I’ve spent much of this week talking to advisers about testimonials.
So, I thought I’d put pen to paper (or more accurately fingers to keys) to bring you a few tips on how to get testimonials and then make best use of them.
Why get testimonials?
As someone said at BACK2Y a couple of weeks ago, people will do business with you if they like and trust you. I’d add being able to demonstrate true expertise into that mix. A proportion of people who come to you for advice will have visited your website before they get in touch. Displayed on your website, testimonials start to fulfil two of those; building trust and demonstrating expertise.
Despite the cynics, I believe testimonials are hugely useful. So, here are our top tips. There’s more to it than you think!
Tip #1: Ask by email
If you don’t already have a set of perfect testimonials, or the ones you currently use need refreshing, I recommend asking for them by email. There’s several reasons for this:
- It’s quicker to ask multiple clients
- It’s less intrusive on their day, for something that, after all, has little or no benefit to them
- You will probably get a better response rate. If you ask verbally there’s a chance they will forget, whereas an email is sat in their inbox as a constant reminder
We’ve produced an email template; which you can use to ask your clients for a testimonial. It’s proven to work and we are happy to let you use it. If you would like a copy, please click here to drop me an email. It’s free of charge; there’s no catch!
Tip #2: Never, ever, write it yourself
Your clients trust you, it’s natural some of them will ask you to write the testimonial yourself.
Apart from being highly inauthentic, it’s glaringly obvious when testimonials have been written by the same person. They are far more effective when they’re written in the client’s own lexicon and display the experience they have had working with you.
Tip #3: Content
Ideally testimonials should be between 100 – 150 words long.
While writing them yourself is a no-no, if your client asks for guidance as to what they should include, roughly one sentence on each of these would make a perfect testimonial:
- Why they contacted you or the problem they needed solving
- What you did for them
- How they have benefited
Tip #4: Demonstrate authenticity
An anonymous testimonial still has value, but the more attributable it is, the better. Therefore, we recommend asking your client if you can include their name and general location.
There may be occasions where it would be helpful if you were given permission to include their job title or company they work for.
If they are nervous of giving their name (and some will be) shorten it to their initials. Ideally, their general location should be kept in as it may have some additional SEO benefit, but this can be a broad descriptor. i.e. a city, town, or even county.
Tip #5: Ask for testimonials in your client surveys
If you carry out client surveys to help meet your TCF obligations, it’s easy to insert a testimonial request asking for permission to make it attributable.
This takes the hassle out of having to send large numbers of requests periodically, and provides a steady stream of testimonials to add to your website. This freshly updated content works wonders for both SEO and building your reputation.
Tip #6: Displaying testimonials on your website
There are many places testimonials could be positioned on your website, including:
- On a single dedicated page showing them all
- On adviser profile pages
- On every page in a slider format, displaying one testimonial at a time
- On your contact page
- Following case studies; if the case study is based on the person giving the testimonial
It’s advisable not to post the same testimonial in more than one place, or make their placement too intense. Yes, you want potential clients to see the great work you’ve done, but don’t bombard them at every opportunity.
There are, of course, other ways of requesting testimonials, including:
- Google reviews
- Facebook reviews
- Websites such as Trust Pilot
These can work well, as the testimonials can be transposed to your website. As a bonus, they may have SEO benefits too.
However, if you collect testimonials using one of these options, you will still have to ask your client’s permission to make it attributable when you publish the testimonial on your website.
The holy grail
I’ve only spoken today about written testimonials, in part because they are so easy to collect.
However, the holy grail is, without a doubt, video testimonials.
Video content is growing in popularity every day. Plus, there’s nothing more genuine than hearing a testimonial come straight from the mouth of the client – literally.
Done well, these can be immensely powerful and will take your website to another level. The temptation is to dismiss it out of hand because you perceive clients won’t want to do it.
That’s not always true.
There’s a small, but growing number of advisers and planners obtaining video testimonials from their clients. If they can, why can’t you?
Make a start
If your website is looking a little lean on the testimonial front, you can get started by requesting our email template, personalising it for your needs and sending it to a few, carefully selected clients.
Click here to request the template and we’ll send it to you free of charge.