Social proof is a very powerful persuasion technique. We are more likely to do something if other people do it first. So when you prove that other people like doing business with you, new customers are more likely to take the plunge.
Customer testimonials are a great way to leverage social proof for your business. They can be published on a designated page on your website, or they can be included on other pages such as your homepage, about page, or sale pages. Ultimately, testimonials are useful anywhere potential customers go to make up their mind.
If you don’t already have testimonials to use for your business, fear not! Chances are, you already have a lot to work with. Here are easy six ways to find testimonials for your website.
1. Check Your Email
Chances are, you’ve already gotten a few informal testimonials in the form of an email. Anytime a customer or client has something nice to say about your business, make sure you save it. With permission, you may be able to use this positive feedback as a testimonial in the future. I like to move flattering emails to a folder called "Testimonials" so I can easily find them later.
If it’s not long enough, you can ask the person who praised you to expand on what they said. It will still be a lot easier than asking them to write something from scratch. Plus, by referencing a time when they were happy about the work you’re doing, you’ll remind them of the types of things they can write about.
2. Mine Social Media
Social media is a great place to find testimonials.
- Anytime someone says something positive about you or your brand on Twitter, make sure to “Like” it so you can find it later. Positive tweets can be quoted or embedded directly on your website.
- Facebook can be another great source of testimonials. Whether they’re posted directly to your Business Page, or somewhere else, you can "Save" the post for use later. Like Twitter posts, Facebook posts can also be embedded. If the post is not public, make sure to get permission before you quote it.
- Have you received recommendations on LinkedIn? LinkedIn recommendations make great testimonials for service providers. Even if you’re not a service provider, personal recommendation will still make your business look good. Like Facebook and Twitter posts, LinkedIn recommendations can be embedded, quoted, screenshotted.
- If you have reviews on YouTube, consider yourself lucky! Video testimonials are very effective. They are most common for products because many people like to film reviews and the process of unboxing new purchases but they are just as effective for freelancers. As long as the video is public, you will be able to embed it directly on your website.
Of course, these aren’t the only social networks where customers could be talking about you online. Pay attention to what people are saying everywhere on social media and make a point of saving positive mentions so you can use them later.
3. Review Websites
Review websites are also great sources of customer testimonials. Positive reviews are essentially testimonials already. The best part is they happen without any involvement on your part. Many businesses are prone to getting reviewed online. Be sure to check Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google Places, Angie’s List, Merchant’s Circle, and any other niche review websites your business or services are listed on.
4. Use Your Network
Most of us have done business with friends and family. In most cases, your inner circle will be very happy to provide you with an honest testimonial. Don’t be afraid to ask—they want to support you. And unless you share the same last name, your connection won’t be obvious to people reading your website.
5. Run a Survey
Have you ever run a customer survey? It’s a great way to get valuable feedback from your customers, good and bad. There’s also a good chance you’ll get some useful quotes you can use. Either way, a survey will help you figure out which customers to target for testimonials. This can be a robust survey you send out to all your customers once a year, or a simple email following a purchase, or something in between. Just make sure you get permission to make the information public.
6. Just Ask
Finally, the only surefire way to get great testimonials from customers is to ask for them. People are always happy to help businesses they like. Those who have already said good things about you online are prime candidates for testimonials, but you can ask any of your customers. There’s no pressure to use it if you don’t like what they say.
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to leverage social proof and make more sales. Even if you’re not sure how you’re going to use, start collecting now. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to publish them on your website!