By Karyn Greenstreet
Posted in:Marketing Your Mastermind Group
Asking for testimonials is a core task in your marketing strategy, whether you are leading mastermind groups, teaching workshops or offering private consulting/coaching. While I’ll focus in this blog post on getting testimonials from your mastermind group members, you can use this approach for any customer testimonial.
Testimonials share a story about a customer and the results they got from working with you — results that most of your prospective customers want, too.
Testimonials are also an opportunity to handle objections in advance. Write down all the possible reasons why a prospective member might hesitate to join your group, and make sure you have testimonials that cover those objections.
For instance, if someone is interested in joining your mastermind group but is concerned about the fee, share a testimonial about a member and how they made that buying decision. Here’s a piece of Brandon Yeager’s testimonial for my mastermind group:
I wanted to make sure I was making the right decisions and that the revenue numbers worked. As I looked at what the investment was for Synergy, and I really looked at the potential number of groups I could run, I said to myself, “Okay, it’s simple, all I needed is to get this many people into a group and it pays itself back.” It was almost a no-brainer decision to join Synergy and start my mastermind groups. –Brandon Yeager
The first time to ask for a testimonial is while your member is working with you. Point out the changes and results they’re seeing. If they seem particularly excited about these wins, ask them if they’d be willing to create a testimonial to tell their story. You don’t have to wait until a member finishes working with you to get a testimonial; if they’re happy, let them share their story right away!
The second time to ask for testimonials is after a member has finished working with you. Explain that your prospective members would like to hear from someone who has produced the results that your customer has produced, especially now that they’ve graduated from your group and have a better sense of the entire journey they’re made.
Tell them you’re using the “transformational story” approach. Explain that you want them to share a brief “before-and-after” story about what their life was like before they started working with you and how working with you allowed them to create more success in their life and reach their goals.
Go back to what you promised them when they joined your program. What did you tell them would happen if they joined your group? Those are the questions to ask when asking for testimonials: Did they get what they were promised? And what other unexpected benefits did they get?
See J.R. Russell’s video testimonial below where he talks about his journey of building his business model from idea to reality.
Don’t give them a specific testimonial structure to conform to. Otherwise, all your testimonials will sound the same. What I typically do is remind people that the best testimonial tells a story: Where they started from, what made them join the group, and where they ended up as being part of the group. Then I let them speak naturally in whatever structure works for them.
Remember, the purpose of testimonials is for the member to share their story, and to highlight the benefits of being a member. Each member will share different things they valued from your group. When looking at all your testimonials together, choose the ones that showcase different, important benefits. For instance, in J.R. Russell’s video testimonial (below), he highlights the most important benefits he received, in response to Questions 10 and 11 from my Testimonial Interview Questions list:
I think the core benefits of Synergy are kind of three-pronged for me. The training in Mastermind Group Facilitation and Management and Business are very important, and the community of other like-minded mastermind group facilitators is an amazingly collaborative sharing one that really helps me when I have a problem. But the number one benefit that I get out of Synergy is participation in the mastermind groups in the hot seat, and I walk away from every single hot seat, not just my own, but the other members of the mastermind group, I actually walk away with three to five individual answers or ideas to problems or questions that I had in my business, and that helps me move forward with every single mastermind session. –J.R. Russell
I asked J.R, the 12 Testimonial Interview Questions (see list below) and we recorded an interview that lasted about 15 minutes. Note that I sent the interview questions in advance so he had time to formulate his responses. Afterward, we edited the video to highlight J.R.’s most important thoughts and created this 5-minute video testimonial:
When gathering testimonials for my Synergy mastermind group, we did these in the form of an interview with me asking the questions and the member answering them. (We used Zoom to conduct the actual interview and record it.) This is a relaxed way of getting testimonials when your customer isn’t quite sure what they want to say or are nervous about recording a video testimonial on their own. You can ask these same questions via email if you want a written testimonial rather than a video testimonial.
Here’s what I send my Synergy mastermind group members in advance, as we’re preparing to record video testimonial interviews:
We’re using the “transformation” storyline format for testimonials: where were you and where are you today? We won’t use all of these questions, but you can see how the storyline unfolds through this list.
You can create a mix of testimonial lengths. Long-form testimonials help the prospective member to get a deeper sense of the benefits of joining your group. Short testimonials are quick to read or watch and highlight one specific point you’re trying to make.
Start with a long-form testimonial, either several paragraphs or up to 5 minutes of video. This allows you and your member to get through all of the 12 questions above, and elaborate on ideas. You can always edit these down to the most meaningful moments later.
Short testimonials, perhaps two or three sentences, or one minute of video, help to highlight one key piece of the conversation. The easiest way to create short testimonials is to start with a long-form testimonial and take clippings from it. If a member is going to record a video testimonial on their own, it might be better to remind them to keep it short: it will be easier for them to remember the key ideas they want to share if they only need to record a one-minute video.
I’m sure this will help you when you’re asking your customers for testimonials! It’s great to have some structure around the process to make gathering testimonials easier for both you and your customer.