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Q: We’d like to have footage of our clients on our website as testimonials.

We haven’t approached any specific clients yet as we’re not sure how to go about this. But we think client endorsements will make our services more persuasive.

What should we be doing or, not doing!?

Marketing Manager
Central London

A: What you get from a Client Testimonial video (if you do it right) is your client endorsing your claims in a credible and influential manner on your public website

What could be better?!

What you actually need to produce is a video of your client (a company director, CEO, MD or senior manager) speaking to an unseen interviewer in a free and comfortable manner, in their office or other credible location, with the camera watching as fly-on-the-wall.

To make it more interesting, while your customer is speaking, you can also dub over footage of the client-in-action, eg, at their desk working, conferring with a junior colleague, leaving their prestigious building, walking past impressively branded corporate signage, etc

Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:

> A sample questionnaire to guide you in what questions to ask to obtain the best, most positive responses on camera, Good questions mean good answers.

> Professional guidance notes for interviewees for your client to peruse in advance of the shoot. This will helps them feel comfortable and more prepared.

> An experienced Director / Camera Operator to interview and film the client. Unlike MD-to-Camera, client testimonials don’t require a 2 person crew. One skilled experienced professional will do.

> Additional filming of the client in action, ie, at work, conferring, doing business, etc

> Lighting so the client looks dynamic & professional

> A small tie microphone so sound and audio is crisp & clear

> Post production cosmeticising so the client looks more youthful and attractive.

> Post production to add titling and subcaptions, so the audience know who the client is.

> Smooth editing for visual polish.

Here’s where you can discover more about client testimonial video

What can go wrong when producing a client testimonial video?

It’s worth looking at the problems so you can anticipate before you get in front of your valued customer.

> An inexperienced camera op / director may be nervous and spook the client. You need a calm person to do this, someone who the client will automatically warm to and trust.

> A poor questionnaire that is one that sounded good in your office, but came out naive when on the shoot. A poor questionnaire will mean lost opportunities, or some client confusion. So think carefully about your questions. Don’t assume the client will know what to say. They won’t. Your questions have to lead them on a journey.

> No lighting, with the result that there are deep shadows, or an overall visual flatness. Even the simplest video light, when bounced up at the ceiling, will cheer up a room.

> Using just the camera mic will lead to background noise. It’s almost guaranteed. While the client will probably still be able to be heard, the resulting sound will be unprofessional, with consequent diminishment of your valued client’s credibility on your behalf.

Streaming client testimonial video from your website is a surefire way to prove your business claims.

Specifiers and buyers are by nature doubtful of whatever you claim.

A professionally produced testimonial video will go some way to proving what you say. And a persuasive client testimonial video will make your web pages more sticky and compelling.

© Studio Rossiter 2009

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