What is a Testimonial?
Testimonials are word-of-mouth marketing, and they work wonderfully in adding credibility for your business. It’s hard to sing your own praises. If you do, it could be considered bragging. But if someone else says it, then it must be true!
They can provide the much-needed encouragement for clients who are on the fence about hiring you to then actually making the decision to become a paying customer.
What Makes a Great Testimonial?
- Need Specifics. A great testimonial needs to explain exactly WHY the service was exceptional or HOW the product made a difference. Just saying that a company did a good job or that the customer service was good is not enough.
- Needs to be Believable. If a testimonial sounds fake, then this can cause distrust. It is important to include personal details such as person’s full name, business name, and photo. This will add credibility.
- Needs to be Relevant. If customers buy Product A and your testimonials are about Product B, people will notice that being incorrect. Be sure to include the specific testimonials for the specific product or service.
- Don’t over-edit. Testimonials work best when they are in “real” language. Those small grammar and language quirks help the reader connect and demonstrate they are real.
- Don’t keep them hidden away. Be sure to take the time to post any testimonials that you receive on your website, on your social networks, and anywhere else that they would be visible to potential clients.
- Ask for Specifics. Here are some example questions…
- What is the one thing you liked best about working with me?
- Before you bought our service/product, what did you think of the company or the product?
- How did your perception of the service/product change after you became a happy customer?
- What benefits did you or your company see after becoming a customer?
- Would you recommend a friend or colleague?
- Don’t Make Them Up. While testimonials are crucial, it’s not worth the risk to fake them. Most people have well-trained BS detectors that can smell a fake a mile away.
What to include in a Testimonial:
- Business Name
- Job Title
- Website Address
- Headshot Photo or Logo
The testimonials section of your website can turn a lot of visitors into paying customers. This is one of the first things I look for on a website. I like to be able to read what other people are saying about a particular business, service, or product. So, having a page dedicated to client testimonials on your website and / or blog is key.
There are many different ways to incorporate testimonials into your website or blog. In WordPress, I am a big fan of the LTW Testimonial Plugin. You can see it in action on my Testimonials Page. I also have a place at the bottom of the page where clients can submit a testimonial right from my site. I set that up through the Gravity Forms plugin. Whenever I close out a client project, I send them an email with a link to my testimonials page and ask them if they would be so kind and submit a testimonial. I then get an email with all of their info and I can easily copy and paste it into the plugin so it will display on the page. Easy Peasy.
Another testimonial option for WordPress is to incorporate things that your Twitter followers say via Twitter Favorites or you can even copy and paste your LinkedIn Recommendations.
Placement of testimonials on a website is also important. Having a dedicated testimonials page is great, but how about adding them to your About page or to your site’s sidebar? Even adding one or 2 after the content on a product info page would be beneficial.