Kathleen Ann Presentation to Coach Connect group

Testimonials are hands down the most powerful tool in your arsenal for creating trust and value in you and your offering. On the flip side, they are also one of the most underutilized in most businesses.

If you don’t already have a strategy to collect and use testimonials in your marketing mix then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.  They’re powerful because you’re not blowing your own trumpet. Someone else is giving you a good report and it’s this third-party validation that overcomes scepticism and carries more weight than anything you could possibly say about yourself.

There are really 3 reasons why you need them and fully understanding these will give you all the motivation you need to become an active collector and user of testimonials in all your marketing messages.

The obvious one is logic and most people don’t think beyond the obvious to capitalize on the full potential.  There’s also an emotional and energetic reason. These work synergistically to create the power that great testimonials deliver.

Let’s look at each separately.

1. Logical reason

Logic is really about providing proof or evidence that you are credible, reliable and will do what you say. Often called social proof. It’s the acknowledgement from other people that they have experienced what you are offering and had the results you promised.  This proof is often in the form of specific and measurable results that support the before and after picture you are painting.

2. Emotional reason

We know that people buy on emotion then back this up with logic. Testimonials stir the powerful emotion of desire.  Desire to be, to do, to have like the person giving the testimonial. That household phrase “I’ll have what she’s having” made famous by the film When Harry Met Sally, says it all. Used well, the reader can easily picture herself having those same results so there’s no need for hard sell when you’re pushing those hot buttons of desire.

3. Energetic reason

The last important reason to have testimonials is more subtle which means it’s deceptively powerful but no less effective than logic and emotion. It’s about the energy created in building your story through others that gently pulls the reader in.  What happens for the reader is they lean in because they want to be included.  There’s a feeling of comfort and belonging that does not need to be addressed specifically in words.  It’s the underlying attraction to want to associate with you and your tribe of like mind

So become a collector of testimonials. Treat them like the gold nuggets they are and fossick and mine for them to deposit in your testimonial bank. You can never have too many of them and you can exploit all the mediums of copy, audio and video to power up your marketing.

Here’s what Lorraine Makasini, Organiser of Coach and Connect had to say after I presented to the group. (pictured)

“If you’re looking for a speaker or content provider then I would highly recommend Kathleen Ann from Power Up Your Marketing. Kathleen presented “How to Charge What You’re Worth & Get It” to our Coach & Connect group and was super impressive in her delivery. Kathleen was very generous with her knowledge and members were delighted to get some practical advice that they could implement immediately. However, what really impressed me as the event organiser was how easy Kathleen made it to promote her. She’s super organised and provided plenty of promotional copy and images way ahead of time and also supported by sharing across her own networks as well.”

Check out some others here 

Business owners networking

Some people love networking, but for others, the mere thought can bring them out in hives and increase their pulse rate!

All the same networking is an essential part of the marketing mix. And as a business owner you know you have to get out there at some point, in some way, and physically meet other business owners in order for your business to succeed.

If business networking is right up there with “root canal work” or “cleaning out the garage” as “Things I’d Love to Avoid Forever,” try implementing the following 11 tips so you can rock your networking and your business marketing efforts!

  1. Take Stock and Figure Out Your Main Block

Whatever the main source of your discomfort, take a few steps ahead of time to compensate for your insecurities. I really will help you bolster your confidence so you can walk into your event with your head held high.

If it’s your appearance, invest in a new outfit or update your hairstyle. If it’s your conversational skills, read up on a handful of current events just before you go. If you fear being a “newbie” among seasoned pros, craft a few questions you can ask about other people’s businesses and let them do the talking.

  1. Step Away From Your Computer

Especially for business owners who work from home, it becomes all too easy to hide behind the computer screen and shy away from venturing out into the real world.

But marketing is most effective when it is about real, actual relationships with real, actual people—not just the versions of ourselves we present online.

  1. Start Small

 If larger groups intimidate you, counteract the intimidation factor by starting small. Meet-ups are excellent choices for reluctant networkers. Once you’ve built up a comfort level with small events, you can try stepping up into larger gatherings.

Also look for civic and interest groups organized around topics that are already of interest to you. If you have a natural affinity for the group’s purpose or mission, you’re more likely to find common ground with other participants.

  1. Set Small, Realistic Goals

As with any business-related activity, it’s smart to set some goals for yourself before an event. But forget goals like “I’m going to get two new clients from this function.” Instead, set some small, realistic networking goals, such as “I will engage in at least two conversations with people I don’t already know.” Doing so will ease your fears, and give you a confidence boost for the next event.

  1. Think “Kindergarten”

Almost everything you need to know about successful networking, you probably already learned in kindergarten. Be considerate, use good manners, show interest in others, and listen more than you speak.

  1. Forget the Elevator Pitch

The well-intentioned elevator pitch sounds odd and contrived to most people. Instead, when you’re asked the inevitable “What do you do?” question, keep to the basics: what you do and who you do it for. That’s it. Use plain English, and avoid embellishing with emotional or “market-ese” words.

  1. Keep It Social and Personal

People don’t typically respond to professionalism in a social atmosphere. Instead, try forgetting the business context once you’re actually in the room. Focus instead on the social interaction itself—more specifically, on the person with whom you’re speaking.

One of the best questions you can ask is “How Can I Help You?” and see if there’s anything you can do to support them. Naturally, if you’re in the right room, that person will ask you the same thing.

  1. Make a Habit of It

Once you’ve broken the ice and successfully navigated one event, keep this in mind: One networking event does not a networker make! It’s a good start, though.

To get results, however, you need to make networking a habit. Decide on a realistic, regular goal—for instance, two or three events a month.

In fact, now that you’ve got the hang of networking do your research and find an established networking group that meets regularly and sign up to become a member. Make sure the group has a structured agenda focused on maximizing your results so you’re not just wasting time.

  1. Build Referral Partnerships

Remember, no-one likes to be sold to so rather than sell to the room ask if you can be connected to an ideal referral partner. This would be someone who is having the same conversations with their clients as you are but does not offer the same services. For instance, a Book Keeper and an Accountant could service the same clients and not compete with each other

  1. Business Cards Are Not Collectibles

Business cards are not for collecting. Instead, put those cards to use. Enter each new contact into your CRM as soon as possible after the event, and add some personal notes about where you met that person, what you discussed and any personal details you learned.

  1. Follow Up!

Finally, don’t forget to follow up! Successful marketing is about building long term relationships. Simply entering information into your contacts isn’t enough.

You don’t have to take every single person you meet out for lunch. You can follow up in smaller ways. Connect with your new contacts on social media, leave a comment on one of their blog posts, or forward something you think would be of interest to them via email.