Testimonials—why you need them and how to make getting them easy
Do you regularly collect testimonials from your clients?
Testimonials are definitely important for many businesses—whether you sell a product or a service.
Maybe you’re wondering if you even need testimonials. When you see them on other entrepreneur’s websites, do you read them?
You know that the testimonials on a sales page for an online course are all going to be shiny with all the praise hands, so maybe they feel a little fake for you.
No matter where you stand, there are some fantastic reasons for collecting and sharing testimonials—here are my favorites:
Organizing client feedback all in one place
Social proof - showing that people have bought from you and had a great experience
Showing off your credentials and years of experience when you highlight a variety of customer quotes over time
SEO-friendly testimonials full of keywords generated by your clients
Actual words from your clients that you can use in your marketing and sales copy
A bank of praise to read over whenever you have a doubt-yourself-moment and consider packing it all in
Whether you’ve been collecting and sharing testimonials for years, have a big database full that haven’t seen the light of day or don’t even know where to begin, I’m going to break it down for you with a quick guide.
1. When do I ask for a testimonial?
The best time to ask your clients for a quote is quickly after they experience a transformation. This may be after you deliver your product or service or after they’ve had some time to realize the benefits. Generally, the sooner the better so that your client will still be feeling the energy of their transformation.
2. How do I ask for a testimonial?
Make it as easy and as quick as possible for your client. Giving you a few words should be the easiest thing they do today. To make it ridiculously easy for my clients, here’s my process:
Step 1: Send a Google form with the following questions:
What hesitations did you have before working with me?
What results have you seen since we’ve started working together?
How have you benefited?
Would you recommend me to a friend? What would you tell them?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Step 2: Collect the form and review their response. If some of their words would look great in a testimonial craft one from their answers using the format:
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Craft a longer one with several sentences, and let them know that you may use it in snippets being sure to use mostly their words. You’re not writing fiction here, you’re taking their direct feedback in their words and turning it into a statement you can quote.
Step 3: Email your client to thank them for the amazing feedback, and tell them you’ve turned their feedback into a testimonial. Include the quote you wrote in the email and ask if they’d like to change anything. In the same message, ask them for a headshot and to verify their title.
Step 4: They approve, maybe with a tweak, more thanks all around!
3. Where can I use testimonials?
Every great website has compelling testimonials. Here are some ideas for how to use those client words of delight:
Use throughout, at the bottom, or both on a sales page for the specific offer for which the testimonial applies
Create a testimonial page on your website and compile all of them there
On social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
In your Instagram stories where you can record a quick video of yourself talking through the context and perhaps using snippets
In a newsletter
In a series of email autoresponders
On your proposals
On printed marketing materials
4. Oops! I forgot to ask for testimonials! Is it too late?
Maybe not! Depending on your business you can reach back out to old clients. You may also have some reviews living on the interwebs that you haven’t captured.
Check social media: You may have received feedback from customers on your Facebook business page, Google, and even review sites like Yelp.
Scan your LinkedIn recommendations for snippets that would fit as a testimonial for your work. You can also ask your connections for a recommendation to feature on LinkedIn and in the other places where you share testimonials.
5. Set up a Google Alert for your business
Some of your clients might be singing your praises on their blogs and social media channels and you missed it. Ack! Set up daily email notifications through Google Alerts using terms like your name, brand name or product names, You can also include some keywords.
6. Do I need to offer incentives to get testimonials?
Maybe not. If you’re emailing a portion of your email list seeking some specific feedback it may help to offer a prize such as offering to enter them into a drawing or some small gift cards.
7. Can I ask for a testimonial if they didn’t pay me money?
Well, did you provide any value? If the answer is yes, then ask for a testimonial! This is a largely untapped source for lots of service-based business owners. If you provided value in a free conversation, the person on the other end might be even more willing to pay you in the form of shiny praise. Ask away!
8. Using names, photos, and links in testimonials
Always ask permission if you can use their photo and link to their website. Sometimes clients may want you to wait or stay anonymous. Usually, it’s a good practice to link back to their site.
If you want to add a layer of credibility to your site, you need to build out a solid testimonial page.
Testimonials build up the social proof that increases sales and conversions.
Fantastic testimonials take time to build. Great testimonials tell prospects that your product or service is not only legit but proof that you deliver on your promise and that other’s get what they came for—results!
Even if you collect feedback and it goes the bottom of your Google Drive folder to die, at the very least you’ll help your clients to feel seen and heard, and will have a bunch of client words and sparkly feedback for those times life hands you a shit sandwich.
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