Displaying raving client testimonials on your website is a really great way to inform and build trust with site visitors. That’s because if visitors hear directly from your clients the results they can expect when working with you, it’s more believable than you just sharing those results with them yourself.
However, even when they’re amazing coaches, sometimes I find my clients struggle with getting client testimonials. They ask and never get a response, or perhaps they don’t ask in the first place because they don’t know what questions to ask to ensure the testimonials they get will be quality and appropriate for the website.
In this article, I’m going to address these problems and give you a couple of different strategies you can implement so that you’re sure to get great client testimonials for use on your site. You’ll learn how to ask for client testimonials with confidence, so you can use those client case studies (as I often call testimonials) to market your coaching services.
Of course, we know that a lot of this process of gathering testimonials can be sorted through with thought work. But having a system helps when the obstacle thoughts are rampaging.
First, have a great service
As I write this post, I’m making the assumption that you have coaching clients that have good things to say about working with you and are willing to share them. If you don’t, that’s all right. That’s just the first thing that you know you need to work on: having a service that people want to rave about.
Now for the three strategies.
Strategy 1 — Request a testimonial at the end of the client’s time with you
The first way to get great testimonials is just to create a standard email ask that you can send to your clients once they finish your coaching program.
Simply have it be part of your process of off-boarding them as a client. At the same time you archive their client file or take them off of your calendar or whatever it is you do to off-board, you send them an email asking if they’d be willing to share a testimonial you can use on your website.
Here are three questions you can ask in that email to make it easier for them to write a stellar testimonial:
- What are the pains/problems you had before you worked with me?
- What kind of work did/do I do with you to help?
- What were/are the results you’ve had because of my help?
I recommend creating an email template you can send to clients to make it quick and drama-free to ask for testimonials. You can even use a text expander software like this one to make the job easier.
So that’s the first way to get great testimonials. Create an email template in your voice and send it to clients as part of your offboarding process.
Strategy 2 — Write the testimonial for your client, then have them approve it
A second way to ask for client testimonials is to write the testimonial for them.
Sometimes my coaches will ask their clients for testimonials, perhaps they send an email at the end of the program like I said to do above…and they don’t get any response. Or sometimes the response is, “Sure! Let me get back to you on that.” And then the client never does.
To overcome the no-response problem, I have seen coaches that have had a ton of luck just writing the testimonial for the client. They usually base it off on what the coach knows the client’s results were. Then they send it to the client to approve.
Obviously, if you do this you don’t want to make stuff up or say anything outrageous. Just be simple and honest about what you believe the client’s experience has been. Then send it to them to approve. I’m going to keep repeating the approval part because it’s very important. You don’t want to claim your clients have said things that they haven’t actually approved being put to their name.
I used to think this strategy was cheating. But then I realized it’s really a logical strategy. It gives the client a place to start and makes their life a lot easier in writing the testimonial. And you get the result you want which is the kind of testimonial that’s honest (and hopefully raving!) for your website to market your business.
Strategy 3 — Take highlights from breakthroughs, with permission
The third way I will share to get client testimonials is to take what the client says when they’ve had a big breakthrough or “Aha!” moment in their coaching with you, and ask them if you can use those words in a testimonial.
Perhaps this moment happens on a call. They suddenly “get” a concept that you’ve been working on together and explain to you how helpful it is. You might email the client afterward and ask if you can use their words about their breakthrough as a testimonial.
Or, if you’re using Slack to communicate with your clients, you can have a #wins channel so that they can share some of those breakthrough moments there.
If you’re in a Facebook group then have a #wins hashtag that people can use when they want to share a big breakthrough as a post in the group. Then you can ask those people via direct message if they will be okay with you using those words in a testimonial.
Once you have their okay to use those breakthrough moments as a case study, you can write a testimonial based on what they said on the call, or in the slack or Facebook post, and send it to them to approve. In this way, you’re tying in strategy 2 and strategy 3 to get a testimonial.
There’s an optimal time to ask for testimonials
One thing I want to add here is that you want to be asking for client testimonials at the optimal time. Sometimes people think that they have to ask for testimonials at the end of coaching. That isn’t always at the end of coaching with you. Asking at the end is simple to create a process around and that’s why I recommended it in option 1.
But sometimes the best time to ask for a testimonial is in the middle of coaching when the client has just had their first big breakthrough. Maybe they sign their first client if you’re a business coach, or they’ve just lost their first 10 lb if you’re coaching on weight. The optimal time to ask for a testimonial is when the client is most excited about the work that you’ve been doing together.
Figure out your client’s model
In the end, if you’re implementing all of the above strategies repeatedly and still not getting any quality testimonials from clients (and you know it’s not for lack of a good experience on their part) you have to get in their brain a little bit and see what it is they’re possibly thinking that’s keeping them from taking the action of approving their testimonial that you’ve written, or writing in a testimonial of their own.
Is it because the subject matter that you coach on is very sensitive? If that’s the case, could you offer to have the testimonial be anonymous? If you’re a weight loss coach, is it because they didn’t lose as much weight as they hoped? How could you help overcome whatever objections are going on in their thoughts?
Include a name and photo if possible
That said, if the client is okay with not being anonymous, it’s always better for credibility to include as much of their name (first, first and last initial, etc.) as they’re comfortable with, as well as a nice, clear photo of them. The more information about them is listed with their words, the more credible the testimonial will be to a website visitor.
Get your testimonial email template
If you want access to the email template that I used to get testimonials for my clients after they finish working with me, click here to request it. It works great for any service-based business, including coaching!