5 Tips On How To Get and Use The Power of Testimonials
Before we get into the 5 tips to get testimonials, let’s start with the basics on what is a testimonial and why you need them.
What is a testimonial or endorsement?
A testimonial for marketing purposes is a person’s written or spoken statement expressing a positive opinion of an individual, product or service. A testimonial can be considered a sales-pitch by ordinary citizens, where an endorsement is usually applied to a celebrity or someone of significant prominence.
Why do you need testimonials and endorsements?
It may seem obvious why you would need testimonials. But I want to break down why testimonials are important for your business and how it affects people psychologically when weighing whether or not to buy your product or service.
Testimonials from customers who are not famous have been used in marketing for a very long time. Essentially a past or current customer would offer a testimonial of the product or service, and then the company can use that in any of their marketing efforts. The purpose of the testimonial is to build trust and credibility with your business.
Testimonials are a form of social proof. An effective testimonial tells potential customers that other people ‘just like you’ have used this product or service with great results. It allows consumers to make an ‘informed’ and quick decision on whether to buy your product or service.
They are essentially using the collective knowledge of a user base to make their decision. The thinking becomes if “X” amount of people like this product, then I will too. Or if these “big companies” use this product, then I will too.
The need for testimonials have exploded with the rise of the internet and social media. Testimonials are now more important than ever as the internet is full of reviews, which is essentially a testimonial. Websites such as Google Maps, Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Instagram, Etsy and others have become the place where people go to get information on companies or products before they purchase. Testimonials are not just words, they can manifest themselves in other ways such as star ratings, likes, written reviews or video endorsements on social media.
The problem with testimonials is that skeptical customers may believe that the testimonials are not true and or falsified in some way. They may believe the person is just an actor, or the two people are friends, completely fabricated or even some form of payola. So it is your job to make them as believable as possible. Testimonials can be amazingly effective when they are believed to be true.
Should you ask for video or written testimonials?
Testimonials can be text, video or even audio based. It really depends on the medium in which the testimonial will be placed. However, video testimonials are far better than the other two.
- Video testimonials are far more engaging and interactive than just plain text. They can be visually stimulating and still contain captivating audio. They can also contain text in the form of sub-titles or keywords of the testimonials that can be shown in creative ways to capture the audience. This is especially true if you will utilize the testimonial on your website or social media.
- Video testimonials can be transcribed later to text to be used on a website or sales kit or the video portion can be taken out and just be used as audio in a radio commercial or podcast.
- Video testimonials are today more easier to do than ever before. With the omnipresence of smartphones in society, coupled with the quality of video in smartphones, it is easy for a client to pick up a smartphone and start talking to the camera. For some clients, this may be easier than having to sit down and formally write a testimonial. If you have access to a professional filming location, you can alternatively have the client come to you so you can shoot the video for them.
Getting testimonials for your business is a crucial marketing tool you can use to build credibility for your business. Testimonials are a critical element for your business to showcase trustworthiness. It helps potential customers make an easier decision on whether to buy your products or services. Customers are constantly faced with a barrage of choices for any need they may have. Testimonials and other forms of social proof help make the decision process easier for customers.
Where to use testimonials?
Testimonials should be used everywhere you can within reason. Essentially they can be used anywhere you are attempting to convince someone to buy your product or service.
Here are a few of the places you can use testimonials
- Websites (Home page or any product page)
- Landing Pages (A webpage with the specific purpose of selling a single product)
- Sales Kits
- Social Media
- Print, TV or Radio Ads
I am going to provide you with simple strategies you can utilize immediately to help you get more testimonials from your customers.
1. Quality Work
This should go without saying but before you ask for a testimonial make sure you are providing quality work. Always make sure the customer is satisfied with your work before asking for a testimonial. Make it a point to do at least the bare minimum that is required of you to meet the needs of your client. If possible, go above and beyond what is required of you to help secure the testimonial. This is an especially effective technique if it is a testimonial from a well known or prominent company or person.
