Who Loves Ya Baby?

Testimonials, recommendations, and reviews remain an untapped marketing resource for many businesses. Often people are hesitant about asking for positive feedback of their work, yet these same people may be the first to sing the praises of others. I love spreading the word when I am impressed with the service I receive.

So why hold back on asking for positive feedback for your own business?

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Testimonial Placement:

In-Person:

Recently, I attended a meeting of a local business networking group. Each meeting, one member is allotted extra time to discuss their work. This week, it was my turn. Instead of talking about myself, I asked another member with whom I had recently done some consultative work to instead describe his experience of working with me.  (of course having asked permission beforehand)

I may speak until I’m blue in the face about what I do and it will not have nearly the impact of someone else describing my work with them. This gentleman provided a glowing review that also resulted in a vibrant discussion of business coaching (and testimonials) among the group. 

Social Media:

Begin with your LinkedIn profile.  Ask for a recommendation of your work and, at the same time, request permission to use the recommendation in other materials. Multi-purpose!

Don’t stop there. Take your best recommendation (or testimonial from elsewhere) and place it at the top of your profile summary. Your best review is the first thing someone sees when he or she looks at your profile.

Here is an example of mine: http://www.linkedin.com/in/conniewhitesell

Facebook also provides the option to place reviews on business pages. These appear right at the top – prime Facebook real estate!

Website and Promotional Materials:

Place testimonials throughout your website and promotional materials so people looking at your site may, right away, see descriptions of others’ opinions of your work.

Online review sites:

For any of these review sites, you will want to regularly check your reviews and respond, thanking people who praise your work. Even a reasonable, problem-solving response on a bad review can be helpful. Encourage your happy clients and customers to post reviews here.

Non-industry Specific:

Yelp.com is a free site that helps people find local businesses. Yelp was critical for me during our moves to four different cities in the five years. Do you know how difficult it is to find a new veterinarian, mechanic, hair stylist, and even restaurants with each new move?! Yelp made it easy.  Join me there: http://cwhitesell.yelp.com/

Google.com and Yahoo.com reviews are posted for every type of business imaginable. Reviews on these sites are critical because they appear in Internet search results without people even having to click on the company link.

Ask, Ask, Ask for those reviews!

Industry Specific Sites: Look for online review portals specifically tailored to your business industry. For example, if someone wanted to find help with home repairs, they might begin with Angie’s List or Home Advisor (owned by the same company, BTW). Doctors reviews may be found on webmd.com or healthgrades.com.

Next Steps:

  1. Review these sites (and others!) to determine where the best fit is for your business.
  2. Make sure your business profile on online sites is complete and attractive. 
  3. Ask every satisfied customer or client for a testimonial, recommendation, or review!
  4. Bask in the love . . .

BTW – How badly did I date myself with that Kojak photo?

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