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Four Ways To Get Great Client Testimonials

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!

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Hey! This Hits #Winnipeg Twitterland! *blush*

Hmm, when did I hook this blog up to my Twitter feed? :)

Probably a while ago, and then I forgot.

At any rate, I was a little surprised to see a link to the recent Christmas Craft Sale in Winnipeg posts on my “Sent Tweets” list on Hootsuite, and it got me to thinking about how recently, I’ve started to see what Yahoo! articles people are reading, through my Facebook news feed, as well.

I can understand how some people are hesitant to get too “in” to using the Internet when the openness of Social Media is forced upon them in some ways.  The fact that it’s convenient to use the Facebook login to access a whole bunch of other websites these days doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea to use that convenience.

I’m a pretty private person myself and being in the Social Media marketing field has really given me a lot to think about in terms of online personal image vs personal lifestyles.  In particular, the permanence of the online personal image, and the lack of immediate clarity as to WHEN the image building factors were put online.

Personally, when I hooked my Yahoo! account to my Facebook account recently while considering joining a Yahoo Group, I made sure to disconnect it again before any of the saucy headlines caught my eye and tattled to my family of my prurient interests, like that article about the guy who had the biggest thing EVER

Have you ever had something embarrassing on your Facebook News feed because of some site you didn’t realize published to it?

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