Social proof is an effective way to move a potential client into a paying client.

How to provide social proof?

The easiest way is to ‘pepper’ your website and sales page with testimonials. However, not just any testimonial format is effective. Untrustworthy service professionals could just make up whatever they want and slap it on a website. You want your testimonials to be authentic.

Here are 5 ‘ingredients’ you want to obtain for an ideal testimonial:

  1. Quote in clients own words.

    Yes, it’s okay to provide an example of what you’d like to see. It's often very useful for the clients if you do provide an example or ask questions to indicate what you'd like to see included. This makes it quick & easy for your client to write a few quick sentences about their experience working with you. . .which means you ask and receive versus having to feel like you are harassing someone for a testimonial. However, you want your client to re-write the testimonial, make additions/deletions, and ensure it’s their message in their own words.

  2. Full name – First & Last

    Ask for permission to use their full name, only resort to first name or initials if your client requests.

  3. City, State, and Website url (if applicable)

    Another way to add credibility is to include a physical location. Adding the website address is a great way to thank your client for a testimonial. They will likely get a little traffic to their website if you include their url with the testimonial. It also gives potential clients a way to learn more about this ‘real individual’ who is recommending your services.

  4. Profession

    Including the profession shows others the type of people or industry you work with. For example, my target market is health professionals, so it’s beneficial to showcase the health professionals I’ve worked as a stronger form of social proof. That doesn’t mean eliminate testimonials you receive from clients who are outside your target market. Just sprinkle them among those from within your target market.

  5. Picture

    I shouldn’t be listing this last. It’s so important it should be near the top of this list. Request permission to use a picture with every testimonial!

If you want to take your testimonial to the next level you can have clients record an audio clip or video where they verbally/visually share their feedback.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

If you want testimonials (and you need them to increase sales conversions!) you have to ask. Very seldom will you have a client volunteer a testimonial.

Bonus Tip: Testimonials that rave about how great you are, but do not give specific examples of before/after or problem/result will not be as effective.

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