Offer Something Additional for Free or Cheap
Another hack you can use to secure a good testimonial is to offer your client something free or cheap that has a ‘high perceived value’, but may be something you can get for free or for really cheap. For example, if a customer of mine orders a website, I may give them a steep discount on printed business cards or flyers. Not steep enough where I lose money, but the profit is minimized. Only offer items that will not take you a lot of time to do or cost you much money.
This will help the customer feel a lot better about working with you and will be willing to write a glowing testimonial for your business.
2. Customer Service
Alongside, providing your customer with quality work. You should always make sure you provide great customer service.
Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Are you kind, friendly and attentive?
- Do you have good rapport with the client?
- Are you proactive to potential customers’ needs or wants?
- Do you respond to questions or concerns quickly?
- Are you providing a stress-free experience?
- Is it easy and convenient to work with you?
Providing great customer service is guaranteed to get you a great testimonial. Quality work is not enough to secure a good review. It is extremely important you take care of the customer as well.
3. Always Ask For The Testimonial
It is important to get in the habit of proactively asking every new client you get for a testimonial. You should also look at your past relevant clients and ask them for a testimonial.
Most clients will provide the testimonial as long as they are happy with the product or service.
Ask After Completion
Always ask the client for a testimonial right after the project is complete. They are the most excited over the work you just did for them and will be most likely to write something positive for you.
Look For Cues
If a client is raving about the work you are doing either before, after or during the project. Make a note to ask them to put that in writing once the project is complete.
Thank You Email
After the project is complete send them a thank you email, essentially thanking them for the business and making sure they are satisfied with the final product and experience. Then, ask them for a testimonial. Be sure to mention it would mean a lot to you and your business, it will help support local or small businesses.
4. Make It Easy
The next step in getting testimonials written for you is to make it easy for them to be written. I’ve found that most individuals would love to write a testimonial for your business, especially if they are more than satisfied with the work.
Oftentimes, these individuals are legitimately busy or not legitimately busy. For some people, they have so many things to do that writing a testimonial is not a priority for them. For others, the thought of having to sit down and write a testimonial can seem daunting or time consuming.
Others, do not know what to say or have never written a testimonial before or are not confident in their writing or speaking on camera abilities.
So it is your job to make it easier for them.
Here are some tips you can use.
Write The Testimonial For Them
After you ask for the testimonial and you sense resistance or you find you are getting a lot of excuses as to why it hasn’t been done. You can offer to write the testimonial for them. Or if you know for sure this individual is extremely busy, you can offer it right from the beginning.
Tell them you will ask them a series of questions and you will base the testimonial on the answers to the questions. Again, if you feel resistance to answering questions, you can offer to just write it yourself altogether. Always tell the client that you will allow them to review, edit and approve the testimonial before it is publicly displayed. This is effective, because no one reading the testimonial would assume that you wrote it for the individual. A well written testimonial also makes the client look more prominent, intelligent and competent. Tell them you will offer a dofollow website link to their business as a bonus.
Here are a few questions you can ask:
- List 3 – 5 things you liked about the finished product or service
- List 3 -5 things you liked about the process
- List 3 – 5 things you liked about the customer service
- How did the product or service compare to anyone you’ve used in the past?
- Would you recommend this product or service to others and why?
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Use Google Forms
Here’s a pro tip to make it easier for you to get testimonials done for your clients. Create a Google Form (Free) or any other form creation tool with all of the questions you would need answered. This will make it easier for you and them, as you will always have your questions ready to go, when it is time to write the testimonial for them. In the form, you can ask them the questions above, but you can also ask them to upload their logo or a headshot/picture.
Make The Testimonial Believable
It is really important that you show the testimonial is credible and isn’t something that you just made up.
Here are a few things you can add to make the testimonial more credible:
- Use first name and last name
- Use job title or position
- Use company name
- Use a picture
- Link to actual work you did for the client, if possible
- Link to client website
- Use client logo
Once you get your testimonial, it is equally important to utilize them in as many ways as possible.
Here are a few additional things you can do with your testimonials.
- Add testimonial to social media with graphics by creating a post or story
- Ask the client to post the testimonial to your LinkedIn page
- Ask the client to post the testimonial to Google Maps
- If the client recorded a video testimonial. Transcribe the testimonial for them so they can put on their social channels.