How To Write a Good Testimonial

Testimonials are important statements that should not be missing from any website or LinkedIn profile! Careful though - if you fake testimonials or buy them you will eventually get caught and will lose all trust of your prospective customers.

To prevent any suspicion I always link to the original source of the recommendation - usually a LinkedIn recommendation.

But how do you write a good testimonial for someone? Below I’m sharing a few guidelines and a link to a great template.

I am very excited! Last week I got this testimonial from a client of mine:

Colin ParkerYou couldn’t hire a better person to help you to harness social media tools to improve your sales results. To often I run across consultants who think because they managed to open a Facebook account or have a few hundred followers on Twitter they are qualified to help a business generate sales with social media. Frithjof Petscheleit is not one of those people. He is a student of social media and his approach changes and adapts as the tools and the market changes. If you want to get your social media working for you or if you want to fix your WordPress website let me save you some time and contact Frithjof. I do.

Colin Parker, Chief Sales Officer, Lonestar Sales Performance

Core Elements of Testimonials

Testimonials are, in many ways, a lot like case studies. A case study is designed to present a problem or challenge, to demonstrate how the problem was resolved, and then to highlight the results. Good testimonials also contain those three elements. Let’s take a look at them individually.

T he Challenge

What problem was the person facing and why hadn’t they solved their problem?

Here’s an example of a problem for a weight loss supplement testimonial. “I was 100 pounds overweight and struggling to lose weight. Though I’d tried more than a dozen diets, I’d been unsuccessful. I actually gained weight!”

T he Resolution

The resolution is where the client simply states how your product or service changed their life. How did it solve their problem? This is also a great place to quantify the results. Results are always more powerful when they can be quantified.

Here’s an example of a resolution or the middle part of your testimonial.

ABC Supplement changed it all. One simple natural remedy and my metabolism started picking up. It affects trace minerals in your body – minerals essential for optimal health and a fired-up metabolism. Once I started losing weight, dieting and exercise began to work more quickly. I lost more than ten pounds a month and over 110 pounds in total.

C onclusion

In the conclusion you’ll use emotion to truly persuade the reader. How has this success made your life better or easier? How did this success make you feel?

With ABC supplement, losing weight was no longer a battle. I lost 110 pounds and I feel better than ever. My doctor says I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I wish I’d known about ABC years ago but I’m glad I found it when I did.

Motivating Your Clients to Write Testimonials Like These

In Colin’s case above he sent the testimonial without me prompting him. Mostly you have to ask :-)  .

It’s easy to see why testimonials with these three core elements are successful. But how do you motivate your clients to write their testimonials in this powerful format? It’s difficult. Many clients don’t understand how to write an effective testimonial. They probably want to write one for you but chances are they just don’t know how.

So what can you do?

Write it for them! One of the easiest ways to make your client’s life easier and to ensure you get the testimonial you need is to write one for them. For example, you might create a folder with three to five different testimonials in it. Your client can choose the one they want, make any changes they desire, and sign it. You might be surprised how many clients appreciate this convenience.

Create a template. Another way to accomplish the same thing is to create a template testimonial. Your client can fill in the blanks and make changes to the template as they see fit. It gives them a little more control over the testimonial but still helps ensure you get the content you need.

Finally, if you receive a testimonial from a client and it doesn’t quite fit your needs, you can ask a few questions like, “Could you tell me how you were dealing with the problem before you came to me?” and “How did you feel once you’d tried our product/service?” You can then simply ask if you can add that information to the testimonial. Be sure to get their approval before you publish it.

Testimonials are essential tools to help persuade, build credibility, and strengthen your brand.Click To Tweet Make your testimonials strong ones with these three core elements.

Mashable just published a post that includes a list of helpful templates, including one for testimonials

Testimonials are cause for celebration! Please share your favourite testimonial in the comments and tell us how it made you feel.

Image licensed at Depositphotos

I am the the founder of BlueBird Business Consulting (formerly Tweet4Ok). My focus is on Social Media strategy and education. My blog covers topics ranging from how-to social media posts to more general topics of concern for a rapidly changing digital world. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis


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