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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Testimonies (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dimitri Mystery Artist
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I started to collect positive feedback from my shows, I have noticed that because I don´t usually perform to celebrities or well known corporations, the testimony have no credibility, I could just invent most of them and it would look the same.

so what should I do?
is it ok to use testimonies from ¨anonymous people¨ (in the perspective of my potential client)?

thank you!
Mindpro
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That is what is actually preferred. People want to hear testimonials and referrals from those just like themselves. Someone who booked or hired you, someone in the audience of your performance. People don't actually trust celebrity endorsements as they are often just superficial, but if it is from a CEO of a company you performed for, or someone in HR or on the hiring committee, that holds some weight. Next is from just everyday people that witnessed your show. These seem more real and credible to people.
danfreed
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Get video testimonials too. Just bring a little camera with you to gigs. You can do a separate video with testimonials or mix them into your demo video.
Close.Up.Dave
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The other good thing about video testimonials is that if the footage doesn't look good (due to low lighting, etc) you can still use the audio to put over video clips in your promo video.
Donald Dunphy
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A few important points:

1) Never ever make up a testimonial. Only use ones that you've gotten from real customers.

2) Use their first and last name (and name of the company / business, if appropriate), on their testimonial. Some marketers try to use initials, or only a first name, but that weakens the impact of the testimonial (makes it seem artificial). If it's a real testimonial from a real person, then they shouldn't be ashamed to have their name revealed.

Also, you never know, they might actually know one of the people whose testimonial you use. If that happens, then might they talk with that person before booking you, and that takes the impact of their endorsement to a whole different level.

3) As soon as you can, get market-specific about your testimonials. That way, you won't be trying to sell a school show with a birthday testimonial. I use several school testimonials to sell more school shows. I use several birthday testimonials to sell more birthday shows. Etc.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Al Angello
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I have never used a testimonials, but I like the idea of a video testimonial. I have a collection of phone numbers of satisfied customers who have told me that they would put a good word in for me if asked.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magicofCurtis
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Testimonials are important and a majority of them should reflect from your target market and describe your act at the same time.

Having a few from quotes from a news article or a public figure is nice as well... This gives you a sense of celebrity feeling which could be good and stronger creditability.

Al, add a few on your site! ITs easy to do and nothing to lose!
magicofCurtis
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Testimonials are important and a majority should reflect from your target market.

Having a few from quotes from a news article or a public figure is nice as well... This gives you a sense of celebrity feeling which could be good and stronger creditability.

Al, add a few on your site! ITs easy to do and nothing to lose!
Dannydoyle
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I have never used a testimonial. I have never considered one when I hire either.

I am definitely in the minority because all I ever hear is they are social proof and you have to use them and man you see guys whose video has more testimonial than them in front of an audience!

While I think it is fairly important to be perceived as working for happy people I don't think it is more important than actually letting them watch you do it.

On a web site a page with them, or with them along the sides or scattered in or what not would seem good to me. I think performers over use them.

Keep in mind this is a minority opinion. I am not saying it is what you should or should not do. Just a point of view is all. Do what is right for you.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
amakar
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Providing social proof always helps. When I write my sales letter, I'll even take snapshots from Facebook for recent comments and use that as a social indicator.

Andy
magicofCurtis
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Danny, I see your point... BUT, I have never had a client say; I didn't hire you because you had testimonials on your site, but I have had clients say, ohh I didn't see any testimonials and the other guy had some.... Then I start talking in greater details and they wish they didn't book with the other company.

So my experience says for other performs get a few.. IT wouldn't hurt... Even The billion dollar movie companies gets a few for their new movies!
Mindpro
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This is interesting as I have ran an experiment with this. Like Danny, I don't care for testimonials, and never have had them or used them in any of my sites or promotional information. While I understand the concept of social proof, I feel there are better ways of utilizing it.

To me it also depends on how you use your web site. My sole purpose of all of my sites is to get them to call - period. I don't try to sell them, I don't offer bribes or freebies, I don't try to be funny, creative or slick, I 'm not trying to get them to fill out a form (this actually prevents them from calling) the sole purpose it to get them to call me or asked to be called by one of my representatives at a specific time. That's it. I just don't feel other people needs and opinions is that significant to these needs.

