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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Testimonials

Gaining good testimonials is a vital marketing habit. The beauty is that a testimonial doesn’t only work for you, it also works well for your client. Testimonials can help you build your reputation, position yourself through promotion, and promote your business without overselling yourself.

If your client is happy with what you’ve provided, then the chances are that they’ll be more than happy either to refer you to others or to be aligned with you. This can make them look good, especially if you continue to rise to the occasion with your offering.

It can also be good for their Google ranking if you add the testimonial to your site. The more times someone’s name appears on the web, the more likely they are to increase their Google ranking. That means you’re assisting your satisfied client in their search engine optimization.

As someone who has given testimonials, I’m more inclined to do so if I have been truly impressed with a business and believe I’m keeping good company by endorsing them. Most people feel similarly. This is yet another reason to always provide the best possible service and products to the best possible clients.

Sometimes you might receive a glowing email from someone, in which case simply ask them if you can use the relevant words on your website or marketing material. Often, though, it’s worth asking and guiding them to get the best testimonial possible. This way you position both you and your client in the best possible light. This is my preferred method:

• Ask as soon as possible, while your offering is fresh in your client’s heart and mind – particularly if you know your offering has been well received.

• Ask nicely, remembering that you’re also offering your client the opportunity to broaden their own and their brand’s profile.

• Ask for specifics: why has your product or service been valuable to your client? How has it helped them?

• If you want to promote a particular offering to a certain group or market, let the client know who the target market is.

• Always thank them for taking the time and effort to put their testimony into words.

Here are some of the ways you can use testimonials:

• a testimonial page on your site (personally, I prefer to scatter them throughout the site, matching the service to the appropriate testimonial)

• brochures and e-flyers

• newsletters

• manuals

• edited grabs – as long as you’re not skewing the sense of someone else’s words, it’s useful to edit the testimonial for some formats

• packaging on products or books

• point of sale

• video testimonials on your site or YouTube channel

Use the same strategies that you would with all your sales and marketing: mix up your online and offline mediums, and check to see that you’re using the most appropriate testimonials for the most relevant offerings and market.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'

To your success

Michael Neaylon\
michael@mcme.com.au

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