Online, it’s easy to pay to get a fancy website created that makes your company look like it’s super-professional and has done a lot of great work, but in reality, the design and layout, and even most of the content on a business website is just marketing.
It’s someone’s opinion of what the company WANTS to be, not necessarily what the company IS or how well it provides its services.
There are plenty of ways to position yourself as an expert online, and those are all very important, but there’s one piece of instant credibility that I, personally, lack on my own website and in my own documentation:
Testimonials from satisfied clients.
So, I’ve done some research today and am in the process of creating a “feedback form” that I will send off to clients each time a project has been completed and launched, or once every 3-6 months, whichever comes first.
The four things I’m following to (hopefully) get great testimonials are as follows:
#1: Ask For Feedback
Gramma used to say, “If it ain’t worth askin’ for, it ain’t worth gettin’!” and I’m going to take this advice to heart. (love and miss you, Gramma)
#2: Find a middle ground between “too timid” and “too presumptuous”
When it comes to asking for feedback, it’s no good to ask wishy-washy, timid questions that get vague answers in return. It’s also no good to presume that the client is going to write all positive things on that feedback form.
Ultimately, it’s best to ask solid questions and emotionally be able to handle the fact that sometimes the feedback won’t be “testimonial-worthy” and in fact will point out places that need improvement.
#3: Strike while the iron is HOT!
The best, and most natural time to get a testimonial from someone is when they’re actively telling you what they think of the project. When you first show them the results of your work, and when your client is getting feedback from OTHERS about new results that you recently released.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been working with your client for a week. If they say something positive and testimonial-like, follow up by asking for their permission to use their words as part of your collection of testimonials from satisfied clients.
#4: Encourage your clients to sign up on LinkedIn
Testimonials posted on your website and in your marketing materials are a great idea, but having recommendations connected to your LinkedIn professional profile is much more powerful.
On your website or marketing materials, there’s very little to show the testimonials are from a real person. On LinkedIn it’s easy to see just how linked in your clients are, and thus reflects how legitimate they are, too.
Do you have any more strategies and tips you think I should consider? Love to hear from you!
Here’s a site I found today while I was looking for a list of craft sales in Winnipeg:
It’s a website that provides a bunch of links to crafty type people in Winnipeg, and has a schedule of craft shows that are going on, listed on the side of the site.
It’s quite update as of today, at least. I hope it will continue to be updated for whatever the next craft season is after Christmas.
I’m a craft noob. Is there a Valentine’s craft season? :)
Wow, was the craft sale at the Vineyard Church here in Winnipeg ever crowded today!
Plenty of businesses displaying their wares, plenty of people streaming around the room, pausing at various displays, chatting with the business owners running the tables, and hopefully plenty of money changing hands!
Of course, as a Social Media Manager who handles websites and Internet Marketing, I wasn’t one of the people who had a craft to sell. I was part-buyer, part-prospector.
Actually, I went to the craft show with a girlfriend, and had very little plans as to what I was going to do. I knew one of the business owners selling specialty hand-made soaps in Winnipeg at the show, so beyond going to find their table and saying hello, I wasn’t sure what my plan was.
I brought some business cards but didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to hand them out, and so I only handed out one, and that was when I saw someone else had used VistaPrint for their business cards just like I did, and I recognized the easy segue to give me an excuse to hand out my card.
But the card I had was for when I go to Meetups, not craft shows… so it was out of context…
This is the plight of the mesovert. I decide it’s a good idea to get out there and socialize, but then I don’t plan ahead, and once I’m there, I am overwhelmed by the crowds and a plan doesn’t naturally come to me.
That’s okay, next time I have a much better idea of what I want to do. I’ve already put my order in with VistaPrint for my prospecting-specific actions.
But I gathered information about what I can do NEXT time I go to a craft show.