No one uses “testimonials” anymore. They’re too staged, too sales-y. We’ve all been asked for a testimonial and recall how awkward it felt.
But we still need social proof to help our clients relate to our service. And our brains are wired to remember stories better than single concepts or facts. So tell stories on your site!
Client stories are sticky content. They make the featured client feel important. And they remind everyone else about how great about your gym “family.”
Here’s how to get three client stories every month with very little effort:
It’s important for a featured client to tell their story in their own words. Just prompt them with questions that lead to a narrative with a beginning, middle and end.
Email the following “interview” questions, with this lead:
“Hey Sara, it’s fantastic having you in the gym. You bring so much to the noon group, and we want to make sure everyone knows your story. Can you answer these questions for us? Don’t worry about your answers, and don’t spend more than ten minutes. If you can send it back by Friday, we’ll post it on Monday with some GREAT pictures of you working out!
- What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
- What was your first impression? How has that changed?
- What was your first “bright spot”?
- What are you working on now?
- What’s your favorite Catalyst memory?”
Then find 2-3 great pictures of Sara. When she responds, cut the interview questions from her text so her post reads like a narrative. Paste to her blog; don’t correct her language, but fix her grammar if necessary (always help your clients look their best.)
Ask a client if they can stay four minutes after class:
“Sara, we love having you here, and I want to make sure ALL of our clients know who you are. Can you stick around after class for a quick interview? I’ll put it on our site next week.”
Then prompt Sara with the same interview questions above. Keep the conversation rolling, and make it clear that her job isn’t to sell your gym. Don’t make it awkward. Smile while she’s talking.
Drop the interview into iMovie. See the “How to Create Good Video Content” PDF and watch the screencast demo for a complete how-to guide.
IMPORTANT: It’s better to be consistent (and have many) than to have high-quality “produced” videos. In fact, a client who is clearly speaking “off the cuff” about how much she loves your gym will be far more credible than a polished spokesperson.
REWARD: Thank your interviewees with a special “mango.”
SAMPLES: Visit the Catalyst “client stories” area for dozens of examples.
Download the sample “Member Stories Template” and add it to your staff handbook here: