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Getting More Testimonials: How To Build Trust and Grow Your Brand

March 30, 2024

Have you ever read a testimonial that said something vague like “she was great”? And you’re left thinking, “Sure, but what makes her great?”, ultimately leaving you no closer to deciding if this person can help you. That’s exactly what we’re diving into today. Welcome to your guide to getting more testimonials for your service business. I’m sharing exactly how to collect testimonials that can help your ideal future clients get closer to clicking “contact now”.

Not only am I going to share how to start getting more testimonials, I’ll also tackle some common objections and show you how to overcome them like a pro. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to transform your testimonials from “meh” to “WOW.”

Ready to turn your clients’ success stories into your brand’s secret weapon? Don’t let ‘she was great’ be the best testimonial you’ve got. Find out how strategic testimonials can help your business (and get the exact questions I ask my clients!) with my free guide

a woman holding a tablet that shows a freebie called "12 Powerful Testimonial Questions"

Why Getting More Testimonials Is Exactly What Your Brand Is Missing

Let’s face it: anyone can toot their own horn. But when someone else sings your praises? That’s where the magic happens. It’s not just about having people say nice things about your business; it’s about showcasing those heartfelt, jaw-dropping testimonials that make potential clients stop in their tracks and think, “Wow, I want in on that.”

Why do strategic testimonials work like a charm? Simple. People trust real-life stories and recommendations from others who’ve been in their shoes. Testimonials from satisfied clients are invaluable for attracting leads that are ready and eager to convert.

But here’s the kicker: testimonials are more than just trust builders; they’re your brand’s best friend in establishing credibility and showcasing your strengths. They highlight what makes you stand out from the crowd, influencing potential clients’ perceptions and decisions. Did you know that testimonials can skyrocket conversion rates by up to 270%? Yes, you read that right! This is based on a study done by the Spiegel Research Center.

Gathering Testimonials

If right now you are saying, “OK Ellie, but how do I get more testimonials?”, I’ve been in your shoes, my friend. What I’ve learned is that obtaining authentic testimonials doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth. It’s all about timing, tact, and making it easy peasy for your clients to rave about you. Here’s how to do it without breaking a sweat:

Make the Ask: It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses miss out on golden testimonials simply because they don’t ask. Next time you wrap up a project, and your client is beaming with satisfaction, pop the question! Be sincere and your happy customers will be more than happy to sing your praises.

Timing is Everything: My secret sauce? I ask right around when their thank you gift arrives. It’s when the appreciation is high, and the experience is fresh.

Simplify the Process: Have you ever tried filling out a form that feels like it’s asking for your life story? Not fun. Or how about staring at a blank email asking you to share your experience? Also not great. Instead, provide a simple, straightforward template or form that your clients can breeze through. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it. I use Dubsado to collect my testimonials, but a free Google form works great, too.

The Art of the Follow-Up: Picture this: you’ve sent out your feedback form, and crickets. I know it can be easy to spiral, but before you assume they’re just not that into you, remember – people are busy. A friendly nudge can go a long way in reminding them to share their thoughts.

And for those itching to get their hands on the secret formula for crafting strategic testimonials that pack a punch, don’t forget to check out my free guide here!

Ellie Brown is excited about credibility-boosting testimonials for your brand

Showcasing Testimonials Effectively

Once you’ve collected those sweet testimonials, it’s showtime! Here’s how to make your testimonials the star of the show:

On Your Website: Your homepage is prime real estate. Don’t shy away from showcasing testimonials front and center. Service pages? Sprinkle them there too. Dedicated testimonial page? Sure, if you’ve got ’em flaunt ’em. The key is visibility – if there’s space, there’s a place for praise. Personally, I recommend having them throughout your website as opposed to a separate testimonial page, but both work.

Share on Social Media: You’ve gone through the work of getting more testimonials, now it’s time to spread the word! Transform your testimonials into social proof gold. Share them as stories or posts on your social media. This will remind future customers how amazing it is to work with you (and ideally – exactly what it is you help with too!).

Remember, testimonials aren’t just pat-on-the-back moments; they’re your brand’s voice through the words of those who’ve had the chance to work with you. 

Feeling a bit lost? No worries! Snatch up my free guide to getting better testimonials, your secret weapon equipped with 12 must-ask questions.