If you site was to try to convince them you are different, better, unusual, unique (many say they are but really aren't) then perhaps testimonials stating very specific comments in very specific testimonials to this affect might be useful. That's another thing most testimonials say absolutely nothing. If you're going to use them, use them strategically to specify or reinforce something very specific you are trying to parlay.

I've always felt testimonials and video testimonials never made that much of a difference. When I check out someones site I never will read the testimonials. As a matter of fact it annoys me greatly when I click on a video to see someones performance clips and have to sit through video testimonials. It's like having to sit through an uninteresting or unappealing trailers at the movies. I feel its a turn-off to many.

However, my daughter tried to convince me otherwise, so we created a test. We included a testimonials page with testimonials - about 15-20 of them and then about 150 past clients and references. Then let it run for around three months. We have the ability to go into the administration area and check stats of how much traffic we received each day, hour, etc., what pages they went to and how long they stayed on each page. After the 90 day test, only 4% of visitors even went to the page, and over 90% of them that did stayed less than 7 seconds.

So then we tried to start the page with a dozen or so celebrity testimonials to see how the stats might change, and there was hardly a difference. The only difference is they stayed 13 seconds rather than 7.

If I were to use any, I would only use three or less and not in a prime spot.

Just my experience.
charliecheckers
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Mindpro thanks for sharing your research - it is really helpful that you share what would cost us a significant amount of money and time to duplicate. While I have not placed much weight on having testimonials, I thought the point that many other forms of entertainment provide them (including top movies) was worth strong consideration.

Mindpro, since your data supported your original belief and was maybe different than what your daughter believed, I wonder what her reaction to your data was?

I will also say that I have seen a few video testimonials that were compelling and drew me in to watch more of the promo. I agree though that mostly they are over used and bore me to the point I will stop watching.
Vick
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My situation here is a little bit different when it comes to testimonials
In one space I'm working it's very crowded so the reviews help me to Differentiate myself and stand out
http://www.gigmasters.com/Magician/Illusions-By-Vick/
100 client generated reviews (Clients are sent an email generated from the gigmaster website the day after the performance and asked to give a review
I don't even see the review until after it's posted)

17 All 5 Star Reviews in 2013 alone
The first one is from Oracale at their Q4 2013 sakes kick off

What I have here has taken five years to build
It's not always a big $ market but clients are more likely to look at my profile and sometimes talent buyers are impressed or at least comfortable with what they are getting
The reviews help back the idea of my show And lend credibility to the presentation

But again this is a very different animal than your average website
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2013-09-17 22:27, charliecheckers wrote:
Mindpro thanks for sharing your research - it is really helpful that you share what would cost us a significant amount of money and time to duplicate. While I have not placed much weight on having testimonials, I thought the point that many other forms of entertainment provide them (including top movies) was worth strong consideration.

Mindpro, since your data supported your original belief and was maybe different than what your daughter believed, I wonder what her reaction to your data was?

I will also say that I have seen a few video testimonials that were compelling and drew me in to watch more of the promo. I agree though that mostly they are over used and bore me to the point I will stop watching.


My daughter's reaction was very fine as she too monitored the numbers with me and saw how it played out. She knows that I have a very strong knack of commercial public awareness and perceptions, and pop culture, so it really didn't surprise her. She is also a professional model, and she understands in her area of the entertainment and media industries that testimonials are pretty useless, so I don't think surprised her as much as some might think. She too, like many here regularly hears all the noise about the popular trends of our time - social media, adwords, SEO, pay-per-click, etc. and understands that sometimes it's hard to separate the reality from perceived applications and also is smart enough to know certain things and methods work better for some types of applications than others. She also knows our business system which doesn't require many of these trendy methods, but of course she was interested in this experiment as we are always testing and looking for ways to improve or build upon what we have in place.

Vick, I agree reviews are actually different than testimonials. The reviews on Gigmasters I believe are used and helpful to other GM clients and are unfiltered, so if you receive a bad review it also shows up. Much different that the selected ones (or self-created ones some gurus tell you to make up yourself). There are some other markets or areas as such as in the college market where reviews and after event "report cards" do carry much more weight to other potential buyers and can be quite beneficial. Again, these are different than regular testimonials.
Dimitri Mystery Artist
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I am really glad I have asked that!
Vick
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Always more than one way to skin a cat
Some are just easier and more profitable than others
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Ken Northridge
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For the record, I have had many customers say they wanted to book me because of all the positive reviews I have received. I’m a bit puzzled about Mindpro’s experiment (and yes, thanks for sharing that) but I’m still a big believer in testimonials.


