In short…write it yourself. Might sound a bit cheeky but all good marketers have been doing this since the dawn of time. While your clients may have the best of intentions, wanting to praise you for your great work and shout about it to the rest of the world, when it comes down to it, often they can’t find the words to express how they feel.
After ten years of writing copy, I find that clients are incredibly grateful if you can give them some help, afterall, you’re the expert when it comes to writing, just like they’re the expert in their field. As the saying goes, ‘stick to what you’re good at’.
So when it comes to writing the perfect testimonial, what should it include?
More than ‘great’
How many testimonials have you read where it says, ‘Company ABC is great’? Snore. If you want a testimonial that’s attention grabbing and really showcases how great your company is, include some facts, figures and substantiation. For example, ‘After helping to increase revenue by 10%, Company ABC is now our partner of choice.’
To retain its credibility, and be signed off by your client, the testimonial has to be truthful. If you can’t comfortably state that revenue increased as a direct result of the work you did, don’t make the claim and find something else to say. And remember that your client is likely to air on the side of caution, so don’t make bold statements saying you’re the best company in the world, it’s unlikely to get approved.
Make the tone fit your customer
We all express ourselves differently and have words or phrases we favour. I, for example, love words like ‘amazing’, ‘fabulous’ and ‘perfect’, but my clients may use very different words. Pick up on cues when you talk to them and weave their words into your testimonial. When it comes to approval, it’s likely to be a quicker, smoother process if your language appears more familiar.
Think about the content
It may sound strange, but think about what the testimonial is evidence for, and where else it might be used. It could be to showcase your industry expertise, substantiate your brand values or aid positioning. If you think about the purpose of the testimonial before you start writing it, the end product will be far more powerful and valuable.
Don’t take it personally
Ultimately you’re writing on behalf of your customer and they will have final sign off. Occasionally you might be lucky and get it passed without changes, but often, it will be revised in some way. Sometimes this is because your customer isn’t comfortable making a particular claim, or isn’t allowed to, or simply because they feel the need to make changes. In the end though, you’ll end up with a testimonial that’s perfect for your purposes.
Need some help?
If you need some help with your content contact me. I can help you write the perfect testimonial for your case studies, web copy or press releases that will get you noticed and deliver results.