Did you know 93% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product?
The reality is many business owners don’t feel comfortable asking someone to review their business. Whether it’s out of fear that they won’t like what they hear, or that it just feels plain rude.
But testimonials and reviews are just another version of word of mouth. We can crow on about how great we are, how amazing our products or service offerings are, but you see, as human’s, we’re not silly, and most of us can be quite sceptical.
In today's episode, Leeha chat's about:
During today's episode references were made to the following:
Online review stats 2021: https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/online-review-stats/
BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey
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A FINAL QUOTE FROM LEEHA
Why are testimonials so powerful? Because people are putting their name to their experience. They’re shouting to the world that this business delivered for them. But, If they give a testimonial and the business doesn't live up to what they said, their reputation is on the line. And, it’s this perception that makes us as consumers more likely to purchase from a company when they’ve got great testimonials.
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This podcast contains explicit language
When was the last time you asked a customer or a client for a testimonial? Was it last week, last month or never. The reality is many business owners don't feel comfortable asking someone to review their business. Whether it's out of fear that they won't like what they hear or that it just feels plain rude.
But testimonials and reviews are just another version of word of mouth we can Crow on and on about how great we are, how amazing our products or services are. But you see as humans? Well, we're not silly, and most of us can be quite skeptical. We don't believe everything that's told to us, but when another person provides positive comments around your business.
Whether that be as a verbal referral or a review on Google or a testimonial that you use on your website and through your marketing. Now you're providing something that's believable. So let's explore how you can get testimonials that leave new customers or clients keen as mustard to work with you.
Hey there. Welcome to the Real Talk for Women in Business podcast. A podcast all about helping women entrepreneurs take off in their business. We share real truths, real insights, and really practical tips when it comes to juggling all things, life and business. My name is Leeha Debnam and I'm a coffee loving copywriter and website designer.
My business is Mind Your Words. And that's where I help owners of growing service-based businesses. Connect with clients through my all-inclusive copywriting and website packages. Now, Nick and I will be flying solo occasionally to bring you bite-size high-value episodes. And, well, this is one of those occasions. So you've got me today.
Today, we're going to talk about the power of testimonials. What makes a great testimonial? How to ask for testimonials without that icky feeling. And where do you use them to get the biggest impact? Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm purchasing a new product, or I'm looking at engaging another service provider.
The first thing I do is research. I am checking them out on Google, particularly the reviews on their Google, my business profile. I'm heading to their website and to see if it looks legit and I'm scrolling through their social media accounts. Now that might seem like a lot. But I'm searching for evidence in the form of other people's opinions, to validate whether this business is trustworthy and delivers on its promises.
I want to make sure that when I hand my hard-earned cash over, I'm getting what I want in return.
But why are testimonials so damn powerful? Well, because people are putting their name to their experience. They're shouting to the world that this business delivered for them. But if they give a testimonial and the business doesn't live up to what they said, well, it's their reputation. That's on the line. Right?
And it's this perception that makes us as consumers more likely to purchase from a company when they've got great testimonials. So, let me break this down to you. 93% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product. Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
And four out of five consumers have changed their minds about a recommended purchase after reading negative online reviews. So you see, social proof is powerful and you want to know what the best part is. It's free. If you want your business to be seen as trustworthy, legitimate, and the number one choice for your ideal customer or client, you need testimonials.
Now, before I launch into the elements of a great testimonial, let me set some real expectations here. Not all testimonials we'll have each of these elements. You will find that some will really nail it. Others. Well, not so much. And look, that's okay. A few positive words. Well, they're better than none.
So a great testimony, or what does it include? Let's run through it. A great testimonial should be short and sweet. Consumers are busy. They want the highlights, not the novel. It should include a photo. Now this isn't always possible. And if you're using it on your website, I'd recommend getting permission first.
But an image of the person leaving the testimonial, boosts the credibility of the review. You could take this one step further and ask for video reviews. Now you're really talking about compelling, social proof. For video reviews, check out platforms like video, ask, buy type, form. Your testimonials should be written in natural language.
Now it's really tempting to edit somebody's testimonial or to use a template, to help customers write a testimonial that ticks all the things that I'm telling you that it should include. But you want it to sound authentic. So you need to make sure that you're resisting that temptation and that they're using their style of language.
The last thing you want is potential clients picking up that every testimony on Google or your website is structured the same way.
This won't boost your reputation. It will go towards damaging the credibility and the strength at the testimonial, which is not what you want. Finally, they should be specific and include the benefit that was realized from your product or your service. Now, this is probably going to be the hardest part for your customers or your clients to write about.
So, what I'm talking about here is, uh, for example, any person can claim that you as a business coach have changed their life. But what I'm really interested in here is the how. How has it changed your life? So, for example, if you had a great testimonial, it'd be kind of written like this. It changed my life by giving me strategic plans and confidence. I needed to grow my business.
I doubled my yearly profit. So I've said how it changed my life and then I've given them the benefit, which is doubling my yearly profit. Now this, like I said, it can be really hard to get clients and customers to give you that. And it all comes down to the way that you're asking for the testimonial.
And we'll cover that really shortly.
Before we move on, please let me reiterate that not all your testimony is going to tick each one of these requirements. But they will take one or two and sometimes you really have to nail it and it's going to be amazing and you should feel really proud. There are ways to improve the quality of the testimonials or reviews that you're asking for. So let's look at that.
