Today’s blog post is something I have found myself talking about a bit lately with my mastermind and private 1:1 coaching clients – TESTIMONIALS!
Those little pieces of gold that clients or customers give you that can help in all areas of your marketing to drive sales.
They make for fabulous marketing – in things like Facebook Ads, good to have on your website, and are just great for our wellbeing as business owners – that soul boost in knowing or reading how we’ve helped others.
No matter what business you’re in you should be actively collecting testimonials. And, quite frankly, actively GIVING them too – because if you truly want them, then give them – then they will show up for you more!
We all know that it’s much more powerful for someone to tell others how great we are, then us telling people how great we are!
So, we know testimonials are important.
But the problem is, while most of us have a list of satisfied clients, few of us take the time to regularly ASK for a testimonial from their customer.
We need to create the habit of asking – because if you struggle to get them now, you know NOT asking isn’t working for you!
So, when do you ask?
Great question, and I’ll give you a common scenario:
You’re working with a client, they’re thrilled with your work and are experiencing some fabulous outcomes, in fact the exact outcomes they wanted when they started working with you.
They verbally tell you they are very happy with what you’ve helped them achieve.
They paid the money, and you delivered the value. Everyone is satisfied and walks away from the arrangement feeling very happy! A true WIN:WIN.
Feedback like this is awesome – but it’s also the EXACT time you should ask for a testimonial because at this point only you and your client know who awesome you are!
With this though, you don’t want any old testimonial, you want a very specific type – one that makes the next person take action to work with you (or at least plants the seed to do so!)
So, how do you start getting testimonials?
Let’s go through the four steps to get a great testimonial:
Make a list of 3 to 5 clients who you know would be happy to give you a testimonial.
Call each one of them and say this: “Hi (client), I’m putting together some new marketing materials and I’d love to include your testimonial. Would you be okay if I wrote down what I’ve heard you say and send it to you? You can feel free to adjust and change it as much as you like.”
Now calling is better than emailing or messaging but do this step in the form of communication that you’ve been interacting with your client already. If you normally email them, email them. If you usually DM them, DM them! etc
Write the testimonial for them. Never call a client and simply ask them to write a testimonial for you.
This is the big piece of gold you simply MUST take on board – WRITE IT FOR THEM!
A. They won’t know what to write.
B. Don’t give them another task or make it their problem as chances are they’re busy enough.
C. By asking them to write it, they become significantly less likely to ever do it so you are then left with either having to start hassling them for it with constant reminders, or you give up on it because you don’t want to damage the relationship and consequently you miss out on the testimonial.
Send them an email with the testimonial YOU wrote based on their verbal feedback to you.
As long as it sounds like them, they really did say those nice things about you and they did experience that outcome that you’ve written about, you will likely receive permission from your client to use that testimonial (unchanged) in your marketing, within days (or sometimes hours) of sending it to them.
If you get in the habit of asking for testimonials, you can build up a show reel of evidence that highlights and proves the types of results you are able to produce for clients.
SO, WHAT DO YOU WRITE? HOW DO YOU WRITE A TESTIMONIAL FOR SOMEONE?
Make sure anything you write has an OUTCOME DRIVEN focus.
Let’s face it, having a testimonial that says you are a nice person, were easy to deal with, professional in your dealings and pleasant to work with is nice, but it’s unlikely to drive the desire to work with you.
Being friendly, easy to work with and professional are a buyer’s minimum expectation, like having “trustworthy” on your resume – no one ever hired an untrustworthy person!
So, with an outcome driven focus, our goal is to highlight the types of results working with you can produce for the reader (ie potential customer/client).
There are 5 key elements to a truly powerful and effective testimonial:
- State the problem
What was the problem they had before working with you?
- The implication
How long had they needed battling the problem before they started to work with you? You want to demonstrate that putting off getting help seldom works and the sooner you act, the sooner you can have great results.
- The Transformation
A good testimonial shows a specific transition and ideally will quantify exactly what the size of the impact you had was.
Make it outcome specific if possible. They had a jump in revenue of x% or they hit 6 figures or doubled the size of their email list etc.
- The Outcome
What outcome did you provide for your client that you’re writing the testimonial for – perhaps they went from feeling trapped to liberated; from being out of control to creating the business and life they want.
This part of the testimonial should demonstrate that with professional guidance, you can quickly turn things around and start building the business you want.
It’s so important that any testimonial is accompanied by the full details of the person who provided it to substantially increase the credibility of them. Wherever possible also include their photo to truly bring it to life (with their permission of course!).
So now you have 3-5 written testimonials from your clients, they are amazing, and will help drive you more business, what do you do with them?
Well the first lesson is that Testimonials must be Integrated, not Isolated.
A big thing is here, DON’T have a “testimonials” page on your website! Firstly, it’s vain and secondly have a look at your analytics, how many people actually click it and what’s the bounce rate?
100% testimonials should live on your website – but on EVERY page of your website – not just one specific page.
They should be where the eyes are looking!
A testimonial is designed to:
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Provide evidence of the results you produce
- Build trust in your services
None of this is possible if the testimonial is hidden away.
Testimonials also make great Facebook/Instagram Ads – remembering the best ads don’t look like ads!
Again, other people saying how great you are has a much quicker result then you saying how great you are!
Use testimonials in ad copy, email copy, social media captions, in your About Section on Facebook and LinkedIn – just about anywhere you want to move the needle closer to a sale!
Some people ask me about video testimonials – should they get those from clients? My answer is yes and no. I work with a LOT of small businesses and I can tell you that getting them in front of camera is probably one of the biggest barriers they have in their own social media content, let alone doing a video testimonial for me – it just ain’t gunna happen. So be aware of what you’re asking.
However – if you do get a video testimonial, then add captions, and transcribe it – so you can use it in other areas of your marketing that video might not be appropriate to do.
NOW, if you’ve read all this and you know you should do it, but you are feeling anxious or odd reaching out to clients and asking for testimonials, then simply blame me! LOL!
Tell your client you’re working with a business coach and gathering testimonials is part of the work you’re doing with them, and you can’t turn up next week and not have done it! If that makes you more comfortable and gives you an excuse to reach out, then I’m happy to take the blame for your continued success!
Finally, like I said at the start, if you want more testimonials, start giving more! As well as reaching out to 3-5 of your clients asking for one – give 3-5. Practice writing them as yourself and the outcomes others have given you and give it to a small business owner you’ve worked with recently who’s helped you or exceeded your expectation.
Write one and email or and go further and leave a Google My Business Review for them and/or a Facebook Recommendation.
Give love to get love – you know that’s my motto!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR!
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast.