Client testimonials matter. You’ve probably been told – many times! that prospective clients are looking for social proof when they sign up for your services.
Nobody wants to be the first client …or worse, only client.
People avoid restaurants that look empty.
Lots of us read ratings on TripAdvisor, Amazon, and other places when we’re making choices.
But what if you can’t get signed reviews?
After I wrote my book on relocation, someone somehow got on my email list. She wrote, “I just loved your book. I carried it with me on the journey and read a section every night.”
So, I asked, why not write a review?
“I don’t want my boss to see that I was looking for a new job.”
If you run a career service, a psychotherapy practice, a life coaching service, or most kinds of personal growth services, you’ll likely have clients who won’t want to tell anyone they hired you. Some will refuse to write anything at all. Some will agree if you disguise details, signing something like “Lisa K., Dallas.”
Occasionally a business owner will hesitate to give you a testimonial. That’s rare: giving someone a testimonial can be good for your business.
Go ahead and get the review, even if it’s not signed, if you can. Readers can tell if you’re making things up.
Whether or no you have reviews, you can tweak your content to show that you’re trustworthy.
One important technique is to show you “get” what your readers are all about. You understand their problems.
A really good example comes from Nicole Lewis-Keeber, a life coach specializing in business clients dealing with trauma, uses this technique effectively. In particular, on her home page, she addresses the elephant in the room: why many people are afraid of consulting a life coach or therapist. She writes:
Things you will never ever hear from me:
- Just get over it already
- Quit your whining
- I’ve run out of ideas
- You’re beyond help
- You’ll have to figure this out yourself
A lot of prospective clients have heard comments like these. Nicole not only recognizes where they’re coming from – she commits to being different.
You can also show you understand with “pull questions” that relate to your clients. For example,
“Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button when you fully intend to hit the gy for an early morning workout?”
“Are you missing another evening with the family because you need to get that sales letter out in time for your launch date?” (That’s one I might use.)
Finally of course you can share your own stories of triumph over the odds…but that’s a slightly different message. “I’ve walked in your shoes” isn’t quite the same as, “I’ve worked with clients who have been exactly where you are.”
Which style works best? Depends on your audience and archetype.
BTW, this isn’t the only way to gain credibility from your content. There are actually 6 pillars of content credibility – including some that may surprise you. Visit my course, Content for Credibility. Use the code CRED30 to take 30% off the already discounted price.