One of the questions I like to ask coaches is “Where do you get your coaching clients from?” and one of the most frequent responses I get is from referrals. Now I can see you already getting confused as this article is about testimonials, not referrals. Bare with me…
It’s been proven that us humans are much more likely to purchase something that has been referred to us by someone we know and trust. My coffee machine is the same brand as my parents, because they love their one. I recently went to a restaurant because someone recommended it to me.
While that’s all well and good we can’t actively do much about our clients referring us on (apart from consistently doing a great job with our clients)…. or can we?
Testimonials are a great way for us create referrals
Now, I know what you’re going to say. A client seeing a testimonial on your website isn’t as powerful as getting your referred. Whilst I don’t disagree with you, you would actually be surprised…
Let me throw down some facts:
- 92% of customers read online reviews before buying (Big Commerce)
- 70% of people trust reviews and recommendations from strangers (Nielsen)
- 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family (Big Commerce)
So not only can they be almost as powerful as a referral, but displaying client testimonials is an essential step you coaching clients are going to take.
However, when it comes to using client testimonials effectively I find that coaches generally have two main problems that I want to tackle in this article: Part 1 – Getting the testimonials from coaching clients (I also include a free email template)
Part 2 – Know how best to make the most of them.
Requirement: Do a great job!
Before I go into helping you getting testimonials from your coaching clients, and then leveraging them to get more coaching clients, I must preface this with one important step:
You must be doing a great job
Your coaching clients must have good things to say about working with you. If you that’s not the case, then you need to work on providing a service that your clients will want to rave about.
PART 1: GETTING THE TESTIMONIAL
The best time to request a testimonial
If you’re providing a great service to your clients I generally recommend asking them for a testimonial near to the end of your time working together. You must give your client enough time working with you to feel the value of what you’re giving them.
However, most people ask for the testimonial AFTER they’ve finished their coaching programme with a client. I generally recommend asking clients just before you finish up with them. For example, if you’ve signed someone up for 8 coaching sessions then ask them on the 7th session.
Why? Well this way they are still feeling great about their service they are getting (more people review restaurants at the location then after leaving) PLUS they are going to meet up with your again soon. As you’re going to have another session with them this keeps your testimonial request front of mind. Clients will also be much more likely to give you a testimonial as they won’t want to feel like they’ve let you down at the next coaching session.
However, although my rule of thumb for asking for testimonials is near the end, another great time to ask for a testimonial is when they’ve had their first big breakthrough (Signed up first client, step forward with a difficult relationship, got promoted, etc.) as they are never going to feel so good about the work you’ve been doing together.
Make it easy
Often one of the things that stops clients from sending testimonials is just not knowing what to say, how much to write, etc. Make it easy for them. When I ask clients for testimonials I like to include some prompts. These are some questions you could include:
- What are the problems you had before you worked with me?
- What kind of work did I do with you to help?
- What were the results you’ve had because of my help?
Below I’ve included an email template that you can use.
Include a name and photo if possible
When displaying testimonials it’s best to be able to give as much information about the person as possible. This would minimally include their name, photo and sometimes information like job depending on what type of service you provide.
However, you do need to ask them if it’s ok for them to use this information, or at least a version like no photo but yes name. Or maybe they prefer their name to be initials. In the worst case scenario they want to be kept anonymous. This is still better than nothing, but the more information that is visible about them on your website, the more credible the recommendation will be.
Ask small, with options for more
If you’ve worked with me then you’ll know that when I ask for a testimonial I’ll start by asking you to send me a testimonial that I can share on my website. Once I got that then I’ll clients for the favor of sharing it on social media (Facebook recommend, LinkedIn recommend, etc.). Ultimately the part I want most is the testimonial for my website so I’ll start by only asking for that. Once I have that then I’ll ask them to share the testimonial they already write on social media.
With some clients I’ve even given them the option to send me a video testimonial as can be easier for some people, and tell them I can write it up afterwards. This is a great option as you can then leverage the video on social media much more powerfully.
Check out a video testimonial that a client sent me recently here.
BONUS: Free Testimonial Email Template
If you would like an email template that you can use to get testimonials from clients then you can download one free here. I recommend downloading it and then writing it in your own voice and personalizing it to your business.
PART 2: IDEAS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TESTIMONIALS
So now that you’ve successfully gotten lots of lovely testimonials from your clients, how can you make the most of them apart from just including on your website?
First things first, make sure to display your testimonials loud and proud on your website. How you display them really comes down to the kind of testimonials you’ve got to work with but here are some recommendations:
Quotes – If your testimonials are quite long then you can you take out snippets and display them. Here’s an example from my homepage
Maria Del Peso
Success Story / Case Study pages – If you really want to make the most of your testimonials you can also create full case studies out of them. Check out one from my website here.
Blog Post – It’s hard coming up with what to write blog posts about… Well here’s a nice and easy one 🙂
Ideas? – Check out this post for more ideas.
2. Social Media
Apart from displaying testimonials on my website, I also share them on social media. Some ideas of how best to share them:
- Create a post with the testimonial (Don’t forget to tag ‘em)
- Instagram story with link to the case study or your services
- Pinterest board
- LinkedIn Featured Item
3. Include in Pitch Material
If you’ve got things like powerpoint slides, documents, etc. that you send out to potential clients then you should include some of your testimonials in them too.
You can include them in your ads to show off your credibility.