I’m going to let you in on a secret: if you want to get good reviews for your business, you need to ask!
Our team tries to share testimonials on social media about once a week and although occasionally people take the time to email us reviews or tag us on social media, most of the time, we don’t get reviews unless we ask.
Think about it: how often do you take the time to leave a review after working with someone or buying something? My guess is that most of the items you’ve bought on Amazon – even if you love them – were not ones that you took the time to leave a review for.
So how do you get people to actually take the time to send you a review, let alone one that is worth sharing?
Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years.
1. Timing is Everything
The best time to ask for a review is immediately after a project is complete. If you’re a designer, the best time might be the week after a website launch or a project is wrapped up. If you’re a photographer, this might be a few days after delivering someone’s images. If you sell a product, the best time might be a few days after a product is delivered.
You want to ask at a time when excitement is still high and people actually remember the experience of what it was like to work with you. If someone asked me today to recommend the architect we worked with two years ago, I wouldn’t have quite as many nice things to say as if you asked me immediately after he delivered our final plans or once we moved into the house.
We highly recommend incorporating asking for a testimonial into your project workflow. We use Clickup for project management and we have a repeatable list of “closing” tasks that we go through at the end of each project. Gathering a testimonial and then sharing that testimonial are both on the list.
2. Ask Questions
After years of asking for testimonials, we’ve learned that the best way to get answers that contain shareable content is to ask questions. Writing isn’t always the easiest for everyone and asking someone to write a review often led to delayed reviews, short reviews and reviews that didn’t always contain the type of content we need.
So to make it easy on everyone, we ask people a series of questions.
For most serviced-based businesses, an email like this might work:
Hi [Insert Name Here],
Thank you so much for choosing to work with us! It was an honor to be a part of your wedding day and I think [insert specific memory of day/project here].
Client reviews mean the world to us and if you have a few minutes, it would be amazing if you could answer the following questions:
Why did you decide to work with us?
What was your favorite part about working with us?
If someone was on the fence about working with us, what would you say to them?
[for business to business providers] Have you noticed any differences in your business since working with us?
Thank you so much!
[Insert your name here]
3. Make Sharing Easy
If someone sends us back really great answers to those questions, we’ll often combine the text or clean things up to be a more concise blurb about working with us and ask the client if they would be willing to share their testimonial on a specific site or two.
We try to make things as fast and easy for them as possible by sending links directly to the places we would like them to leave that review (Facebook, Google, Yelp, Wedding Wire, etc).
So an email back to our client might look something like this:
Hi [Insert Client Name],
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience working with us! Your kind words just made our day and we can’t wait to feature you guys on our website [or on social media if you share testimonials there].
We combined a few of the answers into a blurb, and if you have a minute, it would be amazing if you could share about working with us on [Insert platform or two + a direct link to your page].
[Replace with your blurb: Davey & Krista photographed a friend’s wedding and after experiencing their warm, welcoming and incredibly patient personalities + seeing the gorgeous images they took, we knew we had to have them at our wedding too. They took the time to really get to know us and find out which parts of the wedding day were the most meaningful to us. They advised us on scheduling, rain plans and so much more. They went above and beyond in every way possible and gave us images we will treasure for a lifetime. If you need a photographer, you really can’t go wrong with Davey & Krista.]
We’re so grateful for you!
[Davey & Krista]
And then, if our client actually took the time to add that testimonial to a few spots, we would likely send them a little gift. Maybe a Starbucks card or a small potted plant. Even if you’re pulling together the blurb for them to copy and paste based on the answers to their questions, it still takes time for them to go to your various pages and leave that testimonial, so it’s nice to surprise them with a thank you gift.
So once you have those testimonials, what else should you do with them?
Pepper Them Throughout Your Website
If you listened to our podcast about website content, then you know we’re big fans of using testimonials throughout your website. On your homepage, on each services page, on your about page, on your contact page, on sales pages… You get the idea.
As people scroll through your content, the more social proof they see about how amazing it is to work with you, likely the easier it will be to convince them to do so.
Share them on Social Media
I don’t know if this makes sense for all businesses, but we share our testimonials on social media along with a preview of the project/website. If sharing makes sense for your business, I would make sure you share in a way that makes it easy for your clients to re-share. We also try to incorporate design tips into our posts to make the posts more interesting for our audience.
Just be careful to balance testimonial posts with educational content to ensure your Instagram feed feels balanced.
And that’s it! Not too difficult right? Testimonials can go such a long way towards convincing people to work with you so if asking for them isn’t a part of your current workflow, I would find a way to incorporate it today!