All small business owners need to focus on getting testimonials from their adoring clients. Testimonials are a form of social proof – a way for potential clients to learn more about your business through the successes of your current and past clients. What’s great about a testimonial is instead of you telling everyone how great your products and services are, you have someone else saying it for you – and that is way more believable than you saying it all the time.
There are four keys to getting great testimonials:
• KEY#1 – Make the testimonial process very easy – Most of your clients will say “Absolutely, I will give you a testimony.” Most of them really don’t know what to say, and it’s not a top priority on their list of things to do. You want to make it super easy for them. Create a four to five question survey. You can do it in Survey Monkey or whatever software you like. Send the client an e-mail and say “Hey, would you mind filling out this quick survey about your experience with me?” You can then take their answers and create a one to two paragraph testimonial. Once you create the testimonial you can e-mail it back to them so they can approve it.
• KEY #2 – Don’t wait until the end of your time with your client to get your testimonials – A lot of people make the mistake of waiting until their client engagement is finished. They feel like the person has to finish their six-month program or stop using the product before you can get a testimonial. Really the best thing to do is to get the testimonial during that process, especially if your client has had a great result – some kind of big win while he or she has been working with you is ideal for your testimony. Don’t wait to the end; feel free to contact your clients in the middle of that experience and get the testimonials from them at that time.
• KEY #3 – Make sure your testimonial provides information that will convince your future clients to work with you. You want to make sure the testimonial has a before and after statement. For example: Before I started working with T. Renee’ my marketing was unfocused and not targeted to an ideal client, and after working with T. Renee, I know exactly what to do with my marketing and branding.
The before statement is capturing where your future clients are now so they are going to resonant with that. Make sure you have that before and after statement so that people can really understand what it is that you did and the changes you helped in your client’s life.
• KEY #4– Include specifics or concrete numbers – Include numbers that people can wrap their arms around – doubled my e-mail list, increased my productivity by 50%, but down my marketing efforts by 25%, etc. If you help them increase sales by a certain percentage, or they got this many new clients, or they made this much money, make sure the testimonial includes that information.
• KEY #5– Include a photo – If your client has a professional photo or a nice photo that they have used on their social media profile or on their website use it with the testimonial. You can either get permission to use their photo or ask them to forward it to you. If it is easier for you look for your client’s photos on LinkedIn or maybe on their website and go ahead and copy it off there and that way you don’t have to pester them for it. You can forward them a copy of the picture with the testimonial to make sure it is good and begin using it. The process is super easy and fast.
You can also use social media to get testimonials. Facebook, Google and Yelp all have opportunities for people to leave reviews. Depending on your type of business, such as a brick-and-mortar business, social media sites may be the more appropriate place to get testimonials. Another tool is LinkedIn recommendations.
If you’re using LinkedIn heavily, then ask people to do the LinkedIn recommendation, and then from there, you can make the recommendation into a testimonial. Depending on your business it may be advantageous to check out the social media aspect of the reviews and recommendations. Get those first, and then reuse and re-purpose those on your website.