We all know customer testimonials are one of the best ways of endorsing our sales and marketing messages. Indeed, when I look at startups pre-revenue as an angel investor I often only have qualitative customer testimonials to go by before real volume sales kick in. I think there are two principal types of testimonials that I'll call authority and authenticity.
There are loads of authority endorsements by way of the rank and the company the endorsing person represents. Generally, the accompanying logo is more important than all the words. These are usually difficult to get for startups unless from lower ranked individuals in the corporate hierarchy.
Authentic endorsements can be even harder to get. Authenticity being the challenge here. The trick is to subtly encourage endorsements without asking for them directly, and most certainly not suggesting any content or messaging. Don't believe me? Then wait. Look at this absolute nugget that just landed with GEO AR Games on YouTube.
This is the kind of gold money cannot buy. Just use it!
Six months ago, cofounders Mel and Amie had no luck raising money from angel investors. Their paying customers being councils was a turn off. Still they clearly had something of value and so I agreed to join their regular advisory board. Their perseverance has payed off as the above video, one of many, shows, as does the roaring success of the Magical Park program which is part of Parks Week 2017. Over 150 council parks across ANZ (70% AUS) have already signed up and over half of those have already committed to a continuous license.
Geo AR Games has appointed the first country agents and enquiries from a number of theme parks from around the world are rolling in. Also, property developers want to integrate Magical Park into their projects. Needless to say, I am glad to be part of this journey.
This is a wonderful illustration of not just awesome customer testimonials but also the oft-ignored fact that angel investors can get things wrong. Not getting money from them doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your business.