How to get great testimonials (the kind that sell for you)
One of the most important things your future clients want to see on your website are examples of clients you’ve worked with in the past.
Great testimonials provide this information – and they do so much more!
When testimonials are done well, they provide:
- Social proof: simply having testimonials shows your potential clients that other people have trusted you enough to hire you
- Credibility: when your client testimonials speak about the experience and results you help them get, they are vouching for you
- Insight into how you work: testimonials – especially if they’re constructed as mini-case studies – can provide information about how you work with clients so that your future clients get an idea of what to expect
Testimonials can also be used to overcome concerns, objections or hesitations about working with you. (More on this later…)
Why testimonials can be hard to get
As great as they can be, testimonials can be hard to gather – and when you finally do get them, they’re often not very good.
Clients often find writing a testimonial to be hard. (Just like all marketing copy can be hard to write!)
They want to help you. They have positive things to say.
It’s just that they lose their train of thought when faced with a blank page.
They can’t find the words to say what they want to say, so they put if off until “later” and don’t get around to it.
Or they give it their best shot and send you something that often isn’t very good.
3 types of “not very good” testimonials
Most testimonials fall into these categories:
Patty is a great writer.
Basically, they’re giving you a grade on your work. It might be an A, but still it’s a grade – and while it’s somewhat helpful – it’s not the best kind of testimonial.
Patty is awesome! I love Patty!
These ones often feel good to our ego, but don’t offer a lot of information to our potential clients.
Sure, it’s helpful for them to know that your clients are happy with you and think you’re great…but these are pretty empty (and kinda sound like they came from your Mom.)
You should hire Patty. If you’re on the fence, just go for it!
These have their place. There’s a bit of reassurance and sometimes a bolder call to action than we’d make ourselves. But not particularly helpful to the person considering us.
A really great testimonial tells the story of your work with a client
Your future clients want to know: can you help me with my problem? Do you work with people like me?
A good testimonial will answer this question…and more.
Before working with Patty, I was stuck trying to write my new website content. I had just been certified in a new modality and I wanted to blend my new work in with my current services – and I just couldn’t find the words to say what I wanted to say.
I’d heard good things about Patty, but when I found out how much she charges, I was like “whoa!! that’s a lot of money!!”
But after we finished our work together, I showed it to my husband and he said: “Whatever you’re paying that woman, she’s worth every cent!”
Turns out he was right because my last 2 clients came to me after reading my website, so I’ve already made back my investment and more.
I love my new website content and during the process of creating it, I actually developed more confidence about what I’m offering and what I’m charging.
The thing I liked best about Patty is that she didn’t ask me to choose one thing or another, she figured out how to talk about my multiple services in a way that made sense. She managed to take my blah blah blah rambling and wordsmith it into something compelling but not icky and salesy.
OMG, Patty! That’s way too long.
In one testimonial, I’ve covered:
- a very specific situation that is common to a lot of my clients (stuck writing web copy, trying to combine multiple services)
- the outcome they want (copy that helps them get clients)
- a pricing objection/question (will this be worth it?)
- a bit about what I do/how I do it (turning rambling blah blah into compelling copy)
- a bit about what makes me unique (not advising them to choose one thing – advice that they may have received from other marketing advisors)
- a bonus benefit (confidence around pricing…which is another issue a lot of my clients struggle with)
Really great testimonials aren’t hard to get, but they don’t happen by accident.
So how do you get these amazing testimonials? Conduct an interview and ask these questions.
The best and easiest way to get good testimonials is by interviewing your client.
Here are some questions you could ask:
- Why did you hire me/take my course/buy my thing? What problem were you trying to solve? What results were you hoping to get? (This is THE most important question!)
- What was the outcome? What did you get from our work together? How did it help? What did it do for you?
- What did you like best about working with me?
- Was there anything that made you think twice before you hired me/signed up/bought my thing? Was there something you weren’t sure of, some reason for hesitating? (This question is fishing for objections.)
- Is there anything else you’d like to add? If you were talking to someone who was interested in hiring me/taking my course/buying my thing: what would you tell them?
Write down what they actually say. Use their words! (Recording the call makes this a lot easier.)
Then draft a testimonial for them to approve.
The second best way is to send the questions via email and encourage them to simply answer the questions.
By asking specific questions, you make it easier for your client to provide a testimonial…and you get a better quality testimonial in the end.
Don’t have time? Feel like this might be awkward?
Interviewing clients to gather testimonials is a service that I offer – either as a stand alone project or as part of a larger engagement. If you’d like some help with this, book a free consultation and we’ll chat!
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