AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. I’m so very thrilled that you’ve shown up here today so thanks for being here.
Today’s episode was actually inspired by a previous episode I recorded with the lovely Melanie Duncan. It was Episode #114, a huge hit. If you missed it, definitely go check it out. It was an episode where we talked all things sales pages.
We talked about what goes into a sales page to make sure it converts, some of the key ingredients, what makes it really valuable, and what makes people want to actually buy from a sales page. We talked all about that in Episode #114.
During that episode we touched on the power and impact of testimonials. I realized that could be a separate episode all about testimonials; why they’re important and what really makes a testimonial convert well on you on a sales page or anywhere else you want to use it inside your marketing strategies.
That is why I’m doing this episode today. I want to get deeper into testimonials. Here’s the thing, when you’re building your audience you want them to know who you are. Then you want them to like you.
Ultimately, you want your audience to trust you. To build that trust you need social proof. You need credibility. You need other people raising their hand and saying that they not only know and like you but that you played a crucial role in getting them results. That’s exactly what testimonials can do for you.
Derek Halpern has a lot of good content out there about getting great testimonials. He says, “Your prospects want to know what others think of you.” It is plain and simple, I couldn’t agree more.
Your testimonials are also a great arena for you to take on objections…but in a way that lets your community speak up for you. It’s a win/win situation.
I can also draw a direct line from making money in my business to the testimonials that I use inside all of my marketing materials. If you want to make offers that make money you’ve got to have outstanding testimonials. That’s a little bit about why testimonials are so valuable.
Today I want to cover the who, what, when, where, and how of testimonials. But, before we move on, as always, I have a really valuable freebie to make this mini training episode come alive for you inside your own business.
I have created The Anatomy of a High-Converting Testimonial. I’m going to show you how to turn a bad testimonial into a good testimonial and a good testimonial into an outstanding testimonial. I’m going to use my own example of a testimonial I’ve received to show you the transformation.
Here’s the great news. If somebody gives you a testimonial, you don’t just have to use it, you can actually go back and ask them if you can tweak it a little bit. As long as you are full of integrity and everything the testimonial says is true then you can work with the person that gave it to you to make it even better.
The person that’s giving you a testimonial is likely not thinking of the anatomy of a good testimonial. They are probably not an excellent writer because many of us are not. I don’t consider myself an excellent writer.
Sometimes I need to sit down with some testimonials I get and decide how I can make it better. My freebie today is going to show you how to transform a testimonial into something that will really allow you and your customers to shine.
To get that, all you need to do is go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/ 119download (because this is episode #119). If you like to text you can text the phrase 119download to 33444. This is a really good, well thought-out freebie for you. I put a lot of good work into this. My team helped me design it in a way that was going to be really actionable for you.
Again, to get those testimonials to help you and your customer shine definitely go grab the freebie. Don’t waste any time. You’re going to love it. Now that we’ve got the freebie out there, let’s go ahead and dive in to all things testimonials.
As I mentioned earlier, when you get a testimonial from somebody, whether you ask them to send you one or they just sent you one because they love the results they are getting and they wanted to share that with you, you do not need to use the exact testimonial they sent you.
People that are sending you a testimonial usually have no idea of the anatomy of a really good testimonial. That’s why I’m spending the time here with you now to break it down for you. Most people are also not excellent writers.
A lot of people are probably a little bit nervous about sending you a testimonial if you ask for one because they think they aren’t a good writer and don’t know if they could make it sound good. But they do the best they can.
It’s up to you to use this framework I’m giving you to rework it a bit. But if you rework it, you always need to get permission from the person that sent the testimonial so they feel really good with the end result.
As long as it’s true and as long as the person that gave you the initial testimonial is good with your tweaks then you, my friend, are off to the races. I just wanted to throw that in there before I get into this.
Again, we’re going to go through the who, what, when, where, and how and we are going to start with the “who”. I’m going to break this up into a few sections.
WHO – The first thing you want to consider is that you want to get testimonials from the different types of people that you are attracting. So many of you tell me you have more than one avatar.
