Help! How do I convince my clients to give me a glowing testimonial that I can use for my company’s marketing?

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Dear Aunty B,

Everywhere I look these days I come across websites and marketing material from other businesses that include fantastic testimonials from their clients.

I’d love to include similar comments on the website I have just launched for my consulting business but I don’t know how to go about it.

Is it OK to simply ask a client to write a testimonial for me?

Paul,

Sydney

Dear Paul,

There’s nothing like a personal recommendation from a previous, happy client to help you attract new ones, especially in this day and age of likes and retweets

But there’s a few steps to answering your question.

The first thing to think about when it comes to client testimonials is authenticity; these recommendations will have no sway with future clients if they are contrived or exaggerated and you certainly cannot put words in anyone’s mouth.

Consider how satisfied your previous clients have been with your work and if you can identify some that have had a positive experience worth sharing, the next step is to approach them.

Over at her Coping With Jane blog, marketing strategist Jane Copeland has some useful tips for approaching clients.

It’s important not to leave it too long before contacting a client for a testimonial, Copeland says. She suggests you send an email to your previous client the day after you stop working together.

“Make this a process that you implement ongoing after you finish working with your clients,” she says.

Copeland says it is also essential to think about how you ask for the testimonial, saying it is well worth the time to give some thought into the email you send.

Think about some specific questions you can ask your client that will help answer the questions or objectives of any potential clients who are considering working with you.

Once you have a testimonial, the final step is presentation. Use clear, easy to read font and consider how it will look on your website, in marketing material and on social media.

Be smart,

Aunty B

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I’m SmartCompany’s resident Agony Aunt. Have a problem to solve? Just ask. @IamAuntyB #AuntyB

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