Tips on testimonials
Testimonials are one of the most powerful ways of promoting your products, services or company because they build trust and overcome scepticism. Unlike many other forms of communication that make promises to potential clients, testimonials are seen as credible because your product or service is being promoted for you by satisfied clients.
Most people are hesitant to buy into whatever is being sold to them without proof that their experience will live up to the claims made, which is why they are more likely to be influenced by what one of your clients says about your business than what you say about yourself. We are all more likely to trust real people sharing their real experiences.
Testimonials help you to improve your credibility and trust by allowing sincere and satisfied customers to document their positive experiences with you or your company, as well as adding a human element to your marketing to engage prospective clients on a ‘heart’ level as well as a ‘head’ level. They are also one of the most cost-effective marketing methods out there.
Here are some points on getting and great testimonials:
- Be specific – effective testimonials focus on the actual experienced advantages of the product or service and how these benefited the customer personally. For example, a testimonial from a client who praises your level of professionalism and ability to deliver on time and on budget is much better than a gushing statement about how “nice” you are.
- Be real. The most influential testimonials are delivered by people with whom your target audience will be able to identify. This is why a testimonial from a real-life customer is often more effective than a celebrity endorsement.
- Powerful testimonials substantiate your claims, quantifiably. If you say your product will achieve something within a specific timeframe, your testimonials should back this up. Details of how much money your client saved, how your product solved his problem or how your service improved his life are vital inclusions in a great testimonial.
- Don’t be shy to ask for testimonials, but only ever ask clients who were 100% happy with your service or product. I find an easy way to do this is to follow up with a client after the job is complete and ask him whether he was satisfied. If he responds with an emphatic “yes”, I say something along the lines of the following: “I’m glad you were happy the work I did for you. One of the ways that I build my business is through collecting testimonials. Would you be willing to put your experience of working with me into a few sentences that I could use as a testimonial?”
- Once you have them, use your testimonials on your website and in your marketing collateral. You might also ask your client to use the function on LinkedIn to recommend you and your work.