Let’s say you’re a nutritionist and you help both parents of toddlers and expectant moms. You want to make sure you go after testimonials from both of the avatars. That is really important. You can then use them in different places depending on your messaging.
When I interviewed Melanie Duncan when we talked about sales pages, she also said that you want to get testimonials from your customers. That relates to the two different avatars I already mentioned. You also want testimonials from your peers. This is something I’ve done over the years.
After you get testimonials from people who have gone through your programs I want you to seek out testimonials from experts or well-respected people in your niche. Let me give you an example.
When I launched Webinars That Convert I got a testimonial from Michael Hyatt. He is someone I really, really respect. I know my audience respects him as well and they look up to him and his strategies. He’s a really smart guy in general.
Michael Hyatt did not go through my Webinars program and then give me a testimonial. Instead, I had given him some tips early on about webinars and he ran with that and had some amazing results. By having just a few conversations with Michael, he got a great results and gave me a testimonial for that. He is an example of one of my peers giving me a testimonial.
I also had a testimonial from Todd Herman, the creator of 90-Day Year. He was also my business coach throughout 2015, the entire year. Todd was a testimonial on my Courses That Convert sales page. Todd never went through that program.
Todd has been through a lot of my content. He has worked with me personally and he knows that one of my strengths is teaching. He drew from what he knew of me and what he really found valuable and wrote the most beautiful testimonial that I’ve ever gotten about my teaching style.
It was incredibly valuable and I knew a lot of my students knew Todd, looked up to Todd, and I knew they would find that valuable as well. That’s what I mean by getting testimonials from peers as well as customers.
One more thing I’ll say about getting testimonials from peers, you want to make sure you have a connection with them. Of course you would never go after a testimonial from someone that hardly knew you. That’s why the power of networking, both online and in person, is so incredibly important.
If I didn’t get myself out there and didn’t go to some marketing events and online strategy events that I do in person then I probably wouldn’t have the connection with some of my peers that I do. It is important to get yourself out there and that really plays a part in attracting the right kind of testimonials from people in your industry that your audience looks up to.
That’s all about the “who”, who do you want to get testimonials from?
WHAT – What is the framework for a great testimonial? In the intro I mentioned Derek Halpern. Derek has the perfect testimonial framework that he has talked about on his blog. I want to break it down and give Derek credit for this because I think he’s spot on here.
He says, “#1, you want to address the problem.” This is where you take on objections. For example, “I could never get anyone to actually show up for my webinars.” That might be a problem that somebody would state in their testimonial.
Then you want to address the solution, or the new belief. For example, “Now I know I needed to use Amy’s five-step webinar onboarding sequence to get people to show up live.”
You then want the results/accomplishments. It would be something like, “Today, I have a 70% show-up rate on my webinars, which is totally unheard of in my industry and I’m so very thankful that I learned from Amy.”
I’m totally making this up, but you get the example. I want you to, again, think of Derek’s perfect testimonial framework of a problem, solution, and results. You want as much specificity as possible. I want to give you that framework to start thinking about how to dissect your testimonials.
In the freebie that I promised you, we are going to go over the framework and then some, I have my own take on things, when we break up the anatomy of a high- converting testimonial. That’s why I want to make sure you get that freebie at http:// www.amyporterfield.com/119download. It is really worth checking out.
WHEN – When should you be getting testimonials? For those of you just starting out and don’t have customers yet you are probably thinking you can’t even get testimonials because no one has gone through your program. We’re going to talk about that in the “how”, how to get testimonials, especially when you’re just starting out. We’ll get there.
When I talk about “when” to get testimonials I want to talk about the different type of testimonials you can get. Of course you want to get testimonials for any programs you have. People can talk about taking the program and the results they got. Those are really good testimonials to have, of course.
I also have testimonials that talk about my teaching style. I mentioned that when I talked about Todd Herman and the testimonial that he gave me. But I have a lot of testimonials from people that have taken my course and are touching on one area of my skill set or my character or anything like that.