Integrating Testimonials into Marketing Materials

Next, let’s talk about your marketing materials. Here’s how to make the most out of them:

  • Marketing Collateral: Do your brochures, flyers, and email newsletters need a little boost? A few well-placed words of praise can transform these from mere information to compelling stories that captivate potential clients. I even once heard somebody say that they put testimonials on the back of their business cards. Brilliant.
  • Advertising: Planning a Google Ad or plotting your next social media campaign? Let your satisfied clients do the talking. Incorporating their kudos can turn a good ad into a great one, convincing more of your audience to take the leap from “maybe” to “yes, please!”
Weekly to-do list pulled up on a service providers laptop

Creating Visual Testimonials: A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words (And Likes!)

In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, visuals reign supreme. I might be biased as a designer, but the truth is that visuals ensure people actually READ the kind words your past customers have said about you. Here’s how to turn testimonials into eye candy:

  • Create Graphics: With tools like Canva at your fingertips, transforming glowing testimonials into stunning graphics is a breeze.
  • Add Video: Nothing beats the authenticity of a client sharing their experience on camera. Video testimonials offer a personal touch that can significantly boost engagement. If you can get these, they are worth their weight in gold!
  • Screenshot Magic: Ever stumbled upon a gem of positive feedback on a review site or a social media shoutout? Capture that moment! Seamlessly integrate them into your marketing materials for an authenticity boost that’s hard to ignore.

Addressing Client Concerns When Getting More Testimonials

Ever met a client who’s a tad shy about sharing their success story? It’s more common than you think. Let’s unpack how to navigate these situations with grace, and a bit of savvy strategy:

  • Reassure Them: For those concerned about their privacy, reassure them of their confidentiality and providing a testimonial is voluntary. Offering to share their feedback anonymously can turn a “maybe” into a “heck, yes!” My freebie’s bonus questions are specially designed to tackle these very concerns, making your clients feel secure and understood.
  • Make it Easy: I’ve touched on this above already, but whether it’s through an email, an online form, or a casual DM on social media, offer clear, concise instructions and templates. The goal? To make sharing their glowing review as effortless as possible.
  • What’s In It For Them: Shine a light on the perks of providing a testimonial. Increased visibility, a moment in the spotlight, or contributing to the success saga of your brand—whatever resonates most. Help them see the ripple effect their words can have on others just like them.
brand and website designer ellie brown talks about the benefits of strategic testimonials for your business

How to Handle Negative Feedback

Another hesitation I hear from small businesses when it comes to getting more testimonials, is the concern they might get negative feedback. Encountering negative feedback can be uncomfortable, yes, but it’s also an opportunity to stop, assess, and make the journey better moving forward.

Here’s how:

  • The Prompt, Professional Pivot: Received a less-than-stellar review? Respond quickly by thanking your client for their feedback without a hint of defensiveness. This isn’t about winning; it’s about understanding and improving.
  • Take Action: Use negative feedback as your compass for improvement. It’s a chance to scrutinize your services and make tweaks for the future. Pro tip: communicate any changes made back to the client—it shows you’re not just listening, but acting.
  • Be Transparent and Authentic: Be open about the feedback received and how you’re tackling it. This honesty not only builds trust but also showcases your brand’s commitment to excellence and growth.
  • Circle Back: After taking action, loop back with your client. This follow-up demonstrates your dedication to their satisfaction and can turn a negative experience into a positive testimonial about your responsive and client-focused approach.

Ready to Start Getting More Testimonials?

Now it’s your turn to take what you’ve learned here and start implementing these strategies. And, as you start to collect and showcase your testimonials, I’d love to hear how it is working for you!

One more time for the people in the back, my free guide is packed with 12 must-ask questions to unlock powerful testimonials. Don’t miss out on elevating your brand with the magic of genuine feedback!

Where should I send your guide?
Grab my best questions and sentence starters to take your reviews from “meh” to your go-to trust builder.
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And hey, if you’re in search of a brand or website designer who blends creativity with strategy (if this post wasn’t proof enough!), I’m your gal! I’d be glad to help elevate your brand to not only be seen, but deeply felt and unforgettable. Let’s collaborate and make your brand stand out.

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