The 3 x 3 x 3 Guide to Testimonials

Rubiks Cube by Lars Karlsson

What’s Your Strategy?

Testimonials are a written or spoken statement emphasizing the virtues of a product or service. Like a good song, a glass of fine wine, or an unexpected good deed: a testimonial is a simple item with the power to change someone’s perspective.

In real life, we use them all the time.

  1. We use them in introductions. Tim this is Hannah. Hannah loves traveling and just returned from Tuscany. Hannah, you’d like to know that Tim is an accomplished Italian cook.
  2. We use them to qualify our actions. Helen is an aspiring triathlete. She is taking yoga classes because Sue, who just finished her third Ironman, swears that yoga is the secret of her success.
  3. We use them to pass judgment. Isn’t that the guy who’s known as the fix-anything, home repair, power tool guru?

If testimonials are such a natural part of our lives, why do businesses confine them to a testimonial page buried in their website? In this artificial, isolated space testimonials lose some of their power. Certainly keep a dedicated testimonials page but there are other areas where they can be more useful.

Testimonials punctuate and illustrate your skills and accomplishments. They provide social proof and give credibility to your claims. So mimic everyday life. Make your testimonials visible at those touch points when your prospect is learning about you, judging your usefulness and credibility, or trying to decide if hiring you is the action they want to take.

For increased impact place testimonials on:

  1. Web pages. Insert them in your copy to emphasize a particular point. List them on your sidebar. Place a different testimonial on each of your site’s pages.
  2. Case studies and success stories. A typical case study follows a problem, solution, results format. Spark up your content with pull quotes. When you introduce your business solution use a testimonial for the quote.
  3. Business cards. You know that space on the back of every business card? Fill it with a testimonial.

Before pasting your testimonial gems everywhere there are some tricks of the trade.

  1. Select the testimonial that best matches the point you are trying to convey. If a particular sentence stands out, make it bold (please exercise good judgment when using bold fonts).
  2. Insert them in the body of your copy tastefully. Select short, concise testimonials that clearly emphasize a specific point.
  3. Embed links in your testimonials. If one testimonial refers to a particular project or skill set, why not let those words be an internal link to those respective pages on your site?

Try this 3 x 3 x 3 approach to your testimonials and watch their effectiveness multiply. It’s only natural.

Image attribution: Lars Karlsson from Wikimedia Commons.

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