Using Testimonials as a Small Business Marketing Tool

As a small business owner, you’ve  probably realized that it’s a jungle out there! Your competition is fierce, your prospects are skeptical and your marketing budget is sparse.

So, what’s a small business owner to do? One of the best ways to beat your competition and convince your prospects that you’re the real deal (all on a shoestring budget) is to tap into the power of testimonials.

Here Are 7 Reasons Why Testimonials Are a Powerful Marketing Tool:

1. Understand That Your Prospects Are Overexposed To Ads.

As a small business owner, you need to be aware that your prospects are exposed to over 4,000 ads every single day. They are forced to sift through TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, billboard ads and internet ads.

Therefore, in order to notice your marketing message, you need to provide a little extra icing on the cake. A testimonial from an elated customer helps get you noticed.

2. Understand That Your Prospects Are Skeptical.

Your prospective customers and clients are used to reading ad-copy that is self-promotional, farfetched and sensational. As a result, they are skeptical to believe what small business owners say about themselves.

Therefore, it’s your job to provide an outside perspective about your business. It’s always ten times more convincing what others say about you than what you say about yourself.

3. Use Your Customers Real Words.

Many small business owners feel the need to improve the testimonials of their customers. It’s important that you use the exact words and phrases of your clients and customers. Obviously, keeping the testament in their own words maintains a real authenticity.

4. Use Your Customers Full Names and Contact Information.

With the large amount of skepticism surrounding the internet, you never want a testimony from Joe B. from New York. This simply doesn’t cut it. Even if your customer is a real person, if you don’t use their full name and contact information, you won’t be believed.

In fact, if you aren’t able to supply your customer’s full name and contact information, you shouldn’t include their information at all.

5. Use Your Customers Pictures.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words…” When you are able to include your customer’s picture in addition to their personal information, it is much more believable. Therefore, always include a picture when you can.

6. Use Specific Data When Possible.

There are two types of customer testimonials. There are general testimonials when customers talk about the general reasons that they are happy with your products and services.

For instance, “Joe Brown is just a fabulous consultant. I have loved working with him over the past year.” Although this testimony can give your prospects an overall idea of your products and services, it isn’t as compelling as a specific testimony.

However, when your customer is able to provide specific data, it will be a much more powerful testimony. Here is an example of a specific testimony: “Joe Brown helped me increase my website conversion rate by 300%. As a result, I ended up with $12,000 of new business in less than 3 months.” Obviously, this statement shows your prospective clients and customers exactly and precisely what they can expect by working with you.

7. Always Ask For Permission.

This may seem like an obvious statement, however you want to ensure that you have written permission from your customer or client before you use their personal information. In addition, you want to let them know where you will be using the testimonial as well.

Obviously, testimonials add credibility, validity and integrity to your small business. Therefore, make sure to gather this marketing gem from your clients and customers on a regular basis. It’s a shoestring marketer’s dream come true!

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