How I teach or how I break down content or how organized I am inside of my programs make good testimonials. How engaging I am inside my private Facebook groups are good too. I am always looking for testimonials that really round out my skill set and my personality and character as well.
I’m constantly collecting testimonials. At the end I’ll talk a little bit about a system I have in play in my business about what I do with testimonials. But one of the best places you’ll find testimonials is on social media.
When we talk about when you should get testimonials, get them all the time. One of the best places you will find people talking about you is on social media. Take screen grabs! I’ll get into that a little bit later as I promised, but I want you to have testimonials about all of the different areas of your business and all the different areas you offer.
I talk a lot about mindset, productivity, list building, webinars, and creating courses. But I also talk about organizing your business and setting goals. So if people are going to give me compliments in those areas I’m going to use those as testimonials. You never know where they might show up.
You also aren’t just putting testimonials on sales pages. There are so many other places you can put them. That is a perfect segue into the “where”.
WHERE – Where should you be putting your testimonials? The simple answer is, “everywhere you are showing your brand.” But, specifically, I want you to think about putting them, of course, on your sales page but also inside your webinar slide decks.
If you do webinars you should be having a few different testimonials sprinkled throughout your webinar presentation so that you can actually showcase people talking about you inside webinars when you’re teaching and when you’re selling.
I would also love to see you put a testimonial on an opt-in page. I did this for many years on my webinar opt-in pages. I had a section that said, “What people are saying about Amy’s webinars.”
They were general comments about my webinars. That’s another thing, when we talked about when you should be getting testimonials, at all times. So, when I saw people say, “I love Amy’s webinars. They’re so informative. They’re packed with value. I feel they are worth every second of my time,” I grabbed that.
We reach out to the person and ask if we can use it. I then use it as a general testimonial on my webinar opt-in pages. I read somewhere that when you put testimonials on an opt-in page it builds trust for people to want to give you their name and email. That’s something to think about.
You will also add testimonials on your website. That’s a great place to put it. Also, sometimes if you’re doing free PDFs like lead magnets, if you have a section in a lead magnet where it would make sense to kind of spotlight what somebody said about what you’re teaching in that lead magnet, by all means, put it in there.
Again, there are so many different places that you can showcase testimonials. I want you to become a curator of all things “you.” Every time someone mentions something great about you or your style or character or personality or skill you are going to collect those as much as possible.
Later you can decide where you’re going to use them. Where are you going to put them? You’re going to put them everywhere it makes sense to spotlight you and your brand.
For your sales page alone, you can put them in multiple spots. Melanie talked a little bit about this in Episode #114 but what I love about Melanie’s style is that on her Business Class sales page (she has a membership program called Business Class) she talks about who this product/program is for.
Let’s say a program is for coaches and consultants. Then she actually shows you someone that is a coach and then their testimonial. She may show you someone that sells physical products, one of her students that sells physical products, and then she’ll show you their testimonial.
While she is actually showcasing testimonials she’s calling out who her product is a good fit for. I love that. She is actually kind of killing two birds with one stone, which is such a horrible statement now that I’ve said it out loud. My mom has said that my whole life and I think that’s the first time I’ve literally ever used that and it sounds really morbid. But, you get what I’m saying.
You’re actually tackling two things at once: who the program is for and a glowing testimonial that shows people what other people think about you. That’s a cool way to use testimonials. You can check that out on Melanie’s Business Class sales page. I know I liked to it in that other episode.
We’ve already gone through the Who, What, When, and Where. In the next section I want to talk about the “how”.
HOW – How are you getting these testimonials. The coolest way to get testimonials is when people just send them to you. They literally just email you and say, “I’ve got to share with you about the results I got once I went through your program.” That’s the best, easiest way to get a testimonial. It is probably not the way most of us get testimonials.
