How to get Killer Testimonials and why you need them
One of the quickest ways to turn someone off working with you is to come across salesy on your website. Sorry to say it, but nobody wants to hear how great you are from you. They’d much rather hear how great you are from someone like them who is going through the same situation they are.
This is where testimonials come in.
Our most persuasive marketing often comes from our past clients, and the best part is that it removes that sleazy, salesy, icky feeling you hate when people are trying to sell to you!
6 reasons why you need to use Testimonials
There are so many reasons why we should be using testimonials in our website, social media, and marketing efforts, and here are some of the best reasons to start using testimonials right away:
They provide proof that people are using your service and investing in what you do, and we’re more likely to do something when we see other’s are already doing it. We’ve all heard of FOMO, right? This often applies for services too!
Testimonials build trust and credibility about your service, which is needed before someone is willing to fork over their hard earned dollars. They need to know you are as good as you claim to be, and getting that feedback from people in their situation will help with that
Collecting testimonials will help provide feedback about the service you have provided and what you can do to improve it. If the review isn’t that great, it also gives you an opportunity to fix the issue before getting your client shares the experience with others
Including testimonials on your website can help boost your SEO efforts by providing fresh content full of keywords, and links to other websites that help showcase your connections. Better SEO = More website visits from your ideal clients
About 93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions and about 68% of people are willing to pay up to 15% more on a service if they are assured they’ll have a good experience based on a study by Podium. By not having testimonials, we’re limiting the number of people that will consider working with us and the amount we can earn from our clients
They will speak to your ideal clients in their own language since they are coming from your previous clients, so they can connect well on an emotional level. A great testimonial that is well placed on a website could be the thing that pushes your ideal client over the edge if they are unsure about hiring you!
What makes a Good Testimonial?
Let’s face it, we all love when someone raves about our service, but that doesn’t always make for a convincing testimonial.
If you just ask for a review and don’t give any guidelines, you’ll likely end up with something like “It was great working together and I love my website copy”, but it doesn’t make you want to purchase, does it?
However, if we give some guidance about what we want our client to talk about, we can get a much more enticing response like:
“I was struggling with writing my website copy, but you made it so simple and easy. The process was clear (and dare I say, FUN!), the communication was great, and my website copy has now gone from drab to fab! I was hesitant to work with a copywriter after a bad experience in the past, but I can’t wait to work with you again in the future”
It touches on the pain points your ideal client has, shows the benefits someone had from working with you and brings about excited emotions that will encourage someone to purchase from you.
Bonus Points: If your testimonial includes facts and figures about how you have changed your clients' life, even better! This sort of evidence is testimonial gold!
Credibility & Trust
Now on to credibility. If you see a testimonial from “Anonymous” or “A.B”, do you trust it? I mean, you have no idea who it is or if it’s real, after all.
How about if you see the same testimonial from Jennifer Lake, Head Designer of Springfield Design, and a picture of Jennifer’s smiling face?
Adding your client’s full name, their company and position, along with an image is much more trustworthy and compelling than a testimonial that can’t be verified. Adding a face in some cases has shown an increase action by 102.5%, which is massive!
Bonus Points: If you have a client willing to give an amazing testimonial on video, this takes things to a whole new level! The video will show body language and real excitement better than written words can because they trigger us to feel the same emotion of the person on video. Also, we have a much better chance of remembering a video compared to written text as well, which could attract someone back to you if they aren’t at the point of purchase just yet.
How to get Killer Testimonials
Now we know what makes a great testimonial, how do we go about getting them?
You can start by checking out your Facebook or Linked In reviews, reviews you’ve received on freelancing platforms, or even going through emails you’ve received from happy clients. If you have some great reviews here already, reach out to your client to check if you can use their feedback as a testimonial. If they say yes, you can get started displaying your testimonials straight away!
If you don’t have any past testimonials or feedback to use, that’s completely ok.
Going forward, you want to set up a process and make collecting testimonials a part of your client offboarding procedures. This will help you remember to do it and having a process in place will save you a lot of time too.
You want to make it as easy as possible for your client to leave you a killer testimonial. The best way I have found is to create a questionnaire that they can fill in that prompts them with a few guided questions that get more details out of them. This helps your client overcome not knowing what to say in the first place, and your testimonials will be so much more useful!
Your questionnaire could be done as a form on your website, a Google Form, an Airtable form, something via your CRM system... Really any system like this will work as long as you stay consistent and keep the results in one place.
Once you know what platform you will use, you want to create your questionnaire so it guides your client with what to talk about. Some ideas of questions you could use are below and don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to fill in the questionnaire and remind them that their feedback will be used to improve your service so they know it will be read.
How satisfied were they with the process?
How did they feel about their pain point before working with you?
What fears or hesitations did they have before working with you?
What benefits or gains do they expect from the work you completed?
If someone is on the fence about working with you, what advice would they have for them?
If there is anything that could be done to improve the experience, what would be it?
Would they recommend your service to a friend in a similar situation?
Can you use their photo?
Once you know what you want to ask, you can set them up on your platform of choice and you're almost done!
Next, you want to consider when the best time to ask your clients for feedback is. Is the benefit of your service immediate, or do you need to wait a couple of weeks for your client to see results? There’s no right or wrong here, you just need to work out what is the best fit for your service and your clients.
Now you know the best to reach out to your ideal clients, you want to set up a process for it. This could be an automated email that goes out, or you can set up a canned email that you will personalize and send each time.
In your email, you want to check in to see how they are going and if there is anything further you can help them with, then ask for feedback via a quick survey and include the link. Remember you want to make this easy for them, so only ask for feedback on one platform!
If you find that you don’t have many people respond, there are a few things you could try:
Firstly, you could give an incentive such as a discount code for further work with you, or an entry into a competition
Alternatively, you could also remind them that you will link to their website when you use the testimonial, which can help direct more traffic there, and gives them an SEO boost so people will be able to find them more easily in Google searches
Now you can wait for the killer testimonials to start rolling in!
What to do once you have your Testimonial?
Now you have a growing collection of killer testimonials, but how can you best make use of them?
Firstly, you want to create graphics and share them on social media. Don’t forget to tag your client when you do. This lets them know you’ve received their feedback and appreciate it, and they may even share your post, which puts you in front of their audience too!
Next, you want to showcase your testimonials on your website. While you can have a big testimonial page, people tend not to visit these sorts of pages so your hard earned testimonials will be more effective sprinkled around your website in strategic places.
You might include some testimonials on your home page where people first discover your service to encourage someone to head to your services page, then at key spots on your service page where the testimonial really speaks to what you are talking about. If you have anywhere else on your website where someone may be considering a purchase, you can add testimonials there too!
Now that you know why you need to make use of testimonials on your website, what makes a good testimonial, and how you can get the best testimonials possible, I’ll be back next week with some ideas on how you can display your testimonials on your website for a big impact!
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