You’ve undoubtedly seen testimonials on various sales pages and products across the Internet. Testimonials are so common because they help convert readers into customers.
According to the B2B Content Marketing Report’s 2013 Survey, customer testimonials were found to be more effective than any other type of content marketing.
Another study from Nielsen found that the testimonials are the second most trusted form of information about a brand or product, with the most effective being recommendations from people known personally.
Should we look at yet another study that shows why testimonials are awesome?
Search Engine Land found that approximately 72 percent of surveyed consumers indicated that they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52 percent said that positive online reviews will increase the likelihood that they’ll patronize a local business.
All of these studies point to one fact: Testimonials about your brand are one of the best tools to enhance the online reputation of your business. So, I’ve sold you on the power of testimonials? Great. Now let’s talk about how to get them.
If you’re anything like me, begging for reviews often leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to get reviews. I’m about to break down how you can encourage people to leave testimonials without feeling icky and weird about it.
1. Do an Interview/Survey at the End of the Project
The end of a project or milestone is a great time to ask for a testimonial. Setting up an exit-interview or survey is an easy, non-icky way to get your testimonial.
Your clients and customers are most excited about your work immediately after you’ve sent it to them. Make use of this time by asking for an interview or to take a quick survey.
Neither you nor your client will feel weird about this. It’s somewhat common for exit surveys to be solicited at this point in the customer cycle.
Improve the effectiveness of this method by setting up easy ways for clients to send in their feedback:
- Google Forms. Of course, Google has one of the best ways to easily operate surveys. Setting up Google Forms is quick and easy, and the answers will be populated into a Google Sheet for your later perusal. Here’s how to set it up.
- Survey Monkey. Survey Monkey makes it almost too easy to create and distribute surveys. Once created, you can use the same survey for similar clients by sending them a link. Results are easily viewed in the back end interface.
- Qualtrics. This is another great survey service. Results are displayed in an intuitive and easily scannable fashion. If you have multiple types of clients that you might want to take different surveys, Qualtrics is for you.
2. Use What People Are Already Saying
People may say nice things and provide feedback through email or even social media. Reach out and get permission to use those nice words as a testimonial on your website. If you sell a product on Amazon, you can even use Amazon reviews on your website.
The key to this method is to make sure that you receive permission from the person who wrote the comment that you’d like to use. Using someone’s words without their consent is just bad business. It’s even worse if you use their name without their knowledge.
3. Take a Quick Video While Meeting With a Client
As freelancers, we often find ourselves in client meetings discussing past and future projects. This is a great time to take a moment and grab a quick testimonial video of your client sharing what they love about working with you.
Don’t make it the entire point of the meeting. Instead, after a client has praised you for being amazing (which they will, cause you are), ask if they wouldn’t mind repeating that on camera.
Explain that it’s for a video testimonial that you’d like to put on your site or YouTube. If they agree, recreate the moment of them talking about how amazing you are.
For bonus points, transcribe the video and use excerpts for major landing pages.
4. Offer Up a Testimonial Swap
Online businesses thrive on positive testimonials and reviews. This applies everywhere, from manufacturers of diapers to your favorite local Greek restaurant.
Have you had a good experience with a business or product? Have they used your product or service? Suggest that you swap testimonials.
Don’t make it weird by saying that you’ll only leave a review if they do. Highlight that you’ve already left a review and encourage them to do the same. You can even write the review for them and ask that they post it.
Remember to only solicit other companies that have also used your services. Getting people that haven’t actually used your service to say nice things is super icky and ethically wrong.
5. Support Your Ask With a Compliment
As Lorrie Thomas Ross, author and marketer, puts it, “Asking for a testimonial is only awkward when the requesting party makes it awkward.”
A great way to remove any awkwardness that may be lingering is to open with a compliment. Not only will this make them more likely to provide you with a testimonial, but it also expresses your gratitude.
An example of this would be something like,“Your opinion means the world to me—would you mind sharing your thoughts about the work I did for you?”
If they respond with feedback, make sure to send an email back thanking them and getting their permission to display the feedback on your website. You can even offer to link their name back to their website.
Testimonials – Now With 100% Less Ick
Each of the above techniques will help you receive so many testimonials that you don’t even know what to do with them. You’ll start using them on sales pages, contact pages, blog posts, videos and social media marketing campaigns.
Over time, you’ll notice how having these testimonials impacts your business. Conversions will increase, and the time from initial meeting to closing sale will decrease.
Don’t miss out on the benefits provided by testimonials because you’re afraid of being awkward or icky. Use the above methods and have a new and improve ick-free testimonial asking experience.
This is an archived post from the FreshBooks Blog and was originally published in October 2015.
about the author
Chelsei Henderson is a content marketing consultant helping freelancers and entrepreneurs build successful companies in the digital world.