I definitely get things emailed to me but that’s not the #1 way I curate testimonials. One of the ways I curate good testimonials is that inside my program, usually near the end, I’ll say, “We’ve reached the end of the program and I would love for you to tell me all about your wins; your small wins and your big wins. Here’s a dedicated email. You can email me at any time and let me know what you’re working on, what kind of results you’re getting, what you struggled with, and what have you been able to break through and see transformation with?”
I give them a few things to prompt them but, literally, in my last video in some of my programs, I will mention that I would love to hear from you and give an email so that all of the details can be sent. Some people don’t want to do it publicly on social media or inside private Facebook groups. Give them an outlet to send you information.
I also followup to my past customers and will ask for testimonials. I will ask about their experiences and what worked for them. Again, I will ask them to reply to the email and let me know. Most of the time we will get testimonials from people and then my team will followup with them and get more detail.
Again, most people won’t give you a glowing testimonial. They think they are giving you one but it’s not exactly one that’s going to convert well for you. That’s why The Anatomy of a High-Converting Testimonial was the freebie for this episode. I want to show you what a bad, good, and outstanding testimonial would look like.
Some of you might be brand new and you don’t have any customers yet but you want to sell a program. You wonder what you are going to do about the lack of testimonials. One of my mentors, Marie Forleo, says this in a classic blog she wrote, “You can offer your services for free or at a discounted rate to three or six clients in exchange for real client reviews.”
Or, sometimes people ask for reviews in advance because they’re not going to assume you’re going to have a glowing testimonial. They will ask you to go through their program at a discounted rate or for free and in exchange they let you know what they think and the results they got in the end. You are doing that in exchange.
I definitely did that in my early days. People would go through my program for free and they would give me their testimonials. I will link to that episode in my show notes so you can read a little more about what Marie suggests to do to get testimonials when you’re just starting out.
Another thing you can do is look for testimonials in social media. If you have a private Facebook group for any of your programs, this is the place you will get the best testimonials. Inside my Webinars That Convert private Facebook group, it is amazing how people are popping up daily saying, “I just did my first webinar and here are the results I got…”
They then lay it out. When people do five-figure results, which is kind of a big deal inside our private Facebook group because it’s our initial goal, I am always taking snapshots and saving that and following up with the person because in my Webinars That Convert program I say, “My goal is to get you your first five-figure webinar.”
When people say they did have a five-figure webinar, of course, I want to talk about them inside my webinars, on my sales page, on my webinar opt-in page, and I want to put it everywhere. Private Facebook groups are a great place to foster testimonials.
In addition to that, social media in general is going to help you. On your Facebook page, pay close attention to when people say anything great about an experience they had with you. That leads me to talk to you a little bit about getting a system together.
This is something we’ve been working on inside my business for years now. We never really had a good system and then I realized when it came time to sit down and create a new sales page we were super scattered with where our testimonials were. Now we have created a Google.doc and a Dropbox folder for testimonials.
You can make it work best for your business, but when we see a good testimonial we always take a screen grab. We actually save it as a physical file in Dropbox. We will put it into different folders.
Suppose someone posted a great testimonial about my webinars course, it would go into the Webinars That Convert Dropbox folder. We have the actual screen grab of exactly what they said.
We also started a Google.doc where we basically track which testimonials we have. We will put the date we got it, we will copy and paste the testimonial into the Google.doc, and we will have columns for whether we have followed up with the person, whether we have permission to use the testimonial, and whether we have their headshot.
Once we get permission to use the testimonial and we have their headshot we will also save that into Dropbox accordingly into different folders. I’m all about the folders in Dropbox to keep things organized.
I just wanted to give you a snapshot of that because it’s really important to get a system together. That way you have a database and you can go through and select a great snapshot of a testimonial from “Jane” that you can followup on, clean it up, and turn it into an outstanding testimonial.
From there you can use it on the sales page. You don’t have to always follow up with people immediately when you take a screen grab of something good someone said. You can followup with them later if you want once you’re ready to use it.
If you want to get it in front of them right when they post it, because they are in the moment, that’s probably a better practice. If someone says something really nice about you on social media you want to get in front of them right away. It’s fresh in their mind. That is probably a better idea if you have the bandwidth to do so.
