What would the people you engage with say about you?
Three simple questions:
1. How do people experience you?
2. How do people experience themselves in your presence?
3. Would they recommend you to others?
In the old industrialist economy, little emphasis was placed on testimonials.
Because instead, it was much more powerful and easier to simply pay for endorsements.
In the industrialist era, the endorsement of Michael Jordan made more people drink Gatorade and want to wear Nike shoes.
People purchased George Foreman grills because they thought to themselves, “if it’s good enough for a guy like George, it’s good enough for me.”
However, the power of endorsements was largely in their scarcity at the time.
There were only a few major brands and a few major stars to feature in a scarce number of advertisements through a scarce number of marketing channels.
However, in the connection economy, there is an abundance of all of these things, largely decreasing the overall effectiveness of the famous endorsement.
In the connection economy testimonials have power and leverage.
Testimonials have power because in a world of abundance, a world of so many products, services, and talented people, someone has decided to speak up on your behalf, expecting nothing in return.
What is it that makes someone want to speak up?
An experience that changes how someone views the world.
An interaction that causes someone to pause and say “I used to believe this, but now I believe that”.
However, just as with endorsements, testimonials come at a price.
However, the price is not currency.
Instead, it’s the price of emotional labor.
The price of caring.
The price of being generous.
A price worth paying.