Asking for Testimonials
Testimonials, I have hundreds of them… I really I do. Many of them are simply on file while a number of others are on my various websites including here
But still, the first time you receive an unprompted testimonial will stand out for you … in a similar way to the day you made (or make) your first sale after setting up your own photography business…
Well, it confirms (in black and white, or on video) that you have a very happy customer. You have proven evidence that you must be doing something – probably many things - right.
And once you start to gather a good number of testimonials from clients together it also demonstrates that you consistently have happy customers providing you with a positive track record …
So what makes a great testimonial, and how can you get more of them?
Firstl: Only Use Genuine, 100% Genuine Testimonials: There’s nothing worse than a faked, or fabricated testimonial… I’m sure you’ve seen sites, particularly sales pages, littered with testimonials before. Used correctly, high quality testimonials can certainly help establish your credibility, or that of the product or service that you’re offering. Over do it, with poor quality, phoney-looking statements and you’ll get the reverse effect.
And yes it is OK to ask for testimonials from your customers (try it, see what they come back with – you may be surprised – in a good way!). However don’t even think about making up your own, or getting somebody to write them for you… After all, your potential buyer needs to know that they (and you) are believable.
Who Said That?: I’ve seen dozens of websites recently with testimonials allegedly from ‘satisfied customers’ … identified only by a couple of initials. Call me cynical … but these just don’t seem to hold any weight.
Surely if somebody is willing to support what they’ve said they should be willing to put their full name to their comment, and perhaps even their location, or business name underneath if relevant (perhaps even provide a link or a photograph if you’re wanting to go the whole hog). And of course ensure that the person providing the testimonial is happy with this…
Ideally, even video testimonials should include a reference to who the person is and what business/location they are from … even though they’re clearly willing to show their face!
Be specific: A specific comment addressing a specific issue is far better than a generic compliment.
For instance the first two examples have more impact than the second two because although they are all genuine the first two are far more specific…
- “Before I came on your workshop I simply had no idea how to use my camera. I would just put it on to the Auto setting and hope for the best. Having been on your workshop I can confidently use my camera off of Auto and I’m now taking far more exciting photographs. Thank you. “
- “We have just got back from honeymoon and seen the lovely photographs from our wedding. Jeff, the way you have captured the spirit of the day is wonderful. Being someone who doesn’t usually like being photographed I can say that you made me (and everyone else) feel so at ease . Thank you so much”
- “Jeff, your workshops are always great.”
- “Jeff, the photographs are fantastic.”
Interweave: Although it’s tempting to pop all your testimonials in one area of your site, even on a separate page behind one tab … you then run the risk of potentially having visitors go to your site and overlook them. How do you overcome this? Try interweaving them throughout your website, or perhaps having a side panel that has them available to see, wherever the person is on the site (you can get fancy and have them rotating around in random, or prioritising the best ones if you fancy it, and have a techie who can do such things for you…)
Keep them short (a few minutes maximum if on video, or 3-4 lines maximum if in written form). Don’t forget if somebody delivers a fantastic testimonial with a number of key benefits mentioned there’s no harm in breaking them up into a number of different testimonials…
FREE! It costs you absolutely nothing to get testimonials, so you really should be using them. If you have happy customers, show people that you do!!)
In the same way it’s great to grow a list of potential clients, the next stage is to collect a list of satisfied customers (or more likely DELIGHTED customers!!!) After all, a satisfied customer is far more likely to use your services again… as for a DELIGHTED customer, you’re almost sure to have that person’s custom for many to come (and in turn more testimonials to boot!).
Essex Photography Training