Quote:
On 2013-09-17 18:21, Mindpro wrote:

To me it also depends on how you use your web site. My sole purpose of all of my sites is to get them to call – period.

Interesting, the sole purpose of my web site is to get them to book me – period. If they call, I’ve failed! I stutter, I get tired, I forget things. My web site is always the same and never stutters, never gets tired and never forgets. It also will transfer for the contact info much more accurately than my faulty hearing.


Quote:
On 2013-09-17 18:21, Mindpro wrote:

If you're going to use them, use them strategically to specify or reinforce something very specific you are trying to parlay.

I totally agree with you here.

Testimonials are another feather in you cap, another thumbs up in an overall positive presentation of your services. Most people know that you have probably written your own web site. So, what sounds better? You saying how wonderful you are, or many other people who have actually seen your show singing your praises? Without testimonials you’re just bragging.

Curtis makes a good point about the movie industry. They spend millions on advertising and its effectiveness and they include what common people are saying about their movie. Many other top notch advertisers know the importance of this also.

Finally, just to speak to the OP, if you think you need to ‘invent’ testimonials, I suggest your act is in trouble. There are many ways to secure client testimonials and get their permission to use it, but most of them just happen. Just yesterday the school principal said to me, “I have to say that was the best assembly program I’ve ever seen!” Now, maybe he was just being kind. It doesn’t matter. I immediately thanked him and asked him if I could use the comment on my promotional materials. Done!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
magicofCurtis
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Quote:

Finally, just to speak to the OP, if you think you need to ‘invent’ testimonials, I suggest your act is in trouble. There are many ways to secure client testimonials and get their permission to use it, but most of them just happen. Just yesterday the school principal said to me, “I have to say that was the best assembly program I’ve ever seen!” Now, maybe he was just being kind. It doesn’t matter. I immediately thanked him and asked him if I could use the comment on my promotional materials. Done!


This brings back memories from couple of years ago with a similar situation. I performed several escapes one evening for TNT VIP Premier event and after the swimming pool escape, I was walking around shaking hands and receiving lots of praises, the contact person for TNT hugs me and saids awesome job! If you ever need a reference the Turner group would be more than pleased to provide you with whatever you need.

I stated the above, because this shows how important references and testimonials are for corporate buyers! They want a third parties opinion and she wanted to give her opinion on my act.

I do agree, some entertainers may go overboard with reviews. Also, I think Mindpro said he had 15-20 of them on one page????? I think that's a lot of clutter for a testimonial page. Maybe a few that pop-out would make a greater impact. Something from Oprah would be awesome! Google states on an average aperson stays on one page for less than 20/30 seconds.

On my printed promo packet, On the front page I have a very simple and clean photo that provokes the mind and on the inside front and outside back, I have quick very descriptive quotes that describe what I do! I do not tell them what I do, I have CBS News and a few other names tell them what I do!

So many marketing advisors are blown away how I effectively delivered what I do with a great impact and asked me for the person who came up with the concept (mean put it all together) because they want to utilize their services. They are WOWED when I said I did! I post this not for the bragging rights, but to support my claim that reviews/quotes are important. Just not my claim, but claims from million dollar corporation who specialize in this type of stuff.

This morning I was giving more thought about reviews. I concluded;
As a society we even wait for reviews,
Book reviews, Movie reviews, New Product reviews on software and tec stuff (IPHONE) Smile

As a society we have even made some critics very famous and rich!
Heck, even Amazon, ebay, hotels etc have you create reviews on products/services and I am safe to state that we have all read one or two at one point. They are from random people we don't know!



My vote would say YES ON REVIEWS/Quotes
NO on too many
NO on fake reviews
Yes, get a review from your mom--- I once had a review from my mother, saying "The best I have ever seen" - Love MOM (this received lots of laughs) which even helps the sale because of the humor!
Yes on having them describe your act
NO on long and lengthy reviews
Yes, to review that are from companies and known people
Yes to reviews from general public
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