Today, we're going to talk about something that can really make you a lot of money, or it can get you banned if you don't do it right. So we're going to talk about testimonials and they're a form of social proof.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 620
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[02:24] Tom's introduction to Testimonials [04:38] Be careful with money making and weight loss claims [07:30] Multiple types of testimonials [17:01] Doing remote and 45 degree testimonials [20:56] How to prevent getting banned
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
KickStartCart – http://www.kickstartcart.com/
Copywriting901 – https://copywriting901.com/
Disabilities Page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Military page – https://imtcva.org/military
FTC against fake and manipulated reviews – https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/05/ftc-proposes-strengthen-advertising-guidelines-against-fake-manipulated-reviews
Email Tom: Tom@ScrewTheCommute.com
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
SpeakPipe – https://screwthecommute.com/586/
Video Sales Letters – https://screwthecommute.com/619/
I discovered a great new headline / subject line / subheading generator that will actually analyze which headlines and subject lines are best for your market. I negotiated a deal with the developer of this revolutionary and inexpensive software. Oh, and it's good on Mac and PC. Go here: http://jvz1.com/c/41743/183906
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Episode 620 - Testimonials
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with Episode 620 as Screw the Commute podcast? Today, we're going to talk about something that can really make you a lot of money, or it can get you banned if you don't do it right. So we're going to talk about testimonials and they're a form of social proof. But like I said, using them incorrectly in certain circumstances can get you banned and you don't want that. Now, this episode is going to also tell you some really cool ways to get testimonials, and I hope you didn't miss Episode 619. That was video sales letters. And I don't want you to worry about being on video because a lot of people don't like being on video. Right, but that's okay. I bought and sold tons of stuff off videos where all I saw was, I guess I'd call it a PowerPoint presentation. And I've and I've sold tons of stuff without ever being seen on camera, so there's nothing to worry about. I'll talk to you both about being on camera and how you can do it without being on camera. And so a lot of stuff. And if you ever wonder how I have the right to teach you about this, well, a little later, I'm going to send you over to one of my videos that's made $13 million.
[00:01:38] All right. I'm going to show you some really cool testimonial techniques on that video. But but guess what? I've been there and done that. All right, make sure you pick up a copy of our automation e-book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. You will thank me because it'll save you enormous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours into the future. If you would just take a little time to learn the techniques in this free e-book and it's 27 bucks on my site, but it's yours free for listening to the show. So pick it up at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of my podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. Put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road.
[00:02:25] All right. First thing I got to tell you about, I feel it's a little bit crazy stuff. All right. And actually, I'm obligated to tell you about it. So this is called the FTC ruling on I think they call it third party endorsements or endorsements, basically. So I'm going to have this humongous link in the show notes that gives you their ruling about how you use all this stuff. Right. And see, basically, it started they started worrying about fake testimonials and hidden endorsements and things like that back in 1980.
[00:03:01] And then they amended it in 2009. And then in 2020, the FTC asked for comments about the guidelines and how they should be changed. And I don't know who they asked for the comments. They didn't ask me. Right. And they wanted to see if it needed amend it again. But here's the interesting thing. I haven't seen much change in the behavior of online marketers. Actually, I've seen none at all other than the kind of lame notices that affiliates might give to tell that they're getting commissions. And at one point the government actually wanted you to track the average results of your customers and use that as testimonials. Now, I certainly applaud the efforts to get rid of fake testimonials, but it appears to me the government is woefully unprepared to do any enforcing, especially when some fraudulent marketers are as I mean, they're popping up around different Internet cafes in Pakistan. How are they going to regulate those people? So I haven't seen any changes over the years. So I suggest you review the link I'm providing and listen strictly adhere to the guidelines. Yeah, I'm saying that somewhat tongue in cheek cheek because I don't know how you could I don't know how any company could. But anyway, regardless of the Federal Trade Commission, in my consumer advocate role, you might just suffer my wrath if you've used fake testimonials. So don't do it. And I should tell you, there are some fields that get more scrutiny than others.
