How to harness the power of testimonials
This week I recorded a podcast with broadcaster and voiceover artist Faye Dicker. To get a bit of outside perspective, she interviewed a couple of my clients. I had no idea what they’d say until I listened to the finished edit, and I have to admit I was absolutely thrilled with what I heard.
One line in particular made me blush with pride: “She was one of the best finds I’ve ever made at a networking event.” Wow. You can’t buy that kind of praise, can you?
Now, I’m not telling you this because I want to show off. What I do want to demonstrate is that the most effective words you can use to promote your business are the ones other people use.
Client testimonials are incredibly powerful because they’re independent and based on genuine experience. They are the social proof that you are who you say you are, that you can do what you say you can do.
Testimonials help build trust, especially if they are coming from people or companies that your potential clients may actually know or have heard of.
How to get client testimonials
Getting testimonials should be easy enough. Simply phone or email a few past or current clients and see whether they would be willing to write a short testimonial based on the work you've done for them. Assuming you did a good job, they’ll probably be very willing to help.
You could even build this into your regular aftercare marketing plan. Set yourself a reminder so that a week or two after a project has finished, you remember to drop the client an email to check how things are going, and ask for that testimonial. You never know, you might even get more work out of it.
If you run workshops or provide another service where it’s easy to gather opinions via a feedback form, make sure to ask permission to use any comments as testimonials in your marketing materials. Again, if you’ve done a good job, people are unlikely to mind.
How to make the most of client testimonials
Perhaps it’s a British thing, but most of us receive praise with an awkward “Aw, thanks” and a quick change of subject. It certainly doesn’t seem good form to go on about it to other people. But that’s exactly what you should be doing with business testimonials.
Here are a few ideas for how you can utilise them throughout your marketing plan:
- Spread them across your website: I’m not a fan of testimonials pages - rather use them on your homepage, about and services pages, in bite sized chunks to keep people’s attention.
- Use them to create quote pictures: With free and easy-to-use software like Canva and Phonto, anyone can do it - some even have templates so you don’t have to come up with a design yourself.
- Read them out at your regular networking event: Most people there probably know you well and don’t need a recap of what you do anyway.
- Include them in your sales pitch: When you hear someone describing a problem you can solve, explain how you were able to solve the problem for a previous client and how they felt about the results.
- Add them to press releases: Real life examples of how your product or service is helping people can make or break a story.
I’d love to hear about your favourite testimonials and how you’ve used them to market your business - drop me a line on Twitter and I’ll be sure to retweet the best ideas.