What Great Testimonials Looks Like (And How To Get Better Ones)

How To Get Better Testimonials

Do you show testimonials of happy clients on your webpage? Or do you only flash their logos? Perhaps you’re doing none of these. This article shows how you could leverage the power of testimonials on your webpage to close more leads.

Being a smaller agency fighting bigger agencies for new business is a hard. When you’re the smaller player, you are almost never seen as the safe choice. On the contrary. You’re always the riskier option. Which means you have to fight harder to win the business…

Have you ever heard the saying “nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM”? In your world that probably translates to “nobody ever got fired for hiring {insert big-shot agency in your city here}. It’s understandable. When it comes to trusting someone to run your online presence, people want to know to the highest extent that they can trust the company they are hiring.  So, if they hire {insert big-shot agency here}, they know there are probably hundreds of others who made the same choice. It makes the decision easier to justify.


This is completely understandable behaviour. We all act the same. But this does leave us with a big challenge. How does a new and unproven web agency or freelancer present themselves as more of a sure thing?

One of the best tactics is to help potential prospects overcome uncertainty by using testimonials.

Why you should collect testimonials

What I’m about to say is a no-brainer, but here it goes anyways. People have a tendency to follow others who are like them. We see it every day. Online marketers call it social proof. When we notice that a lot of others are doing a certain thing, we assume that’s an established and correct behaviour.

I’m not going to dive too much into the psychological aspects of social proof. Just know that it’s one of the pillars of good testimonials. The other one is overcoming common objections. With the most common objection being that your agency won’t work for a particular client.

Good testimonials can increase conversions by up to 20% on your homepage or email marketing. So, what does a good testimonial look like? Well, one thing it’s not, is something like this: “This agency is pretty incredibly amazing and changed my life forever”.

It needs to be a bit more refined than that. A good converting testimonial should preferably include these two things:

  1. Be specific to the actual person writing the testimonial
  2. Clearly show what problem your agency solved for them.

Here’s a great example of a testimonial:


The first part of the testimonial should help the reader recognise themselves with the writer of the testimonial. If your agency for example targets dental agencies (sidenote, if you serve all kinds of clients maybe you should consider niching down), then a testimonial from another dental agency will be easier to relate to rather than a bland “John Doe” type of testimonial.

 The second part of the testimonial should address the specificity of the problem. This shows your prospect that, not only is your offering good. Tt can also solve their problem.

 So, efficient testimonials are not some thing you just haphazardly stick on your homepage. They should communicate in a very specific way the type of person the testimonial writer is and they type of problem they’ve been able to overcome thanks to you. This is what helps your readers and prospects put themselves in their shoes.

Three Ways To Get Good Testimonials

Great, so now you know what a good testimonial should look like. How the hell do you get your clients to give you one? Well, you could (and you probably tried it) ask “could you please write me an testimonial?). The result of that question often comes out as bland and impersonal and does more harm than good.

Here are three quite ways to get better testimonials. (Please note that you should never post a testimonial without asking your client for permission). 

1. Capturing objections

 For every new client that you onboard send them an email along these lines:


This is not only a great way to collect info about why they pick to work with you. It also gives you good insight into the objections and obstacles they had to overcome in order to pick you as their provider.

Hopefully you’ll get something like this back:


 Then, some time after you’ve finished the project (give it a couple of months), follow up with your client to see how your solution helped them. This time try to extract a story from them (basically how they went from having a problem and a challenge to having a successful solution in place). Use this story to connect efficiently with prospects visiting your site. Prospects who’s currently going through the same journey.

So, remember, a good tutorial should not only reflect the end result, they should also convey the objections the client had at the start.

2. Listen and talk to your clients

This sounds too easy right? But so few web professionals do this well! There are many reasons as to why you should have on-going conversation with your clients, but these talks are also great for listening for underlying stories about the experience of working with you.  It’s actually in these conversations that you’ll get the best client stories.

 Once your conversation is over, just go back and ask the customer if you can share the story.

3. Just ask them! (but please follow this script)

Sometimes, projects just run smooth without much need for conversations. The client is doing fine on their own. And if they’re busy it can be difficult to get them on the phone. But if you have a feeling that the work you did for them is having great results, try sending them an email along these lines: 


As you can see, you can’t just straight out ask for the testimonial. Rather, you want to walk them through the steps which makes sure you get a great testimonial.

So, the way you ask for a testimonial will make a great difference between getting a great one or a crappy one.


Next steps

I hope I showed you that testimonials can be very efficient. If you’re not already using them, take some time to write some scripts and start collecting great client stories today. You will soon notice that they can be a great asset in your marketing. I hope this post inspires you to test them in your marketing by telling compelling client stories and connect more deeply with your prospects. And get you more clients!


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