You’ve heard all about the tools I love. In addition to these tools, there is something else I totally dig in a major way—testimonials!
Want to clinch a prospect? Want to show your credibility? These little gems are the best way to do it. If you aren’t actively asking for, getting and displaying testimonials—then you’re missing out on one of the biggest cherry-topped marketing tools there is.
Why you need them
It’s this simple: a testimonial lets your reader experience how fabulous you are through the eyes of someone just like them. Does it get any better than that? Nope. Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable to be fabulous? Get over it quick. See, portfolios are great—but they just show the end product. They don’t tell prospects how flexible, friendly and accommodating you were. Only a testimonial gives insight into the experience clients had working with you—and sometimes, the experience is the most important thing of all.
Added bonus: Testimonials aren’t just good for the person reading them—they can be good for the person giving them! The interaction with your clients once a project is completed further solidifies their experience, and yours. Mucho-mojo!
How to get them
Ask. Simply ask. Make it part of your process. Here are a few tips:
- Seize the moment. When a project is just launched—your client is excited and it’s the perfect opportunity to say, “Would you mind writing a quick testimonial for my website?”
- Get them started. If you want to save your client time, you can write out a testimonial and leave a few blanks for them to fill in. “The best thing about my experience working with Jill was ____________________.”
- Pay attention. Your clients give you positive feedback through emails and phone calls, right? Capture these tidbits, turn them into a testimonial and ask your client, “Can I use this on my website?”
- Grab ’em. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter—any kind words left in your good graces, singing your praises to the world—are fair game. Take a screen shot, cite the link, and post them on your testimonials page right away.
- Past clients. Go back to the past clients who were thrilled with your work. Tell them you’d like to put some testimonials on your website and ask them to write one.
Afraid of asking for them? For many of us, there’s always that fear of rejection. Someone might not want to do it. They’re probably just too busy. If you don’t hear back, it’s okay to just move on. Don’t worry, be happy.
How to display them
Now that you’ve got them—are you going to keep these love notes hidden away? No way! You’re going to show them off. Get over your discomfort and allow yourself to shine. Here are a few tips on displaying your kudos to your best advantage:
- Keep them short; a paragraph is plenty! You don’t need rambling praise—just something short and sweet. If someone sends you a long one, go ahead and excerpt the exciting part.
- Where to display? Everywhere. Devote a page to testimonials (here’s my testimonial page). In addition, you can put them in your footer or sidebar so people can see them from anywhere on your site (plus, it reinforces your other content). You can also highlight one or two in your MailChimp newsletter or social media.
- What order? Many people keep the newest testimonial first, but they don’t necessarily have to be chronological. If you have one that’s 10 years old—but still awesomely speaks to the work you do—put it on top.
- Get personal. Cite a client’s name and company when possible (just be sure to get permission). To take it an extra step, put your client’s picture with their kind words; it gives even more personality and authenticity!
- Keep them skimmable. Bold the most important sentence so they stand out for readers. This way, they’ll get the big idea—and can read the rest if they want to. Don’t forget about styling them nicely and consistently: quotation marks, bold client names or speech bubbles can be fun elements to use.
Here are a few different examples of testimonial pages I’ve created for clients:
It’s time to get started! Once you get to 5—you’ve got enough for a testimonials page. (It will be easy—your clients love you.) If you need a new online home for these testimonials to live, I’d love to help you create one.