Getting great testimonials and highlighting them on your website is key to creating credibility and attracting the right clients.
But how do you get an amazing testimonial?
And…what makes a testimonial really solid?
Before we dive in, think of the word “testimonial.” A testimonial from a client is a testament, a statement testifying to something’s worth. If you’re a Christian, it’s a covenant between God and humans – kind of a big deal.
Keep this in mind as you’re collecting and creating your testimonials. This is serious business. Your clients are essentially testifying to your worth and value, so honor this process (and your clients)!
First, let’s talk about what a testimonial even is and what makes a good testimonial. Then, we’ll dive into how to get them from your own clients.
What are the features of a great testimonial?
It possibly goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that a great testimonial needs to be positive.
Next, they need to be specific – really specific in terms of both the product or service they’re a testament to.
Testimonials like, “Jane is SO Uh-May-Zing” are actually TERRIBLE. This is something your mom or BFF says about you. It’s vague. It does nothing to encourage a visitor to your site to purchase a product or service. In fact, those will probably be ignored or skimmed over.
To avoid that, get specific. Testimonials can be specific in several ways:
- Specifically describing the service/course/program and what makes it worthwhile
- If they were in a program or course, state what benefits they received from that program.
- Specifically describing personal traits as to how you work with clients or approach projects
- For example, are you patient? A strong communicator? Detail oriented? Super-direct and action oriented? Nurturing and empathetic? Strong? Smart? You get the idea.
- Also, highlight your process as you work with clients. Do you have a more open-ended process or are you a systems kind of gal?
- Highlight these traits in your testimonials
- Specifically stating the amazing results you’ve achieved for your clients
- Did you increase clients leads? Help them heal? Increase their spiritual connection? Shift their mindset? Increase their revenue or income? Provide systems for them to follow/replicate in their own business or life?
Whatever it is that you do, be as specific as you can in your testimonials.
Finally, they need to be credible. Include your client’s name, their website, and their photo. Give “proof” that this is a real person.
How do you get positive and specific testimonials?
I use a process that I initially learned in Marie Forleo’s B-school, but it has been tweaked and refined considerably. I’m not even sure it still resembles her process, but I like to give credit where credit is due!
“Get client testimonial” is a step that I actually have listed in my workflow (my list of each and every step I go through with both custom design and coaching clients). I use this exact process with every client. It’s not only a great process to create quality testimonials, it also gives me quality feedback on my own processes in terms of what clients like and where I can adjust to improve.
The process includes sending two or three emails.
Step #1 – Ask
First, I ask my clients if they’d be willing to give me some feedback. This happens either in an email or during a phone call.
Step #2 – Send them the question email
If they say yes, then I send off a second email with a list of questions. You can download a template of those emails here.
In the second email, I ask my clients a series of questions which you’ll want to adjust to “fit” your own business and industry. The most important feature of the questions is that they do NOT allow for a yes/no answer.
You want your clients to actually give you some feedback that will be helpful and also will create a quality (positive and specific) testimonial.
You can see all of my questions in the email templates, but here are a few I use:
1) How did you feel about your website before working with me? 2) Why did you feel that way? 3) How do you feel about your site now? 3) What hesitations did you have about working with me? 4) What did you like best about working with me?
Step #3 – Write the Testimonial
Once they get back to me, I review their answers, and I write the testimonial using their words. I often re-arrange the sentences so it makes sense and flows since they’ve sent me answers to 9-10 questions. Also, I might add an “and” or change the tense of a verb so it’s grammatically correct, but I always use their words.
Why do I write it? Because asking a client for a testimonial when they don’t know how to write one is a big ask. That’s when you get the “she’s so great” type of testimonial. Anyone can answer questions, but not everyone can write the kind of testimonial you’re looking for.
Step #4 – Share the testimonial and ask for approval/feedback
The next step is to email the testimonial to them and ask for their approval or any requested edits.
Step #5 – Get their permission & photo
I also ask for permission to use their photo and name on my website. I often already have their photos (since I played a big role in their website), but if not, I ask them for their photo or if I can pull it off of their site.
Step #6 – Post it!
Finally, post the testimonial on your website. If you’re not sure where to include them, this post on how to incorporate testimonials into your website will help you figure that out.
Remember to grab the email swipe file to use to get your own great testimonials.
You ARE amazing and awesome, and any other super positive adjective you can think of. So, don’t hesitate to share that with the world on your website.
I always read testimonials when I visit a site, especially if I’m looking at purchasing a product or service, so be sure you give potential clients or customers that same courtesy. The more information you can give them prior to their purchase the better.
If a potential client learns through a testimonial that you have a more gentle style of coaching when they looking for someone to push them hard, that’s GOOD. They’re not your ideal client, and they’ll move on. But that same testimonial will speak to someone who’s looking for a safe and calming space to figure her stuff out.
Finally, have fun with this. Your clients will share details that will surprise you in terms of what they got out of working with you and that will also bring you to your knees in gratitude that you get to serve people as you do. It’s actually a great “feel-good” exercise.
The icon in the image for this post is Heart comment by AlfredoCreates.com/icons & Flaticondesign.com from the Noun Project.