Let’s talk a little bit about what that follow up looks like. Once you look at The Anatomy of a High-Converting Testimonial this will make more sense. If you get a testimonial from somebody and it’s not really specific, it’s not really addressing the objection that someone might have and it’s not specifically addressing what that result looked like once they got past that obstacle, then you want to go back to them.
You’re not going back to them asking if you could use “this” testimonial after you have already rewritten it. That is a big no-no. The process is that you go back to them and get on Skype with them (that is probably the best thing you can do) or go back and forth with them on email. That is good but you will get a better testimonial if you get on Skype.
You are going to ask them about their experience. You will say, “Tell me what life looked like before you took the course, what you struggled with, what you overcame based on what you learned in the course, and what specific examples did you get? How long did it take you to get those examples, what did your numbers look like before, what do they look like now?”
You are just collecting as much information as you can. From there, you will thank them, tell them you’re going to follow up with them and that you would like to rework the testimonial a little bit to build in their story. You will then say, “I’ll follow up with you just to make sure you are 100% good with the testimonial once I’m done.”
You can let them know you are going to enhance the testimonial a little bit based on the information they just gave you. You can rework it, go back to them, and tell them what you have come up with and ask how they feel about it.
I feel that is the best way to do it. There are other ways you can do it. You can ask them, before they even write the initial testimonial, to include specifics and give them a few guidelines. But I feel when I do the work and put it in front of them and let them tweak one or two things, I’m not putting it all on them.
It is a lot of pressure and people are busy. I feel you know what needs to go into a testimonial so use all of the information they give you and rework it. Whatever they send you, try to use it as the base of the testimonial. You don’t want to send something back to them that is dramatically different than what they sent you.
They will feel you threw out what they wrote and you only wanted to write what you wanted to write. I’m giving you these little nuances because we want to respect the person that was kind enough to give us the testimonial.
That’s why you want to kind of work back and forth with them. You can be totally up front and say that you want to make sure you really want to showcase their experience in the best possible light. Then ask them to let you know what they think and that you have no worries. If they want to change any of it they can just let you know. Tell them you want them to be totally comfortable with it.
Put the ball back in their court to give them the feeling it’s okay if they still want to tweak it once you’ve tweaked it. I’ve gone long enough on that topic, but I think it’s important that the person that gives you the testimonial feels good about it, of course.
I have talked enough about making sure the person that gives you the testimonial feels good about it. You get it. I just thought it was really important to bring up.
Let’s go ahead and wrap this up.
My goal for this episode was to make sure you really understood the difference between testimonials that sing and testimonials that flop. That’s why I wanted to break it up for your in terms of who, what, where, when, and how. Of course we started with the “why”. Why are testimonials so incredibly important?
Remember, I know it’s so simple, but it’s so perfectly said by Derek Halpern in that “people want to know what other people think about you,” especially when those other people have gone through your program and they’ve experienced what it is that you’re all about and what you’re offering.
You want to make sure you have that social proof and you want to put it in multiple places throughout all of your different marketing strategies. That part makes a huge difference, for sure.
I want you to become a curator. I want you to start thinking about collecting all different types of testimonials about you and your business and your team. Put a little system together, something super simple, so that you’re taking screen grabs, you’re putting them into some kind of simple database on a Google.doc so you can refer back to them and say, “Oh yea, I forgot I had that testimonial.”
You can then follow up with that person and see if you can use it wherever you want to use it. That part is really important too. Stay organized and this becomes a whole lot easier.
As a final reminder, remember that the freebie is something you’ve got to get your hands on, The Anatomy of a High-Converting Testimonial. All you need to do is go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/119download and get it instantly there. Or you can text 119download to 33444 and I will be sure to send it to you right away.
Thank you so very much for being here with me today. Good luck on all of the testimonials you are going to start collecting. I cannot wait to see you put them together so that you shine and your customers shine as well.
Keep me updated on your progress and thank you so very much for tuning in. I can’t wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.