Enthusiastic reviews for your business or soul-centered project are a key way to support your marketing efforts. Marketing testing has demonstrated again and again that showcasing the positive opinions and comments from real clients can help you gain more new clients by over 150% versus not using testimonials.
Why are good testimonials so effective? Because your prospects get to hear, straight from the mouth of your satisfied customers, how beneficial your product or service is and why others should buy from you. Testimonials can be very powerful.
If you aren’t currently using testimonials in your marketing materials, or you are using testimonials but you sense they could be improved, here are some tips:
Ask for Testimonials
It sounds pretty obvious to ask clients for their thoughts at the end of a program or service project, but there are far too many entrepreneurs out there who don’t routinely do this. I hear from folks that you are often scared to ask for referrals – you either don’t want to take up someone’s time or you’re scared they don’t want to give a referral. 9 times out of 10 folks will be HAPPY you asked them – Make sure you ask for testimonials!
You can contact people individually or as a group via email, snail mail, or by distributing forms by hand when you are meeting with people. Always remember to give clients a deadline by which to hand their testimonial in to you, and also always remember to let your clients know how much you appreciate them and their willingness to support you in this way. Gratitude is SO important.
Guide Your Client through the Testimonial Process
The best testimonials are specific, detailed, and have a purpose in mind. I always recommend that you give your clients specific questions to answer about their experience with you.
Although it might allow respondents to answer more quickly, don’t ask only yes/no questions. Ask questions such as:
–What were things like before we started working together?
–How have things improved and changed through our work together?
–What have you enjoyed most about my product/service?
–What would you want other people to know about me/my product?
A powerful testimonial talks about a specific problem the client experienced before coming to you, and describes how you solved the problem. Structure your questions in such a way that people can’t get away with being vague. A testimonial that simply says “this class was awesome” doesn’t tell you much. A testimonial that says, “before I came to this class I couldn’t manage to sing in key, but now I can carry a tune all the way home” is far more compelling because you know why the class was so awesome.
Capture Organic Testimonials
Occasionally, clients will reach out to you rather than the other way around, just to let you know that they appreciate your service. When this happens, ask them if you can quote them. Tell them you’d like to share their comments so that others can benefit as well. Most people love to give advice and make recommendations, so being a source of information about your business allows them to do that. They will be flattered that you want to quote them, and more than happy to help you gain more business.
Where To Use Testimonials
You can and should use testimonials everywhere! The words of your clients can sell your product or service just as effectively – if not more so – than your own marketing materials. Here are some possible places to use testimonials:
- on your website
- on your resume
- in your portfolio
- on your quotes, order confirmations and invoices
- in your print ads, sales letters, direct mail
- when you encounter a barrier while talking to a client
- on Twitter – in bite-sized pieces
- on your blog – tell a success story about a client
- in Facebook and Google+
- in preview teleclasses and workshops (invite your testimonials to be with you live!)
Final Testimonial Tips
It’s ok to edit testimonials, especially if they are very long, and it’s definitely a good idea to correct any spelling mistakes. But try not to over-edit. Even if grammar errors make you cringe, they give some personal flavor and help remind people that it’s genuine.
Spread your testimonials out over your marketing materials. If you strategically place testimonials with relevant content they can have a big impact on how well the content is received.
Finally, whenever possible, use your client’s full name. It is important to get permission from your testimonial to do so, and using a client’s full name + either location or their website lends much, much more credibility to their testimonial because readers and prospects will see that your testimonials are real people celebrating you!