Below is our recent interview with Sam Shepler, the Founder & CEO of Testimonial Hero:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Testimonial Hero?
A: Sure. Testimonial Hero is an expert service for B2B software marketers. We help software marketers create world class customer testimonial videos and video case studies, anywhere in the world, with zero travel fees.
Case studies and testimonials are essential social proof that B2B buyers need. Without testimonials to and case studies that reinforce your value proposition, the claims you’re making simply aren’t credible. In fact, a new study was just released by Gartner that just 9% of B2B buyers view vendor content as trustworthy… but fully 70% agree that customer success stories are the most credible form of differentiation. And increasingly, our clients find that their prospects want to watch videos. It’s simply more engaging and real. Static PDFs don’t excite anyone.
The problem is, our clients (software companies) have customers everywhere. And they need video case studies produced, but they also need them to be of a consistent style and quality. It’s not cost effective to fly one video team around the world. And it’s a hassle to manage multiple vendors worldwide. So that’s the problem we solve for them. We exceed the quality they need, and with local crews in 54 major metros worldwide, we completely eliminate travel fees.
Furthermore, since video testimonials are our primary focus, we’ve developed considerable functional and strategic expertise in this area. We’ve faced and solved just about every problem that one could ever run into when making a testimonial video. So very much, clients are also buying our expertise and our methodology when they choose us – in addition to our unique business model with zero travel fees.
Overall, we are always on a mission to reduce the friction and complexity involved in producing video B2B testimonials. Our mission is to make the most effective video testimonials in the world for software marketers with a frictionless and fast process. Most projects run start to finish in just 30-45 days, total.
Q: How exactly does the process work? How long does it take?
A: The specifics of our process are proprietary, but at a high level the process runs as follows:
We have a process we run for helping our customers clarify their primary object with the video, and sharing all necessary context we need to be able to execute.
The strategy phase is where we take what we learned in the discovery phase and create the script, or interview outline.
Production is the actual filming portion of a project. Typically this take 3 hours, and we need about 1 hr with each person we plan on interviewing.
Editing is where we take the 30-40 minutes of raw footage and make the decisions that turn it into a polished 2:00 video. We typically include 3 rounds of revisions.
Once the video is complete, the actual results are just beginning. It’s critical the video is implemented effectively on page, in the right location, with the right design elements or thumbnail, and the appropriate hosting technology. Small things like this make a big difference when it comes to the overall effectiveness of the video.
It does seem like a lot of steps, however, after running this process hundreds of times it’s quite easy for us to turn around projects in 30-45 days.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome it?
A: One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is in finding and building our distributed team, specifically our local video crews. We’ve solved it in a unique proprietary way which I’d rather not discuss as that is part of our competitive advantage.
The biggest challenge however has been just the nature of the business, and that our client’s customer ultimately has to give the go ahead before we can undergo a project. In other words, we’re not always able to influence the sale – because whether or not we start a project is really in the hands of our client’s customer, ultimately. In terms of solving this, it’s still a work in progress. We’re working to create more supporting materials and resources for our clients to pass on to their customers to make it easier to get the “yes” and reduce any friction there.
Fortunately, we work with some incredible software clients who have very happy customers… So largely it’s not a problem. It can just be a challenge when it comes to timing and predicting when deals will actually close.
Q: What are your customers saying about you? Are they happy with the end result?
A: I would be happy to let our customers speak for themselves here. In these videos, you can see exactly what they have said. [Note – These are embed codes.. Please embed.]
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: To date, we’ve grown organically with zero ad spend and very little marketing. We get a lot of referrals. This is the first year we’ve had a formal marketing budget and a marketing plan, so that is very exciting. Beyond expanding our marketing and advertising, we are continually searching for ways to make video case studies and testimonials both high quality and more frictionless. We have some ideas around custom software we will build to help solve some of the challenges our clients face at present as it pertains to all the nitty gritty details of getting a customer to commit, scheduling the shoot, and so forth. The long term vision is not to be strictly a services business, but a service with a software. We’ll be investing heavily in automation and again, anything that can help fulfill our core mission of being the firm that makes the most effective and frictionless video testimonials in the world for software marketers.