In our first blog we looked at an overview of using testimonials and when to ask for them. In this blog we look at how and what to ask for and how testimonials can be used.
How to ask for them?
Be sure to get permission from your clients providing a testimony and explain what media you would like to put them on. If someone writes something favourable to you or sends a card, don’t assume they are happy for it to be used publicly. Double check which details of the client you have permission to use. It is wise to protect their identity, so they may prefer to be identified by their initials and location or career. Even a vague reference to the client helps to add authenticity to the testimonial.
Where possible be consistent with which details of the client are used across the media. Some people may even be happy to be photographed which demonstrates the ultimate credibility as case studies or testimonials with stock imagery can be dangerous from compliance and diminish integrity. When asking for testimonials you may need to specify whether it relates to an individual or your firm. It is also useful requesting a longer testimonial as it allows you to use the most appropriate information.
What to ask for?
Knowing what to say can be tricky so here we have provided an example of the wording which could be used:
We are currently having a new website designed and a corporate brochure developed. We would love to include some of our clients’ words.
If you do get chance and you’d be happy to have your feedback shared both on the brochure and on the website, would you mind writing a couple of sentences about your experience of working with me and xxx firm? Also, would you mind your name and town being included or would you prefer just your initials?
Many thanks, your name
How to use them?
It is important to ensure you have consistency across all platforms. So, if you have edited down a longer testimonial, be sure to use the same version for your website and brochure otherwise eagle-eyed readers could spot an inconsistency which would completely detract from the whole point in doing it. Using testimonials builds credibility but if it appears that information is not consistent, potential clients may question your firm’s reliability.
Testimonials are also good to use in your campaign plans. Therefore, it is worth looking at your communications focus throughout the year and find relevant testimonials to use to support this.
Where possible it will really help if you can use testimonials to build your credibility for a niche – that will serve you well to resonate with them. They could also be used as a starting point for case studies too.
Our final tip is – keep doing it! Ideally, you should aim to have a couple of new testimonials per month and then have a plan to roll them into your marketing communications. From this you should soon see the results continue to grow and it is embedded in your business practices!