Years ago I went to Ryan Lee’s FreedymFest 2.
One of the speakers was Jeff Cavaliere. He started Athlean-X, a fitness company that was doing 8-figures at the time. (From what I’ve seen they’ve only grown since.)
The big takeaway I got from him was to “play the long game.”
He talked about how there were all kinds of shortcuts other trainers took to make quick money.
One of the big shortcuts was to stop helping people get fit entirely. Instead, they focused on helping trainers grow their business.
But Jeff ignored all the shiny objects and quick cash-grabs.
He stayed focused on helping people get in shape. And he was super devoted to ensuring his customers got great results.
Years later, many of those people who took the short cuts were no longer in business. Meanwhile, Jeff was doing multiple millions a year.
I recently went to the Athlean-X “Reviews and Testimonial” page to see what was going on.
Parts of it blew me away. They make it super easy for prospects to find people just like them who had success with Athlean-X. This is critical if you want to inspire people to buy.
And as always, I found a few things they can do to make their success stories even more compelling so they close even more sales.
Let’s dive into it:
What’s awesome about this page
First off, when you click the “Results” section, this pops up:
You get to choose between men and women.
Already they are getting super targeted with their success stories. They are determined to help you find someone just like you who had success with their program.
Once you click, they have you drill down even more. There are 5 different options for different body types and ages.
This is huge. Because people have all kinds of doubts and fears in their minds. They don’t think they can get strong because they are “skinny and don’t have the right genes.” Or they’re worried that they’re “too old”, etc.
This page destroys the big objections prospects have. And it does it in the best way possible — with hard proof.
So many businesses don’t do this. They unload a bunch of testimonials then leave it up to the reader to find someone like them.
But guess what? Your reader is looking for any excuse not to buy. If they can’t quickly find someone they can identify with having success with your product, they’re out.
They’ve got cat videos to watch.
Alright, let’s say you scroll down to read through the success stories. You’ll see before/after shots of different men along with brief testimonials. And you’ll see something incredible:
They have 21 pages of success stories!
That much proof makes the reader think, “Okay, this company knows what they’re doing.”
It can also spark a little “FOMO”. The reader sees all these fit happy people with incredible stories and wants to join them.
Finally, it proves Athlean-X cares about its customers. They don’t just take their money and leave. They circle back and proudly show off the results customers get.
Alright, but a huge list of testimonials alone isn’t going to do it.
That proves you’re legit, but it doesn’t prove to the reader your product/service works specifically for them.
For that, we need to drill down and find the stories that resonate with specific types of customers.
For example, I’m the type of guy that’s always been skinny and have a hard time putting on muscle. So I’m going to click on the “Skinny guys” tab to see how they helped people like me.
When I click that, here’s the first thing I see:
If I scroll down I see stories like this repeat for 4 pages.
Each story follows the same format: A before/after picture with a very brief testimonial on the side and sometimes a short video testimonial as well.
Let’s break down each of those pieces now:
First, the “before” photo isn’t that great because the guy is already in good shape. A lanky string-bean picture would be better but hey, ya work with what you got.
Next, we have video and text. That combo is great. The video adds extra credibility because you hear straight from the customer. The text gives you the quick hits so you can get the story fast.
The text testimonial is okay. It basically says the customer, Nathan, likes the Athlean-X workout programs and the supplements they sell are the best out there.
This testimonial is good because it covers the whole “I tried everything and this is the best” angle. But there’s a lot of substance lacking that could make the story more engaging and inspiring. I’ll get into them in the next section but the big one that stands out is this: What measurable results did Nathan get? And how did those results impact his life?
For example, maybe this guys real desire to get in shape is due to him thinking it will help him date attractive women. Talking about how he put on 10lbs of muscle and how he’s getting all this attention he never got before from women in the gym would be way more powerful than “I respect your knowledge and creativity” — which is what his testimonial currently says.
As for the video, let’s break that down.
It’s about 4 -minutes long, which is a great length because it doesn’t ask for a big-time commitment.
The video covers a few key pieces. He talks about how:
- He tried a bunch of stuff and this is the best
- You don’t just learn workouts, you also learn the “why” behind them. So you really get to understand fitness and your body and what you’re doing
- Athlean-X becomes a lifestyle and you enjoy it
- He now feels way better about his body
- Jeff cares about everything he puts out and takes this seriously.
Overall, it does a good job backing up the fact that Jeff cares and Athlean-X gives you quality products that get results.
