Think about when you buy a product or service online. What do you look for? In the last post, I spoke about 6 things that new clients look for when they are searching for a designer and really this applies to all online businesses. One of the things I mentioned in that post was testimonials and today I want to tell you why these things are so insanely powerful, how to get them and where to use them!
Word-of-mouth has now excelled all other forms of marketing, proving to be the most efficient way to influence customers and convince them to purchase what you're selling. According to a study by BrightLocal, 88% of people are more likely to trust the testimonial of a stranger, than they are traditional and other forms of marketing and advertising. According to Nielsen, this number increases to 92% when it comes from someone they know, trust or identify with.
These are staggering numbers and presents a unique opportunity for you to capitalise on a completely free marketing method!
Testimonials (or reviews) are a form of word-of-mouth that can make or break sales for you. And a good testimonial is worth far more than your Facebook advertising budget!
SO LET'S BREAK DOWN WHY YOU NEED THEM:
- Testimonials show that people have tried and tested (and LOVED!) your products and/or services, so there's no need for people to fear! Some people may be afraid that they are your guinea pig and first customer - with testimonials, this fear is put at ease!
- Displaying testimonials from your ideal clients will attract more of the right people, as they will be drawn to people they identify as being similar to their real or aspired self.
- 72% of consumers say reading a positive customer reviews increase their trust in a business. Testimonials not only build trust but also puts a human face on how your products and/or services are used in the real world.
HOW MANY TESTIMONIALS SHOULD YOU DISPLAY?
While one really great testimonial is more valuable than five sub-par ones, I encourage you to collect as many as you can. Display only the testimonials from your ideal clients, this will help to attract more of the right people. BrightLocal's 2015 study indicated:
- 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014)
- 73% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-6 reviews (vs. 64% in 2014)
- 88% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-10 reviews (vs. 84% in 2014)
- Only 12% are prepared to read more than 10 reviews (vs. 16% in 2014)
So it is fair to assume that having around 10 testimonials is a good number to capture the attention of the most potential customers.
BUT HOW DO YOU GET THESE TESTIMONIALS?
If you have provided a stellar product and service (and I am sure you have, because your a #BOSS!) your clients will be more than happy to give you a testimonial that will help grow your business. The best time to ask a client for feedback is when you finish a project. I send clients a closing feedback form that I have hosted on my website. I am genuinely interested in gathering feedback to improve my business so I start by asking a series of questions that not only provides me with feedback but also encourages the client to consider the process of working with me and the product/service they received. These questions include:
- How did you originally hear about Brand IT Girl?
- Do you feel you were given enough information & guidance over the course of the project?
- Were you happy with the level of communication we maintained?
- Do you feel the timeframes were appropriate?
- Are you happy with the completed project?
At the end of the feedback form I ask for a testimonial. I explain that testimonials help me and my business grow and thrive and kindly ask for a paragraph to include on my website and other communication points. I make it clear that by providing a testimonial, the client is consenting to the use of their words so that there's no confusion.
I find that a visual element also increases trust, so I always ask my clients to include a photo of themselves that I can use on my website next to their words.
NOW YOU HAVE THE TESTIMONIALS, WHERE DO YOU PUT THEM?
There are a range of places you can display your testimonials:
- On a testimonial page. You can see how I have set up my testimonial page here. It's easy for me to update when I receive feedback from new clients.
- Your homepage. I use the Testimonial Rotator plugin to display testimonials on my homepage. They rotate automatically.
- On Instagram. You could display pretty crafted images displaying the words of others.
- On Facebook. Display new testimonials on your Facebook wall along with a photo of your client.
- In your E-news. Capture on-the-fence potential clients by sharing testimonials in your e-news communications.
- On landing pages and sales pages. Help to convince potential clients by placing testimonials at the place where people are making a decision.
- Share them directly. When you are pitching to a potential client, you can also include testimonials that are relevant to the customer. Don't order do it though!
- In blog post. You can even include them in blog posts!
SO, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN COLLECTING TESTIMONIALS. IS IT TOO LATE?
No way! People don't forget good products and services, so you could easily backtrack and seek out those precious words of affirmation! Start by making a list of all the clients you have worked with that fit your ideal client description. Create a feedback form on your website (you could also use a third party online form app: JotForm or WuFoo) or draft an email questionnaire.
To make it easy for you. I have created a worksheet that will help you brainstorm and identify who would be good testimonial candidates and provide you with some scripts you could use when approaching these clients!