One of the reasons why people don't ask for testimonials is because it leaves that icky feeling in the pit of your stomach. You don't know what people are going to say. And I know when I first started my business. And I started asking for testimonials because, well, at the time when you start, you have none. So you need to put yourself out there and ask for a testimonial.
I was really nervous because I didn't know what they were going to say.
But now I really understand just how valuable and asset testimonials are to your business. So here are my tips for getting over that icky feeling. Telling it to F off and getting those testimonials. So tip one. Don't just leave it to the last minute. What I mean by this is don't just bring that request to your customer or your client at the end of your transaction, your project, or your working relationship.
Drop little hints along the way. Let them know that at some point in time, you're going to come back to them and ask them for their feedback. So an example here for you is in my proposals. I include details about my end of project review. So I outlined my entire process from start to finish. And part of that is an end of project review. So right there, right from the beginning, I've set an expectation that we're going to be reviewing how well this project went.
Then, in the lead-up to taking your website live, I had sent numerous emails. And at the bottom of one or two of those emails, I add a little PS to the end of the emails, just reminding clients that shortly, I'm going to be asking for their feedback and then I'm going to send that to them in a separate email.
And this leads me to tip two. I always build the testimony requests into your process. Don't just leave it to be bloody Willy-nilly. Put it into your process. So it's there every single time you sell a product or you work with somebody in your service-based business. You want to make it easy for you and your customers?
So let's go back to my project review that I mentioned. I use a form. I use a CRM called Dubsado. And we'll talk about that another day because I freaking love it. But I use a form inside my CRM and I ask a range of questions about what they love about their website, whether we've achieved their goals, and so on.
Then, in the same form, I asked them this question. Could you please write me a more general review about our experience working together. What would you say to another potential module where it's a client, about why they should work with me? But wait, there's more next. I make it super freaking easy for them to leave a review on my Google, my business profile.
I just ask them to copy and paste the review that they've just written. Then click on the leave a Google review button. So I've given them the link. All they have to do is copy the comments that they've just written, and click the button. I land on my Google, my business profile, and paste that review. It's done.
And then I do, I have to admit, take it one step further where I asked them if they've really loved working with me, if they wouldn't mind also copying and pasting that review on Facebook. And sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. But the key for me is getting that Google review. So two things here I've asked for the review and that I've made it easy for them to leave it.
They're busy people. So we want to make this process easy, not hard. And another point here is that I always ask for permission to use their first and last names. A headshot, which they can, um, upload into my actual form. And to publish the testimonial in my marketing, which covers my website and all that kind of jazz.
Let's talk about timing, and this is a really quick one. If your customer or client gets an instant result from your product or your service, there's no harm asking for the review then. And there. If, however, it takes some time for them to use it, enjoy it, or gain a benefit from your product or service. Think about the timing of your testimony request so you can get the best possible review. So this might mean asking them three months down the track. Hey, you purchased this product from me. How's it going?
Are you loving it? Why are you loving it? Why would you recommend it? That somebody else purchases this product. And don't forget. We're all about streamlining processes. So think about whether there's any capacity to automate this request. So if you've got a CRM that allows you to do this kind of automation, you could set it up.
An automated process to kick off three months down the track that automatically sends that email. To your customers or your clients. And tip four. I've already mentioned it, but I'm going to just reiterate it again. It's best to stray away from templated or structured testimony or requests. But there's no harm in sharing examples of testimonials that other customers or clients have written. So pick out a good one and share it as an example.
So, I guess the next question that you're wondering is where do you use these raving reviews and testimonials? Well, the obvious first choice is on your website. But don't just create a testimonials page and just dump them all there because no one will read them. Instead, incorporate them across all your website pages.
For example on a home page. Uh, somewhere around that middle section is a good place to inject some social proof in the form of testimonials. And my recommendation is that two to three here is enough.
Don't overdo it. It doesn't come across as full of yourself. Just put a couple in there enough to peak their interest and to get them really wondering whether your product or your service is right for them. Then use them in a similar way throughout the rest of your website, but keep them relevant to the product or service page that they're appearing on. Sorry, I'm going to use a little example here.
If you offer lawn mowing, don't include a testimonial about your cleaning services on your lawn mowing page. Stick to lawn mowing testimonials only. That's how you keep it relevant. Now you can use testimonials in your socials, your sales, decks, or proposals, in advertising and newsletters, and in emails.
Use them. You've got them. Be proud of them.
And remember, testimonials are powerful because they're from real people. People that are willing to take time out of their day to spend five minutes putting their names on the line to provide a fair representation of your business and your brand.
This is the best free advertising that you're probably ever going to get. So take advantage of it. Okay. So that's it for today. We've covered the power of testimonials. What makes a great testimonial, how to ask for testimonials without that shitty icky feeling in the bottom of your stomach. And where you can use them to get the biggest impact for your business and your brand.
I hope you've enjoyed tuning into this solo episode and in the spirit of testimonials and reviews, Nick, and I would love it. You could please take a few minutes to leave a rating and a few words about why you love Real Talk for Women in Business. It will help other people just like you find us to be notified when our next episode is released. Be sure to hit subscribe.
And finally, if you have got a burning question or topic, you'd love us to cover. Please email us at real talk dot. W I firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you until next time, keep smiling and take