I don’t know about you, but when I entered this world of creative entrepreneurship, I had no idea how many other hats I’d be wearing. Accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, creative director, sales…
I’ve never really considered myself great at sales, but the minute I realized I could get others to do the selling for me, everything changed.
And no, I’m not talking about outsourcing the sales part of my business or anything like that. I’m talking about strategic use of testimonials to increase conversions.
From inquiries, all the way through my potential client lookbook to the consult calls, I’m always sharing wins and testimonials from my past clients, making the sales process feel more like I’m bragging on my friends and their success, rather than bragging on myself.
A little fun fact here, as a Norwegian, I really struggled with the sales culture in America. You might not know this, but Norway actually has a set of social norms referred to as the law of Jante. It’s not actually a real law, but more so a set of social expectations that are rooted in putting society first and not believing that you are any more special than others, and not boasting about individual accomplishments. Here’s an article about The Law of Jante if you want to learn more!
Needless to say, I had to find a way to work with my personality and ingrained social norms to sell my services, because it is such a huge part of running a business. You know, no clients no paycheck, and all that.
So in today’s episode, I’m gonna share all about testimonials and how you can make them work for you!
What kind of testimonials
Long gone are the days of “Ida did such an incredible job, I loved working with her, would totally recommend”
Everybody can say that. And it really doesn’t do much for anyone other than just confirm that yes, they did their job.
Testimonials that speak to their fears, hesitations, and transformations – what are your potential clients coming to you for… How are they feeling, and how can you get the words from your past clients that speak to this
Example from my Facebook reviews:
“I will forever recommend Ida to everyone and anyone from here on out. From the very beginning she was so friendly and welcoming while also being so professional and on top of things. She took all of my jumbled up ideas and thoughts and created a work of art. She put so much thought and detail into each and every little thing. She is so unbelievably talented at what she does. I cannot say enough good things about her or her business. She truly elevated my brand to a level I had always dreamed about getting to but didn’t know if I could. Everything about my new brand and website it truly perfection”
“Ida is worth her weight in gold! For years I have been trying to DIY my website and brand, and while it got me by for awhile I was coming to a point in my business where my brand and website was holding me back. Then I found Ida. She took the ideas I had, and made them better then I ever could have imagined! She is attentive to what you want while also keeping in mind who you want to serve. My brand & website are so beautiful and it has exactly the vibe I wanted! I also love how quick the process is! I can’t believe I had this gorgeous brand and website launched within two weeks! I really can’t wait to see how this new brand and website help my business to grow!”
How to get them
Asking for testimonials is a big part of my offboarding process. And no, I don’t just say hi can you leave me a review and leave it at that.
Usually right before the project is about to wrap up, I introduce my feedback form in an email. Launch graphic email typically, sometimes reminder in final files. Time it to where they are at the highest from the process. The longer you wait, the less urgent this feels to them!
If you don’t want to send it before you’ve fully delivered, like a wedding photographer, you may be able to split it up a little (maybe you send a sneak peek blog post or something else) and ask about their experience up until this point!
Ask specific questions!! If you’ve seen any of my launch blog posts, I have my clients actually contribute to those directly in the first part of the feedback form. Take a look here if you want to see some examples!
I remember seeing these incredible testimonials for other designers about client results or specific transformations wondering how on earth I was ever going to get there. But guess what, I have those now. And I’m certain a lot of that has to do with timing it right and asking specific questions rather than open-ended.
As you’re coming up with questions, again think about what types of hesitations people have. Do they not like being in front of a camera? Are they scared of showing their finances to someone else? Are they worried you won’t make them look good?
We need to assume people have never worked with someone like us before, and that they’re going in not knowing anything about what to expect. What words of encouragement would they need to hear and how can we get our past clients speaking on that?
Where to put them
Home page, services page are a must in my eyes.
Optional – contact page
What you want to look for here are the strongest testimonials first. Again, the ones that tug at the heartstrings, fears, or emotions of your potential clients. But also the ones that stop them in their tracks.
For me, a lot of people fear the investment Which I totally get. The question they often have is “will I see a return on my investment” – because of this, my first testimonial is:
“Within 24 hours of launch, I had already booked a wedding $2,000 higher than I have ever booked. This site definitely helps me with my confidence to go forward with my new pricing!”
I use a carousel style, and the next couple ones address things like:
- Meeting goals thanks to my services
- Outsourcing even though you feel like you’re ok DIYing your brand and website
- Fears about it not being the right time/not being far enough along in business
- Emotional about feeling seen
Other places to include your testimonials:
- Pricing guides or post inquiry communications
- On consult calls – refresh before
Right information to the right people at the right time – that’s where that strategy thing comes in again
Writing your website copy
A bonus of getting detailed testimonials and feedback from your clients is copywriting for your own business.
A fun fact here is that most of the words on my website were written or inspired by my clients.