How often do you read reviews before you buy a new product, eat at a restaurant, or sign up for a service? 82% of U.S. adults read online customer reviews at least sometimes before they purchase a new item, and 40% always or almost always do.
Whether you realize it or not, people look up information and reviews about your fitness studio or gym before they decide to invest. They want to see specific before and after photos of your members, what other people have to say about your service, and they love watching what you’re capable of.
That’s why video testimonials are a huge must. These act as social proof that just can’t be denied. And that’s powerful.
Why Video Testimonials?
There’s a lot of places that people can leave reviews: your business’ Facebook page, Yelp, Google, etc. While you can encourage your members to write about their experience on these sites, you can’t control who does or doesn’t leave a review.
Unfortunately, people are 52% more likely to share a bad experience on online review sites than a good one. This is all part of the customer service process, but it’s how you handle those negative interactions that determine whether or not your business is successful.
Luckily you have a little more control when it comes to video testimonials. Post these videos of your members talking about the results you’ve helped them get on your website and social media pages. When you record a video testimonial, be sure to ask specific questions that people might not touch on in an online review. Members who love your studio but haven’t left an online review now have the opportunity to share their great experiences with others.
Here’s what video testimonials on our website look like.
Now that you know the power of these testimonials, let’s explain how to get and film them.
How to Ask for a Video Testimonial
A great time to ask one of your members for a testimonial is when they achieve any kind of goal. They’ll feel proud of their accomplishments and be happy to share their thoughts with you.
If you offer weigh ins or measurements and someone reaches their goal, ask them right then and there if they’ll share their experience. Let them know that it’ll only take 2 minutes and that you can film it really simply with your phone – no big production necessary.
On top of that, train your instructors to keep an eye out for people who come to classes consistently, work hard, and have improved since they first started. Grab them after class and see if you can film a quick testimonial. The reason this is such a great idea is because people are usually hyped up after a workout, they’re positive, and they also just released a lot of stress … so they won’t be as nervous when you film them.
The same goes for any challenges or events that you have. Ask your top performers to record a video testimonial after the challenge ends, and they’ll likely be excited to share their results with you.
You can even ask people to send a recording that they take themselves if they would rather film it at a different time or at home. You’ll notice that some people may feel a little uncomfortable doing a testimonial at the studio if there are other people around.
Another option is to give people an incentive for providing video testimonials. Offer them free access to a specific class or an upcoming event in exchange for the review.
Most people will be more than happy to share their results with you, especially when they’re proud of their achievements.
Editing and Filming Tools
Filming and editing your testimonials doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if you’ve had zero production experience, you can create videos with your phone and super simple editing programs. Your members care about how great your fitness classes are, not how great your video editing skills are.
Most smartphones shoot HD video at a 1080p quality or better, so you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment to do this. As long as you have a phone that records HD video, you can film right away.
For those who are new to editing, iMovie for Macs or Movie Maker for Windows are programs that are easy to learn and navigate. Your computer most likely already has one of these installed, and there’s a lot of tutorials online that can help you get started.
If you want to use something more advanced, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro are good choices. Another program is Camtasia, which works on any operating system because it’s browser-based.
Questions to Ask
It’s good to be prepared for the testimonial with a list of questions you want to ask (again, this is if you record it in person. If you ask them to record it themselves and send it to you, it may be a good idea to send them a simple list of questions as well).
Let your member know beforehand that it’s okay to mess up, and make sure that they feel comfortable. If their response to a question is vague or not exactly what you were looking for, don’t be afraid to ask the question again in a different way or ask a follow up question.
Here’s a list of some of the questions I always ask:
- How long have you been working out here?
- What kind of results have you seen so far?
- Why did you choose to become a member here?
- How’s the customer service been?
- If you had the chance, would you sign up again?
- Would you recommend us to friends and family?
Make Them Comfortable
Your fitness member might be nervous in front of the camera, so the best thing you can do is make sure they have fun. I’ve said this before, but people can’t laugh at your jokes if they don’t trust you. So a great way for them to feel that trust is to make them laugh.
Crack a joke before you start filming and help them relax. This experience helps you connect with members even more, so it’s not just something that helps you attract new people, it also creates better relationships with existing ones.
Again, make sure they know it’s okay to mess up. You can edit those portions out with your editing tool. And if you film this right after class, they probably just worked out a lot of stress and already feel a little more at ease. That’s great.
The more that you post new video testimonials on your website and social media pages, the more new members with similar challenges and goals you’ll attract. Video testimonials are another free and effective marketing tactic to grow your fitness studio, and we can’t wait to hear how they help your business.
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.