“Arnie. Thank you sooooooooo much for stretching me. If not for you, I would’ve never done this; best decision I made – working with you.” Olga Kirillova
Today, I’m going to reveal how you can strategically use testimonials to grow your coaching practice.
The bottom line is people trust testimonials.
Testimonials aren’t just compliments; they’re stories of transformation which have the power to inspire potential clients.
But don’t take my word for it.
According to Nielsen’s research 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations above all other forms of advertising.
By collecting social proof and showcasing your value to others, you’re utilising one of the most powerful tools in your marketing strategy.
One of the most common pitfalls I see coaches make is failing to actively seek and collect testimonials, assuming satisfied clients will automatically provide them with one.
Instead of relying on hope, success lies in creating a systematic approach and asking for them at the right time.
4 benefits of a powerful testimonial
- Builds trust and earns credibility with potential clients
- Differentiates you from your competitors
- Demonstrates the value you provide to your clients
- Provides valuable insights into what clients value most about your work
#1 Collecting testimonials: Best timing, approach and execution
The best time to ask for a testimonial is when the success and satisfaction of your coaching is fresh in your client’s mind.
Gratitude and satisfaction are most likely to be at their highest when:
- Your client has just reached a significant goal or overcome a particular hurdle with your help.
- Your client completes the agreed-upon coaching sessions and you’ve come to a natural conclusion and achieved a successful outcome.
- You’re in the middle of ongoing coaching, and there are regular checkpoints where you assess progress.
Every client is unique, and the right time may differ. Ensuring you’re being sensitive to your clients journey is the most important factor to consider.
#2 The best way to ask for testimonials
After working out the best time to collect a testimonial, the next step is make it as easy as possible for your clients to provide one.
Here are 5 ways to support this process:
#1 Be direct but polite.
Explain how valuable their feedback is and how it can help others who might be facing similar challenges.
#2 Provide some guiding questions.
Provide the option of guiding questions or freestyle. This helps to provide focus.
- What were you going through before we started working together?
- What were your biggest challenges, fears or struggles?
- How has coaching helped?
- What results have you seen and felt?
“Or if you prefer a more freestyle approach – that’s also fine. Whatever you’re most comfortable with.”
#3 Offer different ways to give a testimonial
While some clients might be comfortable writing a testimonial, others might prefer to provide a video testimonial or even do an interview with you or a third party, which you can transcribe and use.
I personally invite my clients to provide a testimonial and then work with a videographer who follows up directly to record their responses via a Q&A.
The material is then cut into 30 second bites and uploaded to my website.
#4 Don’t forget to follow-Up
If a client agrees to provide a testimonial but doesn’t get back to you, follow up politely. They may have simply forgotten or got busy.
#5 Seek permission
Always ask for permission to use a testimonial in your marketing efforts. Reassure them that you’ll respect their privacy and will only share what they’re comfortable with.
#3 Showcasing Testimonials
Now that you’ve collected your testimonials, what should you do with them?
Your testimonials should be visible and accessible for prospective clients, wherever they are looking at you.
Here’s 3 prime areas you can place them:
Your website is a great place to start.
Feature your testimonials on your homepage, about page, and services page.
You never know where your potential clients are researching you, so it’s important to cover all bases.
#2. Social Media:
Share testimonials on your social media platforms.
They can be in the form of a post, video, or even as a part of your Stories on Instagram or Facebook if you use those platforms.
#3. Email Marketing
Incorporate testimonials in your newsletters or email campaigns to show your subscribers the value of your coaching services.
#4. Consider using diverse formats
Different formats appeal to different people, and a diverse collection of testimonials can attract a wider audience.
Consider these formats:
#1 Video Testimonials:
Video testimonials are authentic, compelling and highly engaging.
They are more impactful than written testimonials.
Here are a couple of automated options to explore:
This application allows you to collect text and video testimonials with ease in one dedicated solution.
Plus, it can integrate all your social proof in a single place
This is a super simple way to send and collect personal videos for capturing customer stories and testimonials.
It even has a series of prompts to support clients in making a video.
#2 Written Testimonials:
These are the most common and easiest to gather. They can be a couple of sentences or a few paragraphs long.
#3 Case Studies:
These are more detailed testimonials that describe the client’s problem, your solution, and the result.
They are persuasive and highlight your problem-solving skills.
I’ve found a combination of video and case study is dynamite and worth going the extra mile.
#5 Leveraging testimonials for referrals
Don’t hesitate to ask your satisfied clients if they know anyone who could benefit from your coaching.
This builds trust, increases your reach and is highly cost-effective.
Prospective clients are more likely to trust a coach who comes recommended by someone they know and whose success they can witness through a testimonial.
It adds authenticity and relatability to your coaching practice, which are essential for building trust.
Every satisfied client has their network, and leveraging testimonials can tap into these networks, thereby expanding your potential client base significantly.
Compared to other marketing strategies, leveraging testimonials for referrals is highly cost-effective, but seldom maximised.
6. Evolve with your testimonials
Testimonials can also be a treasure trove of insights about your strengths and areas for improvement.
Review them regularly to understand what’s working and what’s not.
This helps you improve and evolve as a coach, leading to even more effective coaching sessions, better testimonials and potentially more clients.
Using testimonials strategically can significantly enhance your credibility and attract more clients to your coaching practice.
Start collecting testimonials today (even from old clients).
Display them effectively, utilise diverse formats, engage with clients, leverage them for referrals, and finally, use them to continuously refine your coaching skills.
Remember, you’re not just collecting praise; you’re establishing trust and showcasing the transformative power of your coaching.
Keep focused, one testimonial at a time!
Today’s 4 key action steps
1. Develop a system for collecting testimonials:
- Create a clear process for when and how you’ll ask for testimonials.
- Make it as easy as possible for your clients to provide testimonials by offering different options (written, video, etc.) and guiding questions.
2. Showcase Your Testimonials
- Make your testimonials visible across all your marketing channels.
- Don’t just tuck them away on a single page; instead, integrate them throughout your online presence.
3. Diversify Your Testimonial Formats:
- Explore other formats than just text, like video testimonials and case studies.
- Different formats will appeal to different prospective clients and give depth to your success stories.
4. Engage with Your Clients:
- When a client gives you a testimonial, engage with them.
- Respond to their testimonial, showing your appreciation and highlighting their transformation.
- Leverage their testimonial and ask who do they know who might also benefit from your coaching