Testimonials are a really great way to showcase what you do to the world.
Testimonials from loyal customers are a critical part of your marketing. Word of mouth recommendations from people who have used your services are still one of the most effective marketing tools for your business, even in our digital economy.
Even if you are only just starting out as a VA it is critical to get into the habit of collecting testimonials from each client and building up your own portfolio. A positive client testimonial can be the evidence needed to tip the balance in your favour and encourage someone to buy from you. But sometimes we can be too shy to ask!
What is a testimonial?
Testimonials are written or recorded statements about you and your business that support your credibility and back up your expertise. Testimonials also play a big part in strengthening your reputation. They express the trust other people have in you and what your VA business provides to others.
Why are testimonials so important?
We all know that the success of any business depends largely on word of mouth. Testimonials are formal forms of expression that support that concept. Testimonials are extremely powerful tools when it comes to strengthening your branding. People will do business with you when they know, like and trust you, testimonials play a big role in achieving this credibility. You will be surprised at how many valuable testimonials you will be able to collect once you get started. Be brave and start building up that testimonial portfolio.
How to use testimonials most effectively in your business:
- Ask for them – it may sound simple but in this case if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Whilst many people will be delighted with the service you provided they won’t always tell you so. Don’t be afraid to request recommendations. We love using LinkedIn and using their facility for asking for recommendations. We often write a testimonial for someone on LinkedIn and then they will be prompted to write one back. This is a good way to ask for one indirectly! Learn more about requesting recommendations on LinkedIn itself. You can also email or call clients and ask for a testimonial that way. Remember a testimonial doesn’t have to be too long and you can offer to have a link to the client’s website too assigned to their testimonial. If you have done a good job, most people will be happy to provide you with a few words saying why they were pleased. Remember that testimonials don’t have to come from direct clients, they can be from your business connections and describe your positive interactions.
- Use the opportunity every time you complete a project, a sale or a job then as part of the follow up afterwards, ask for a testimonial. It is easy just to move on to the next job in your mounting to do list, but asking for a testimonial just at the point when someone is delighted with the service you have provided is likely to elicit the best response. Be sure to thank them for their testimonial and ask their permission to share it on your social media platforms and other marketing communications.
- Spread the word when you have received a positive testimonial then you need to shout about it! First of all this will strengthen your reputation and presence online and second of all, it will serve as a thank you to the person who was nice enough to take the time to write the testimonial for you.
Share your success on your social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook). Add the testimonial to your website, leaflets, presentations, newsletters etc. Top tip: consider using a testimonial in your next networking meeting. It can be a different and interesting way to approach your ‘one minute’.
Types of Testimonials
Remember that testimonials can be both written and video. It is great if you are able to obtain both written and video testimonials. Both are effective and work in different ways. Video works really well and appeals to people visually and emotionally and written testimonials touch people emotionally and mentally. I have a video testimonial here so feel free to look at this for some inspiration! here.
Enjoy collecting your testimonials and be proud of them too. Strategic and intelligent use of testimonials can go a long way in promoting your business.