Social proof or a testimonial is a powerful tool for any business. Yet many performers do not understand how to use a testimonial once it is obtained. Some people presume that any statement made by a famous person, “Bob, Good luck, you are the best”, is a testimonial. It is not. It is an autograph that the performer is trying to pass off as a testimonial. Others try using industry leaders, who usually are close friends, and try to pass that off as a testimonial.
Testimonials are statements about your service and what you have accomplished. You need to exceed the client’s expectations, the key words are “exceed” and “expectations”. These are the people who will give the best testimonials. If you were doing what you are being paid for, why would anybody go out of his or her way to publicly recommend you or your service?
How do you use them to land more work?
- Clarify each testimonial. The person writing it may not be a professional writer so clean up the grammar or misleading statements.
- Reduce an extraneous statement. Who cares what the child’s name is or the venues where you entertained, unless the places are instantly recognizable as landmarks or you are entertaining for a famous person.
- Categorize each testimonial. Define each testimonial as birthday party, picnic, corporate, library, or school.
- Select key words in the testimonial that are used in praising you. These testimonials are social proof that you can do the job that the potential client is seeking to hire for. Librarians are concerned with punctuality and kid appeal while a school event may be more concerned about the message. Using the right testimonial speaks volumes to the client and improves your chance at landing the gig.
- Select key testimonials that speak to the client’s needs. These are the powerful testimonials that are used on a web page or marketing material that addresses specific events.
- Generic testimonials are good for a generic website, unless the website is marketing to a specific market. Generic testimonials are good for the ego, but after that, they are useless.
Testimonials are a powerful, unforgotten tool that entertainers overlook. Top entertainers realize the difference between a 5K and a 10K gig is having key testimonials from other people in the same industry as the client. This social proof shows that you can handle the gig, act professional, and are not going to make the client look like an idiot. You have a proven track record.
My advice, get all the testimonials you can and use them correctly and watch the magic happen.