[00:04:43] So be especially careful with money making claims and weight loss claims. I mean, one company got caught using before and after pictures. Well, that's a powerful sales tool in that weight loss field. The only catch. They switched the before and after pictures. Right. So they found a really buff guy and had him pig out and took pictures of him. And then they had him pig out until he had a really big belly. Right. Then they switched the order of the pictures. The before picture was actually a buff guy, but they put the pot belly picture of the same guy as the before picture and then made it look like he became buff. So anyway, the reason I'm so skeptical of the government's ability to enforce this, it takes me back to an exposé they did in the TV infomercial industry. Not the government didn't know somebody else did it. So they they wanted to see if they could get endorsements from people and just pay for them and get the people to just lie. So they pretended to be a product company that had this pill that would moisturize your skin from the inside. You take a pill and it was a moisturizer. So they went to some infomercial producers and they they said, hey, we got this pill. We want to do an infomercial about it. And they said, Well, do you have any studies on it? And the the fake producer of the pill said, no, no, we don't.
[00:06:18] So the producer of the infomercial said, don't worry, we can get them. And they said, Do you have any doctors or anybody that endorses this? And the fake producer of the pill said, no. They said, don't worry, we can get those. No problem. So they got like the chief dermatologist at some I think it was St John's or something. Somewhere you can look it up. It's probably still out there and paid her 5000 bucks to go on camera and say this is one of the best things. This fake pill, by the way, the fake pill was filled with Nestle's Quik Right powder. So she went on camera and said, this is the best thing ever. I can't believe it. And she was the chief dermatologist at a major hospital. 5000 bucks. They paid her to ruin her credibility and reputation. So you've got to be careful about this. So. So. So when the government couldn't really control the relatively small infomercial industry. And now they want to take on the entire Internet. That's why I'm very skeptical. Again, I give him an A for good intentions, but an F for reality. All right. So now that I scared you into thinking the FTC is going to come after you, let's talk about testimonials. Basically, I have three types written. That's the least powerful, but it's the easiest to get audio and you don't see as many of them.
[00:07:48] But I'm going to give you some cool things about that and video, which is the most powerful. And I'm going to give you two really cool techniques there. All right. So so talk about written. They're the easiest to get. You can get them even in email. Now, if it's an unsolicited email that something nice was said about you or one of your products. You immediately respond, and this is what I do. And after thanking them for the kind words, I immediately ask, May I use this for promotional purposes? And virtually everybody says yes. Now, very seldom do you get turned down. But even if you do get turned down, let's say for privacy reasons, I might still use the testimonial and say something like name change for privacy reasons. All right. Now, if the testimonial would reveal who gave it, even with their name changed, I would honor their request and not use it. Or I might change it slightly to take out the part that would reveal their identity. Now, wait a minute. I thought you were Mr. Integrity. How can you justify changing someone's testimony? Well, myself and millions of other marketers routinely and ethically change testimonials. As long as you are not changing the essence of what was said, you're och. I mean I. I all the time fix typos or misspellings or poor grammar that actually makes the person giving the testimonial look better.
[00:09:27] Okay, now here's a tip if you want to get more testimonials from more important people. Pre write several of them and ask them to either approve it or edit it. Now in the beginning of my Wake Him Up book, there are tons of testimonials from some really big shot people. Well, guess what? I wrote every one of them and they either signed their name to it or edited it and signed their name to it. Another thing that adds credibility is giving them the entire product or parts of the product so they can see the quality. So every one of those people got a copy of a PDF copy of the book or in later printings, possibly a physical copy of the book. And it's a must if you want something from me. And if I don't know you, I'm going to check you out thoroughly to see if you're a scammer or not. See, my endorsement means something, but it wouldn't mean anything if I endorsed anything just to get my name out there more. All right. Now a couple more tips on written testimonials. Put their full name there. Don't put like Joe from Tulsa. People would think you just made this whole thing up. How they ever going to confirm that without a real name? Not that anybody ever does, but that's the feeling that they get.
[00:10:49] And you don't want them feeling that you're being fraudulent. Now there are times on sensitive subjects maybe you have a rape recovery product or a grief recovery product or something like that where it's a sensitive subject. All you have to do is use the very common technique in copyrighting called the reason why. So you explain that you can't use their real name because it's a sensitive subject. But that you have their email or letter on file and then all of a sudden it's not a problem anymore because it was a reasonable reason why you wouldn't use their real name. If you're talking about some kind of rape recovery or grief recovery, recovery product or something else, very sensitive or medical thing or whatever. So that's written stuff. All right. Let's go on to audio. I use speak pipe. I did an episode about it. I forget what number it was. Speak, speak, pipe to get testimonials. Hey, for this podcast, actually. In fact, if some of my 620 plus episodes have helped you, please leave me an audio testimonial by visiting Screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue button that says Leave a voicemail. You can talk right into your cell phone or computer and the computer as long as you have a microphone hooked up to it. And by doing so, you're giving me permission to play it on the podcast or use it in other places to promote the podcast.
