Getting testimonials from your customers can build your credibility and inspire customer trust. But there is also value in giving testimonials. When you are quoted, it puts your name in front of an audience and presents you as someone whose opinion should be trusted. You know, an expert!
You may be asked to give a testimonial if you are seen as someone whose opinions are respected. Some of the ways to create that reputation include being a published author, media source or speaker. However, even if you’re not there yet your recommendations have value.
Don’t wait to be asked. When you have a good experience with a business, let them know. Write a letter or send an email telling why you like the product or service. Very few people take the time to do this, so your endorsement has value. Testimonials are most effective when they are specific, so tell what benefits you received. Did you save time or money? Or get a result that exceeded your expectations?
When you are asked for permission to use your testimonial, request that they include your name, business name and web site URL. Instead of a business name, you may want a product name or your book title mentioned.
Your testimonials may help you get links to your web site from the sites of major corporations. Many of them post success stories from happy customers on their sites, and will reward you with a link. To find companies looking for testimonials, use your favorite search engine to search for “submit testimonial” or “submit success story.”
Exchange testimonials with friends and associates. Don’t fake them, but if you can truthfully tell what a friend’s product or service did to benefit you, do so. They can return the favor, if they have done business with you.
In addition to giving your endorsement, you can get attention and build a reputation as an expert by writing reviews. Review products, services or companies in print and online publications, or simply at your website. Your reviews may be quoted in promotions and advertising.
Sites such as epinions.com will pay for your opinions, although the pay is typically pennies, not dollars. Your review doesn’t have to be a glowing endorsement to get you positive attention. After writing a review of an unsatisfying encounter I had with an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) staff, I was interviewed by a reporter for a financial magazine who was doing a piece on customer service issues at ISPs.
Set up an About You page in Amazon.com’s Friends and Favorites area (from the Amazon.com home page, click on Your Store, then Your Profile). Then, write reviews of your favorite books, movies, computer equipment, gadgets, and other products. Readers who enjoy your reviews can visit your About You page to learn more about you and your business. This is most effective when you review products related to your business.
Start offering unsolicited testimonials, and soon you will have others seeking your endorsement as a respected opinion-shaper.