You know where we get tied up?
There’s a right way and wrong way to ask for them and not knowing the difference gets your credibility, believability and respect all tied up in snarly knots.
Testimonials (and case studies) are a great way to showcase your results but you’ve got to ask the right questions to get your best highlight reel.
The first time I asked for a testimonial, it looked something like this:
“Hi Sara, if you have a second, it would mean the world to me if you could give me a testimonial of any length about your experience working with me. If you don’t have time, I completely understand. Thanks for your help.”
Direct without being pushy and gives the recipient an easy out.
It sounded good to me.
Boy was I wrong!
An open ended ask, like the example above, puts a testimonial like the one below on your Home page:
“Liz was great to work with. She answered all my questions and gave me what I was looking for. I recommend her highly.”
If your testimonials sound anything like that, I insist you remove them from your site pronto!
First, there isn’t enough meat on those bones to persuade anyone to hire you or buy your product.
Second, it’s a bare minimum statement that you deliver well, the bare minimum. Again, not enough razzle to dazzle anyone into consuming your work.
Third, there is no value confirmation. The purpose of a testimonial is to feature your value using a rich, substantial story and this one is like bland, watered down broth.
There’s a better way…
It starts by asking for what you most want to showcase
How you made her life easier
What her business or life was like before working with you
What it was like after
Here are a few direct value questions to get you started:
What event made you realize you needed to do something different?
How was it affecting you/your business?
How did this make you feel?
What ultimately led you to choosing me?
What’s the #1 change you’ve had since working with me?
What’s your situation like now?
Why would you recommend me?
Once answered, string together a strong, persuasive testimonial (the heavy lifting is on you as the marketer to weave their answers into a compelling story, not your client) like this one:
“I had my business for two years and made less than $15k a year. My husband suggested it was time to move on. I felt desperate, ashamed and frustrated. When I met Liz, I was on my last attempt to grow my business. I needed to attract buyers and Liz’ course gave me hope. She approaches words with humor, personality, fun and reminded me to engage with empathy to boost my conversions. After taking her course, I wrote a sales page that went from 1% conversion to 19% – I was jumping for joy! If I could get this kind of result once I know I can do it again. I always look forward to Liz’ tips and can’t wait to see what she has to offer next because I know it will help me and my business grow.”
Better, don’t you think?
If we were lounging side-by-side at the Catskills, we’d bond over fruity drinks with pink umbrellas and then exchange emails on the back of a ring stained coaster. (HOW FAB IS THAT?!)
THE BAD NEWS? We’re all out of coasters. The good news? We can still become email pen-pals. Yay! My email is email@example.com. What’s yours?
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