[00:12:27] And and this is a little bit of coaching for you. Don't forget to tell who you are, what you do, and throw in your website. See, I always like to support good people that support me. So you'll be in front of thousands of people. Now, if you're some type of scammer, don't bother because I'm not going to promote you. I'll check you out. So that's audio. And it's powerful because they hear your real voice. All right. Now let's get into video. I mean, this is the most powerful. And I'm going to give you several really cool tips in this section. Now, video is powerful because you are seeing a real person in their own voice say something great about you or your product. Now on the other side of this, unfortunately, this can be faked too. And sleazebag endorsers will frequently endorse anything just to get their name out there and get a link back to their website. In fact, I've called some of these people up or contacted them and they said, Oh no, I didn't really like the product or use it, but there was a good way to get a link to my website. You know, that's I mean, I can't believe they just admitted that to me. A guy that's all into ethics, you know. So you still shouldn't be enamored with video testimonials. If you are the potential purchaser, look at them, but take them with a grain of salt.
[00:13:49] But if you're the seller and you get good legitimate testimonials, it's an extremely powerful sales tool. Now, before I get into the cool techniques, let me address celebrity endorsements versus regular people endorsements. Now I've seen one scumbag promoter hire B or C-list celebrities to say how great he was, knowing that it would influence people to give him large amounts of money. These over the hill. Celebrities didn't know him, couldn't care less if he ripped you off and will do anything for money. Now, I suspect he paid anywhere from 5 to 10000 bucks for them to make an appearance and say how great he is. Now, if only one person was influenced too by his $50,000 bullshit program, so he made five times his money back. So I'm telling you from the buyer's point of view, that that celebrity is never going to stick up for you when you get ripped off. So please never be influenced by celebrity endorsements. The Federal Trade Commission is also addressing this celebrity endorsement issue, and the court is still out on what they decide. Now. Should you do this? Well, yes, it can work, but to me, it's sleazy. So I'm not even going to talk about it that much. But what about regular people, endorsements? Well, they're certainly more real. Or are they? Again, from the buyer's perspective, you have to be careful. Remember, I'm always trying to stick up for for you and keep you out of trouble.
[00:15:26] And in fact, like I said, my for my people in my mentor program, they're not allowed to spend any money unless they ask me, because I've seen this stuff for 28 years straight, seven days a week, and I don't want them wasting money. So, again, from the buyer's perspective, you've got to be careful. See, slick bullshit artists use stooges to enthusiastically claim things that simply aren't true. They either pay them or give them more access or give them some free products or something to just lie. And I tell you what, the ethics out there has been going downhill for a long time, so people will do it. In fact, back to that infomercial example, they follow it up some somehow the researchers follow it up with all these people that were in a crowd saying how great the product was. And then when they interviewed them easily, they were just actors or, you know, hope you got 50 bucks to say whatever they were told, you know? So the whole thing was fake. Okay. Back to video stuff now. You should be ready to capture on the spot video of people that say nice things about you or your product when they're right there to your face, grab your cell phone or have an assistant do it and ask them if they would mind saying that again on video. See, people are never so excited than when they're happy with you or your product or what your product's done for them.
[00:16:56] And you're right there on the spot. So capture the moment on video. Okay. Now here are some really cool tips on video testimony. Sorry. So what if the person is remote? How do you get good video testimonials? Well, some of them may be set up to do nice video. And guess what? It doesn't have to be perfect. And some of the top video people in the world and several of them have worked for me, say that the credibility and believability of the video is higher when it's not slickly produced. And if you'd like to see some, check out my military page on my school website at IMTCVA.org/military and tell me those don't appear to be real believable and enthusiastic of what I've done for those military people. Now, what if they just don't have the ability and you really want their testimonial? All right. Way to hear this, right? You send them two identical dummy proof digital video cameras. Now, I won't mention any here, because what I would have mentioned a couple of years ago. Like that are really easy or like flip cams, but now that would be obsolete. And these episodes have a long life, so you just have to research whatever when you hear this. And you also send them a pre-paid return, padded envelope or box to return one of the cameras with their testimonial on it.
