Why testimonials are business gold: and how they can do your marketing for you!

Want marketing to feel easier? Let’s get testimonials doing the work for you.

Testimonials are golden

Whether you’re still in the early days of business and have only worked with one practice client, or whether you’ve served hundreds of happy clients, testimonials are one of the most important pieces of marketing copy to get up on your site.

Do this as soon as possible, do it in the right way, and testimonials can be doing a lot of the marketing work for you.

A great testimonial can move a potential client from being vaguely interested to being actively interested and ready to pay. It provides social proof; it inspires your potential client to say, “Oh, others like me are doing this; it’s safe to take the leap.”

But there’s a massive difference between a run-of-the-mill testimonial and a glowing testimonial that moves your potential client to commitment.

Your testimonial-gathering strategy

You can implement this immediately, whether you’re ten days or ten years into running your business; follow these tips and give your potential client the confidence to say YES to working with you.

1. Prove the happy client is real

If I’m looking for a massage therapist locally and I find a website which includes this testimonial – “Wow, this is the best massage in Cambridge! Sarah B.” – I don’t know Sarah B is real. The massage therapist could have fabricated Sarah B. A testimonial without identifying details doesn’t carry value for me.

Action: Ask your happy client to share their full name and photo. (Even better: include location and profession too.) Feel nervous about this? Business owners often assume their happy clients won’t want to be visible in this way; you might be right, but you might be surprised. Ask – and let them make the decision.

2. Tell your happy client the real reason you would like their testimonial. Your happy client is likely to be a generous human being who’d love to help you build your business.

Moreover, they’ll want to help others like them.

Action: Make it clear that testimonials are for the benefit of future potential clients who have the same struggles or desires they had before working with you. Explain it like this: “I’d love to share your story with people who come to my site; it helps if they see people like themselves, who were once where they are now, and it’ll be inspiring for them to see your great results.” Explain that a testimonial is a way for your happy client to celebrate their success publicly, in a way that will help others. When you present it this way, be prepared for them to be delighted to say ‘yes’.

3. Ask for objections  – You might assume a testimonial is all about the positives

“I got this result! This was amazing! I’m in a far better place now!” Yes, certainly include these (more about this in a moment) but it’s just as powerful – if not more so – to highlight the resistance that the happy client initially had. It might sound counter-intuitive to display your happy client’s initial misgivings and hesitations, but it’s exactly what your potential client is looking for. They’re on the verge of becoming your client, but they’re currently experiencing some reluctance. Transformation is appealing but may seem out of reach; in this moment, they can relate more to the feeling of holding back. Imagine their relief to see that someone else (like them) was resistant too, but went ahead anyway and was so glad they did.

Action: Ask your happy client: “Did anything nearly stop you from going ahead with this?” Their response could relate to the cost, the timing, what their partner would say, or their uncertainty that the process or product would work for them. By including these objections in your testimonial, you’ll create a powerful sense of safety for your prospective client and reassure them that they too can take the leap.

4. Ask for specific results

A testimonial like this – “Sally was lovely, I loved her, she was fantastic, you should work with her” – doesn’t say anything. You want each testimonial to convey someone’s journey.

Action: Ask your happy client to share how they were feeling and what was happening for them before they worked with you or bought your product. Then, ask them to describe their life now.

Finally, ask them to join the dots and explain why your support was what enabled them to take the journey from A to B. The real-life specifics of the journey will speak powerfully to your prospective client and reassure them that they too can have this experience.

So, are you using testimonials to full effect in your business. Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes is known as the champion of self-employment. She demystifies the how-to-get-clients process, enabling you to market yourself effectively and get paid to do what you love. Connect with Corrina on the social icons below to find like-minded community and get free weekly inspiration and strategies for happy, profitable self-employment.

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