone is not something that you can control, but you need to know that when you appeal to those first two elements where you put the right photo and you ask the right questions and you get the right clients in, you will definitely start to get a tone that is consistent.
The tone you find with most Psychotactics lines is one of warmth and helpfulness, and it's right through the website. You can look at all the products and all the services, and the membership site, and the workshops, and the courses, and it's there. It's warm, it's friendly, it's helpful. Where did that tone come from? The tone came from us, and the tone can come from you. We tell people to be kind, be helpful, or be gone.
When that message goes out on a consistent basis like it is right now on this podcast, then the people that are interested in being kind and being helpful, they join our courses, they come to our workshops, they deal with us. The rest of them just go away. They go to other sites where probably they're promised riches or quick results or whatever. It becomes a filtration process. You wouldn't think of testimonials doing such a fabulous job, and that's what they do. When you get those testimonials, you get that warm helpful tone in it as well. You can't control it, except to send out that message on a regular basis.
Let's just summarize what we've learned today.
We looked at three elements. The first was the photo. We found that the moment we put in photos that don't appeal to us, rather photos of clients that have given us trouble, we're going to get clients that are going to give us a lot of trouble in the future. You want to pick photos of clients that you like, clients that have worked with you and are enjoyable to work with and pay on time. You will start to see that mirror effect almost immediately.
The second thing is one of detail. When you ask those six questions that you get in The Brain Audit, you will get that detail. In that detail people will talk about warmth, the friendliness or fun. Someone else reading that information also gets that feeling, that user experience. Finally, it's a factor of tone, but how do you get that tone? You get that tone by first sending out a message that we're kind, friendly, helpful, whatever message you want to send out. Then you get that same feedback. It comes through in the testimonial. It's not something that you can control except to send it out in the first place.
Now, every product or service is not going to have testimonials right at the start. We've been in business since 2002 at Psychotactics, and yet when we bring out a new product or a new service we don't have testimonials for that product or service. You're always the new kid on the block no matter how long you've been around. The trick to getting those testimonials is to ask people that you like. Now you can't always control this when you're just starting out, but find people that you like. Don't go for people that you don't like. Even if you're looking through forums or Facebook or Twitter, any place, look for people that you already like because that will have the mirror effect, that will have that elephant-like low intensity rumble that other people get.
Yes, it's always going to be trouble finding testimonials, but this is how you go about it. Then once you've got it up and running, you're going to get testimonials from people who bought your product, and then you don't have any trouble anymore. When we first started out, it was very hard for us to get testimonials for The Brain Audit, which was our first book. Then we got over 100 testimonials, and then 200 and 300 and 400. At one point we had 800. Today there are over a thousand testimonials. The same applies for all the other books and the products. It's just a system that you have to keep following, and you get more and more testimonials.
If you would like to learn more about testimonials you can go to www.psychotactics.com/testimonial. There is a book there, The Secret Life of Testimonials. It shows you a world of testimonials that you didn't know existed. It's not a very expensive book but it changes the way you respond to things and the way your clients respond to you. At the end of the day, all of us want is to do our work well, to get great clients that respect us and trust us and work with us, and to be able to take the break and go on our three month vacation.
Really, getting the clients is the critical part. If you go to psychotactics.com/testimonial you can read up and you can decide for yourself whether you want the book. I think you'll like it a lot, so go there and check it out for yourself. On another front, I'm still working on the stock cartoons. They're turning out to be a lot of fun. I listen to a lot of music and podcasts, and we're turning out these very elaborate cartoons that you're going to love to put in your blog posts, your website, your books, pretty much everywhere.
It's going to be a lot of fun, so get on the Psychotactics list if you haven't got there, because when I announce this I promise you there will be a bit of a stampede. These cartoons are absolutely stunning. I might even give quite a few away. Get on the Psychotactics list. Yes, also, psychotactics.com/magic. That's where you get information about the podcast so that you can keep on top of them, but you also get some bonuses from time to time. Either psychotactics.com where you have to subscribe. If you're already already subscribed, go to www.psychotactics.com/magic. That's pretty much it. I'm on Twitter @Sean D'Souza. Send me your questions there, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, also on Facebook at Sean D'Souza. Bye for now.
Still listening? One of the best testimonials that you can ever get is the unasked-for testimonial. We were at this workshop in Washington D.C. when one of our clients stood up. We didn't ask him to stand up and give a testimonial, but he stood up and he started talking about the cartooning course that he had done with us. Then he went out and he got his books and he showed the cartoons that he had done. He showed it to the entire audience. Then some of the group had also done the cartooning course with him, and one of the terms in the cartooning course is “circly circles,” which of course, circly doesn't exist as a word, but it's part of the cartooning course. You learn it and you say it.
Suddenly there was this kind of little rumble going through the room and people were interested in the cartooning course. You can see this at psychotactics.com/davinci, because we were recording at that point in time so it's on video. You can feel the enthusiasm. You can see what is happening there. You can see the person themselves, the tone. It's just amazing, that detail. There you go, a little snippet from the Psychotactics archives.
You can also listen to or read this episode: How To Build A Cult-Like Following By Using An Adjective In Your Branding
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