Show your support for a local business and boost the economy
Love it when you receive a recommendation? You appreciate the customer taking the time and effort, right?
You’re a customer too. How about you pay it forward?
Has a company provided outstanding service recently? Happy with a vendor and want to support their business? Let’s show our appreciation.
Why not write a customer testimonial on their behalf?
Andy Crestodina inspired me. Andy, cofounder of Orbit Media Studios, suggested asking loyal customers to give testimonials. Of course, he has tips on how. And you can apply this to giving testimonials as well.
Let me share tips I’ve gathered to ease the burden of writing a testimonial. You can nip the hesitancy to start. Drafting an effective testimonial won’t take you more time to write than an average one.
Plus, you can use your influence for good. You’ll help your vendor grow. And that’s gotta feel good to contribute to another’s success, right?
The writer’s mindset
Pretend you’re writing to a work friend. This will help you get some words on paper (or on the screen). Imagine a professional you know who’d benefit from learning about the company. Having a person in mind will help you sound sincere, believable, and authentic.
“By framing your writing as a conversation with someone specific, you become more … well, conversational.” Ann Handley, Everybody Writes (pg. 55)
A good testimonial is a result of asking the right questions.
Having a structure will simplify what questions to ask.
I’ve found a formula helpful to come up with the questions. I call it the makeover testimonial formula. I give more details here.
But here’s the gist:
The Makeover Testimonial Formula
- Start with before: What hesitations did they feel before the purchase?
- Then explain after: What did the client discover after the purchase?
- Then speak to the experience: What did they feel?
You may talk about how the vendor overcame an objection. Perhaps a common one other businesses like you have. How did they address your concerns? What made this company different?
Your testimonial will stand out if you…
Don’t forget to be sincere. Did they make mistakes but corrected them? If you have negative feedback to say, that’s okay. The feedback will sound genuine and not crafted by the marketing team. Just share how they resolved the errors to your satisfaction.
Use your own words. Jargon is acceptable in some cases. But not everyone agrees with me. Would decision-makers use the same words you’re using? Then jargon has its place.
Convey expertise. If you’re speaking about a feature most of your professional peers are familiar with, state the name. The testimonial needs to include the technical terms you use daily. Are you comfy sharing data and numbers? Great! If data and numbers are your world, express the testimonial in that context.
“The more the testimonial sounds like you, the more effective the message.” Shannan Seely
Add some credibility. Be sure to include permission to use your name, job title, and company. The testimonial loses its believability if there’s not a legitimate name behind the feedback. Your testimonials will stand out from the nameless reviews.
My testimonial example
Joanna Wiebe-Bain and her team offer a 10x Freelancer Copywriter training course. The Copy School’s robust training covers every topic a freelancer needs to know. The program includes a membership in a community to bounce ideas and learn from each other’s experiences. I signed up for the course last year.
I highly recommend the class to other freelancers. Every chance I get.
So here’s my testimonial:
“As a copywriter and consultant, I’ve placed a high priority on professional development. I’ve learned from Joanna Wiebe-Bain’s valuable free content for 3 years. I’ve wanted to enroll in one of her Copy School courses. But I couldn’t decide which one to start.
Once I joined 10x Freelancer Copywriter, I developed “business muscles” I didn’t know I had. I learned how to run better discovery calls, create proposals by offering value even before the client signed, how to build my authority and how to run a successful business. I feel more confident because I know what I’m doing instead of guessing.
It feels good to offer clients valuable services to solve their problems. My deliverables help their business excel. My work is more satisfying. I take the rocky stages of my business in stride because of what I learned in 10x Freelancer Copywriter.” Shannan Seely
Copyhackers team can take snippets from the quote, highlight different phrases or include the full paragraphs. Word count does not matter.
One last testimonial tip
Do you really want to show your vendor some ❤️?
Offer to post and share the testimonial on social media. Ask about their favorite platform and post there. Potential customers will see your testimonial in their feed – a boost for your vendor. If you’re recommending a company, they must be a quality company. And, hey, you get a social boost too. 👍