But a lot of the language is vague. He says things like: “The Information is enlightening…. the workouts feel natural and fluid…”
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t hit on the deeper pains and desires that get people to buy. It doesn’t show what makes this unique and better than what’s out there (he simply says it is.) It doesn’t overcome objections or show why and how skinny people can get results. (It’s too easy for people to shrug off and say “eh, this guy wasn’t as skinny as me. He doesn’t really get it…”)
The best way to solve these problems is to tell Nathan’s full story. Really go into detail in his life before, what it was like to use the program, and his life now.
Here’s a breakdown of how I’d do that.
How to make these case studies even awesome-er
1) Paint a picture of how this made his life better. It’s not just about getting a ripped body — it’s about what that ripped body now means to the customer — how they feel, how their life is different. They go very briefly into this when he talks about how he felt good about his body for a photoshoot. But beyond that, we learn very little on why this is important to him. Going into detail here on how he feels pride when he looks in the mirror… how people raise an eyebrow and say “Damn, you look great!” when he meets them — that’s going to make people want to join the program. Because those are the kinds of results they want.
2) Share the struggle — Nathan talks about how he was “skin and bones” before but doesn’t say much about his struggle. And he talks about how “nothing else worked” but never goes into details. Painting with such broad strokes makes it easy for people to not believe him. And it doesn’t make for a compelling story. But imagine if he went into more detail on the shame he felt being skinny. And the frustration of trying all these different things that never worked. He might talk about how he felt he was “cursed with bad genetics”… how he got burned by all these supplements and lost hundreds of dollars… all that would make the story far more compelling. And it would connect with reader’s pain and get them to see “This guy is just like me.” That’s exactly what you want, because then when they see him having success they’ll start to believe they too can have success.
3) Teach why Athlean-X is better — Nathan does a little bit of this but there’s a lot more he could say to make it more clear. He could go into more detail on how learning the “why” behind the workouts is crucial. Or what Jeff does differently that leads to consistent results. This would be a great chance to talk about Unique Mechanisms — tools or techniques that only exist inside Athlean-X. For example, they could talk about a special way of working out or stringing workouts together that maximizes muscle growth for skinny guys.
Teaching through your case studies helps you flex your authority and keeps the reader intellectually stimulated. If they feel they learned something, they’ll like you and feel a stronger desire to give back to you. So they’ll feel better about buying.
4) Show the journey — People want to know what it’s like to use and go through your program. They want to know they’ll enjoy it. They want to know that it’s okay if they don’t do everything perfectly. Even if they struggle and make mistakes they can still get results. So telling Nathan’s full story of how he used the program — including the struggles he had — gets the reader to imagine themselves using the program and having results. And it alleviates the fears that they need to get everything “perfect.”
5) Overcome objections — The reader no doubt has tons of objections — it could be about their genetics, not having time, being intimidated by gyms because they never worked out before, etc. By showing the full journey, you can bring up Nathan’s objections and show how he overcame them. No doubt many of these will be similar to the readers objections. When they see how Nathan overcame them they will see how they too can overcome them.
6) Don’t ask for testimonials — guide them through a full success story — Asking people to send you testimonials is great. But it’s far more powerful to get on a call and guide them through a specific set of questions designed to get all the information mentioned above. Your customers aren’t professional marketers or storytellers. They don’t know the best things to say. You can take the pressure off them and ensure you end up with the best story possible by conducting a proper case study interview.
7) Suck readers in with great quotes — Nathan has some awesome quotes that are buried in the video. For example, Nathan talks about how he was “skin and bones” about 3 minutes into it. That’s a great line that can connect with readers. You want lines like that to stand out. That’s why when I create case studies, I pull out compelling quotes and put them in prominent places that suck the reader in. These quotes call out the same pain the reader is feeling, the objections the reader has, or simply pulls the reader in with drama.
To see how that looks, here is a case study I created for a client –> Link to awesome case study
There’s more I could say, but those 7 points will make the story far more compelling and close more sales.
To ensure you hit all 7 points, follow the Hero’s Journey Case Study formula I use for clients.
This formula is specifically designed to:
- Connect with the reader’s fears/pain
- Show how your program is unique/better than what’s out there
- Teach useful information (so it doesn’t feel like a pitch)
- Overcome their objections and paint a picture of how their life can look and feel with your product
You can learn the full formula in my book: Case Studies that Close Sales, which is free on my homepage — > marketingwithbrian.com.
And if you’d rather just have awesome case studies done-for-you, shoot me an email at [email protected] and we’ll see if we’re a fit to work together.