Stop Making Video Testimonials, Start Making Case Stories

You want your website to convert more.  You want your emails to be more engaging You want people to understand how you have really helped.  You shoot some video testimonials and nothing happened. Well, nothing good.

You want a video that engages, connects with story.  Testimonials from your favorite customers are not what you need because it’s not what your prospective customers want.  They want to know how you are going to help them.  You do this best with a story.

You need to tell a story.

I know the person in the testimonial loves you.  That’s part of the problem.  No one cares if some random person says you’re awesome. We’ve stopped even caring if influencers say you’re awesome.  Anyone can say you, your new app or your service is awesome.

Testimonials, as you are making them, just don’t work.  They are most likely scaring your customers.  They don’t know what to say and most people are scared of cameras.

 I go to a lot of conferences and get interviewed on video often.  Guess what?  They use my videos because I know what the interviewer is trying to ask, but doesn’t have the questions down.  Most interviewees don’t know how to help you accomplish your goals with their answer, much less how to properly be on camera.

Scientifically most people (like your testimonial victims) look at the camera and interpret it as 1000 people staring back at them. We are hardwired to be REALLY  afraid of that many people looking at us.  In years gone by, that meant we were going to be stoned.  Actually, not in years gone by  because that is still the case some places on the planet. I digress. but let me go on.

The other part about testimonials is that even if the person is telling the complete truth and they absolutely love you, they are most likely afraid of saying the wrong thing.  And when they are afraid of saying the wrong thing, their face says the wrong thing.

As humans we are amazingly adept at reading faces and body language.  When your testimonial subject feels they are doing a bad job their face says they are doing a bad job.  We interpret that as incongruous to the “They are the best {insert you’re industry} and you should use them”  In other words, our subconscious says your testimonial is from a liar.

So are you ready to stop torturing your favorite customers and looking like a used car salesperson to your prospects? Please say yes.  Please say yes.


You want to provide value and engage your customer.

I’ll tell you what I’ve done for the past 8 years and with hundreds of my client’s customers.  

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

I asked them about themselves. MIND BLOWN.

Click Here to Learn How to Create Business Interviews on the Fly

First of all, your customers only really care about themselves but through the law of reciprocity, they feel obliged to be on video.  

INTERESTING OBSERVATION: 2/3 of the people that say YES to be on video will not show up to a video shoot without some bribe.

So by having them talk about themselves and their experience, you are making them (and their not so poker faces) more comfortable.

More importantly, people remember stories.  They don’t buy features.  They don’t buy benefits.  People buy stories.

You most likely agree with the first part of the statement but if you don’t here:

The science behind story is we are hardwired to remember stories.  IT puts our whole brain to work and increases activity, increasing memory formation. Here is an image I borrowed from LifeHacker.


Hopefully it’s sciencey enough for you. There is much more science out there and in my next book i may give it to you. Right now, let’s leave it at TELL STORIES.

The second part of the statement is part of a saying I have on my cup and on my shirt.

Branding is for cattle, people buy stories.

Think about it.  When you see a logo, you don’t really get feelings for the logo.  Some story runs through your head, even in a flash.  It runs through your subconscious at the most visceral level.

This is so powerful, cigarette companies trained people to feel that way about colors.

For the most part, we don’t notice branding unless there is a story around it.  

To the same effect, when a customer tells their story, a prospect hears the story and puts themselves there.  Then they tell themselves the story.

The more detailed and vivid the story, the more parts of the brain are engaged and the more we remember the story.  The more we remember the story, the more familiar we become with a your product and you.  The more familiar, the more likely we are to recreate the story.

Have you ever come up with a great idea only to realize you had seen the idea and forgot it?  It’s because that story was running as a subroutine deep within your brain.

I call them Case Stories for a specific reason.  Case studies are fact based.  Company X wanted to increase sales y% after declining x%.  They bought your software/service/app and within 6 months saw an increase in business.

Case stories trigger all of the emotional responses.  

So how do you create case stories?

First, carry a video camera around.  Oh wait.

YOU ARE. You are most likely reading this on it.  

Second, get the proper basic equipment.

Third be on the lookout for great stories about your business or your industry.  When you encounter one, shoot it then.

You can always re do it if it isn’t awesome.  You can not “redo” it if it’s never done the first time.

So hopefully you are all jazzed up.  I know you still have technical questions.  When it comes to equipment and setup, here are the basic answers to shoot an interview in under 15 minutes with less than $100 in equipment.

Click Here to Learn How to Create Business Interviews on the Fly

If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments.  

Happy Storytelling!