Written by Karen Hodgson
Testimonials give you the opportunity to provide proof about your services. Make it easy for potential clients to see what others are saying about you and your company by adding testimonials to your website and marketing materials.
Gathering testimonials might take some time and a little bit of effort, but if you are strategic about getting testimonials and leveraging them to the fullest, your efforts will be rewarded with new clients and projects.
When receiving testimonials, ask for permission to include the following:
- Basic information: This includes the client’s first and last name and their company’s information.
- A photo of your client: Testimonials with your client’s photo will be eye-catching and more credible.
- Specific information: A testimonial that lists specific information about the particular assignment, such as the language or subject matter, is more authentic – not to mention how it could help with search engine optimization.
- Issues resolved: A testimonial that lists a problem that you were able to solve, such as meeting a tight deadline or translating complex graphs, provides future clients with more insight into your character and work ethic, and could score more points than a testimonial that just reads “You were great!”
- Work showcased: A testimonial that highlights the importance of your work – such as interpreting for a critical legal deposition or for a patient in a life-threatening medical situation – will be striking and memorable to the potential client and set you apart.
Set up a section on your website to encourage feedback, such as a form or a dedicated email address, or point clients to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ Review page.
Copy and paste comments received to several of your social media channels. For example, if someone sings your praises on your business Facebook page, publically thank them on your other channels such as Twitter or Google+. Consider posting your testimonials on print marketing materials such as business cards or printed flyers. It is important to toot your own horn, as you do yourself a disservice if only you know the exceptional quality of your work. It is essential to leverage your testimonials so that these compliments will be seen by as many people as possible.
Here a few tips for posting testimonials:
- Italicize and bold the key parts of the client quote. This will guide the reader to the foremost parts of the testimonial and save your reader’s time by helping them to skim through less noteworthy text.
- Display testimonials throughout your website. Weave your testimonials into various parts of your website to add variety and interest. Also, rather than hoping that visitors to your site will click on a “What My Clients Say” page, you can help them out by placing testimonials where they are already reading. Make it easy for them to see that you are a solid and trustworthy business partner.
- Use testimonials that are appropriate. This may be seem obvious, but I see this mistake often. When posting testimonials in various places in your website, select testimonials that support the message at hand. When writing about your interpreting services, select a testimonial that specifically acknowledges your excellent interpreting work. Save those reviews that highlight your excellent translation work for the page about your translation services.
- Keep readers on your site. While it's true that including the name, company, and even the website of the person who wrote the testimonial can add credibility, try to avoid including the full URL or a direct link. The goal is to keep your readers on your website, rather than drifting away to the client’s.
- Post real testimonials: Your reader will be able to detect fake testimonials, and when they do, it will erode their trust in you and your credibility and damage your reputation. Only post genuine testimonials from real people and real companies. Posting fake testimonials is never worth the potential damage it could result in.
- Get various forms of testimonials. Strive to obtain video testimonials as well as written ones. Videos can be engaging and are often more credible, as there is a real person who potential clients can see and hear giving the testimonial instead of just a person’s name under a quote.
One final tip
You may have better success getting your clients to provide testimonials if, instead of using the word “testimonial,” you simply request “feedback.” Asking your clients for feedback indicates that you are ready to accept positive reviews as well as constructive criticism. Also, asking for feedback sounds less formal and could make your clients more comfortable about giving honest responses. Remember, even negative feedback is valuable; it teaches you how to help your clients more effectively.