[00:18:29] And they keep one as a thanks. And yeah, I know this is costly, right? But having their testimonial could mean enormous sales for you in the future. So that's one method. All right. Now, the next technique is when you are in person with the person who may not be camera savvy. In fact, by making them look into the camera to give the testimonial. They get deer in the headlights and it takes forever. And they stumble and and it takes you, you know, just hard to get a usable testimonial. So here's how you save the day. It's called 45 degree testimonials. And I'm going to have a sample of this for you to look at to in a minute. So here's the concept. You have the person sit or stand while talking to you or an assistant. The camera is at a 45 degree angle to them and zooms in on them. In other words, you are one of your assistants. Can't be seen talking to them. And from now on I'm just going to use the term assistant now so we don't have to say you or your assistant. It's either one of you. So the assistant asks the person questions. And the person that's giving the testimonial is told to repeat the question and answer it. Talking to the assistant. Now in editing, we cut out the assistant asking the question.
[00:20:03] And the person giving the answer, which is the testimonial, doesn't have a camera shoved in their face. They're just talking to your assistant. You can get great testimonials lickety split using this technique. That's called 45 degree testimonials, and you can see it all throughout my joint venture production. I mentioned it earlier that made $13 dollars that we estimated so far by clicking on the monitor at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. Click that, watch that video. I think it's a shorter version it's we have a 23 and one half minute version to play on TV and a 17 minute version I use when I'm training. I can't remember which one it is. But anyway, as you go through it, you're going to see a whole bunch of 45 degree testimonials. Okay. Here's some more important tips on testimonials to keep from getting you banned from certain places. Now. First of all, when I asked for a testimonial, I usually use the term honest opinion. So here's an example. Here we go. Hey, folks, I need more testimonials for Screw the Commute podcast, so please visit screwthecommute.com. Click on the leave voicemail button and give me your honest opinion of what you think about the show. All right. So something like that. It's going to be. See, I never want to be seen as desperately begging for five star reviews. Although if I were just starting, I wouldn't be above begging.
[00:21:41] Now here's the place where you have to be extremely. And that's where the Capital X are extremely careful. That's Amazon. See, Amazon in the past was a haven for fake reviews. And you still have to be careful because fraudulent sellers are contacting buyers and offering them free products to give great reviews, even if the product is garbage. Now, if you're found out doing this as the seller, you and your product or book gets immediately banned. So don't do it. You can't give any kind of incentive to get reviews on Amazon. They've really cleaned up their act. They want their reviews to be as as good and believable as possible. So no incentives. For instance, you can't say something like get three free ebooks for leaving a great or five star review. Okay, you'll get banned. You can't even say something like that. Even if you only say something like, Leave me an honest review. Now, like I mentioned, if you're offering an incentive, no way. The fact that you offered an incentive for a review will get you banned. Now anywhere else go for it, but not on Amazon right now. Listen to this. Even if the person in the review on Amazon of your product or book implies that they know you. The review will not be shown. Now, you probably won't get banned for that unless you have been giving incentives, but Amazon feels the review isn't legitimate if the person is friendly or works with you.
[00:23:23] Now about the only thing you can do is coach people on how to give you a good testimonial on Amazon and warn them so they only concentrate on the contents of the book or performance of your product without implying they know you. So testimonials gave you a bunch of stuff here you probably want to read, listen to this, send it to people so that they can, you know, they can use the info because testimonials can sell a bunch of stuff for you. But you've got to get them. You've got to make sure you don't get banned if you're doing anything with Amazon and rake in the money. But they're really, really powerful. It's one of the most powerful forms of social proof. Check out my mentor program, if you like. I mean, this is just one. There's probably 10,000 more things I can teach you just like this. After 28 years doing this in my mentor program, I'll save you tons of money compared to whatever you give me and make you more money, because that's the whole nature of the program. All right. So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. Remember, when you're over there, click on that monitor and you will see the video that contains those 45 degree testimonials. All right. That's my story. I'm sticking to it. I'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.