How to ask for them.
What to ask exactly
What to do with them.
I’m willing to bet $ that the last time you bought something online, checking out the testimonials was one of the first things you did. I’m also willing to bet that the number of testimonials you saw had an effect on how much weight you gave those testimonials. Social proof is the number 1 influence on purchase decisions. Buyers are more skeptical because of the increased volume of marketing messaging.
So the more testimonials you have, the better. Most entrepreneurs do not have a testimonial strategy as part of their customer journey.
Somehow it kind of gets de-prioritized on the to-do list.
So when I come in we play a bit of catchup.
It's cool. Over the last year, I spent quite a bit of time capturing word of mouth for my clients. This involved testimonials, reviews, case studies, and customer interviews. The deeper I got into it, the more I realized I had an outdated approach. I thought it was just a matter of collecting 2-3 sentence blurbs and incorporating them into their site. Nope. Here’s what I learned over the last 12 months 5 tips on collecting stellar testimonials and leveraging them to grow your business 1.MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR CUSTOMER TO SING YOUR PRAISES Look at it from your customer’s perspective. They finished working with you several weeks back. Suddenly, an unexpected (and often apologetic) email lands in their inbox asking them if they can pretty please take 5 minutes to do you a solid and write a testimonial. 9/10 your email gets forgotten or de-prioritized and put on the I’ll get to this later pile. Worse, you get some generic blurb that could be about anything. This happened with a client of mine this year, and she couldn’t figure out why no one replying back with amazing testimonials. Key: Make it super simple for your clients to give you a testimonial. You can do this by providing them with prompts, so they are not staring at a blank page trying to figure out what to write. Ask them to talk about the results you delivered, a before and after scenario, or what it was like to work with you. Whatever you do, don’t leave them staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor.
You can even offer to write it for them and ask them to approve. Some examples to get you going. Tailor these to your specific situation.
Tell me what your work life was like before working with us/me and how it's different today.
Have you saved money, time, or hassle since working with us/me? Share how exactly and why that matters to you.
What is your favorite part about working with us/me and why?
What has exceeded your expectations since working with us/me?
What would you say to someone who is considering hiring us/me but isn't sure if they should?
Were there any unexpected benefits from working with us/me?
Note: these will not sound like this in conversation. You may frame questions differently but they should follow this cadence: before, during, after.
What was the problem. How did we solve it. What happened after.
This messaging cadence is the ideal cadence.
Too many testimonials are "Nancy was a breeze to work with."
different from "Nancy optimized our community page and we saw and "X" upkick in "X".
"Before working with Nancy, I was...Since then, I am"
See what I mean.
Although they are both social proof. One has more conversion power.
2.DIVERSIFY TESTIMONIAL FORMATS In my business, I use Slack all the time. For many service-based entrepreneurs, some kind of quick-feedback communication channel exists between them and their customers. It could be access to text or a platform like Slack. This is an amazing space to capture testimonials. You may email back and forth a lot.
You may get on calls a lot. (rocord some)
Summary: Collect screengrabs of slack messages, DMs, texts, video snippets
Social proof that appears to be captured spontaneously and displays real voice of customer data will outperform a formal testimonial.
Social proof comes in many shapes and sizes.
3.TIMING IS EVERYTHING This one was new for me too. The old-school way of collecting testimonials involved waiting until you were done working with someone and then asking them for one. This often results in formal-sounding, lukewarm words that don’t really help move your prospective customers to action. This is especially true if it's been a while and you have to start emails with "Hey Nancy, remember me Ned..."
You gotta strike when the iron is hot. On the heels of a great and fruitful call, heard news of a positive result? Ask then. Tell them it's for business and ask them to work on it with you.
People get it. Summary: Try asking for a testimonial while you are working with someone. Maybe you delivered an awesome result or wowed your clients with your professionalism. You will get a much stronger testimonial by asking when emotions are high. 4.CHERRY ON TOP:USE TESTIMONIALS TO IMPROVE YOUR COPYWRITING Capturing your customer’s voice is foundational for effective copywriting. Your testimonials can be a gold mine of messaging that will resonate with future prospects. Key: Use your customer’s words directly in your marketing. What do they care about? What was most important to them when working with you? What results did they most appreciate? What turns of phrase did they use when talking about their challenge? You are speaking their language and helping them feel seen and heard by including the words right out of their mouths. 5.GOOD TO THE LAST DROP Good testimonials are so much more than testimonials. They can be used across your marketing to create powerful content. They can also act as a springboard for new products and services. Key: Use your testimonials to generate multiple types of content. Here is a list of ways you can leverage your testimonials
Share your wins as organic social media content
Publish case studies on your blog (a whole other thing. research first)
Use in onboarding and sales sequences
Use direct quotes in email subject lines
Hope this was helpful
_______ Diliana Popova