I am going to let you in on a secret. When I am thinking up newsletter topics, often I choose something that I also need to keep up with.
Getting testimonials is one of those things. The trick to getting testimonials and recommendations is to ask for them.
It seems simple but then why not do it? I am going to add this step to my website wrap up check list so I make it a part of my work flow. It might be even better if I could get them on video!
Here are a few steps on how to structure a testimonial.
1. Introduce yourself and say what you do.
2. What situation were you dealing with that had you seek out the person or company you are going to recommend?
3. What were the results of your work with this company or individual? It helps to be specific and give concrete examples or even an anecdote.
4. Summarize your overall experience and recommend the person or company. You might want to use one key takeaway.
Make it a Video
Creating short videos is pretty easy. The big trick is to plan not to edit since editing is the hard part and stops people from actually doing or posting them. So if you plan to do your short videos in one take like you are having a conversation, you will do more of them.
If you happen to make a small mistake then just say, “What I meant is…” and keep going as you would in any conversation.
These days it is fine to have a video that looks a bit off the cuff (although we know it is not going to be totally off the cuff since you will do a little prep work, like making sure you and your background look presentable).
These videos come across more authentic and in that way can beat out a more polished, professional video.
So here goes. These directions are for written for Mac users. The process is similar with a PC but will use Widows Movie Maker and the directions are below.
For Mac users:
1. Open up the application Quicktime Player.
2. Go to File>New Movie Recording or press Option-Command-N.
3. A window will pop up giving you a preview of what your webcam is capturing. Take a couple of minutes to improve the quality of the video preview. Here are a few tips:
- Be aware of lighting. Avoid having bright sources of light behind you or too much screen glow from the computer you’re recording to.
- Fix your hair, put on a little make-up, and wear something appropriate.
- Move office/room clutter from view and make sure what is included in the frame isn’t distracting and looks decent.
4. Once you have your video preview the way you would like it, hit the red record button and test your audio by starting to talk as you would for your actual video recording. Once you’ve recorded 10-15 seconds of video, stop the video by hitting the stop button. Once you hit the stop button, the video you just recorded will come up. Watch the video, take note of any problems (glare, speaking too loud/soft, speaking too fast/slow, etc.), and in your next attempt, fix these problems.
5. Do several takes of your short video. It is practice and you will probably improve after doing a couple.
6. Every time you stop recording a new video file is made and automatically placed in your User>Movies folder on your computer (usually names Movie Recording.mov). View the takes and pick the best one.
7. Upload the .mp4 or .mov file to YouTube or Vimeo so that you can easily embed the video onto a website.
On a PC use Windows Movie Maker:
1. Once you get things set up as per above, Click the “Red/Record” button to start your video. To save your video click the “Blue/Stop” button.
2. Rename your video and save it in the “My Videos” library.
3. You can preview your on your video timeline by clicking on “Play” button. You can also edit but as I indicated above try to record it in one take so you can use it as is.
4. Save your video Mp4 or .mov file format and upload to YouTube.