3 Golden Rules for Great Testimonials

Do the  testimonials on your page pass this test? Great testimonials follow these 3 rules.

Rule #1. Make sure it's specific.

Team-player. Proactive. Hard worker.
These are incredibly generic terms that could apply to almost anyone. And a buzzword-stuffed testimonial is just begging to be challenged.
These generic terms don't do your actual qualities and contributions justice, so don't use them.
Instead, use testimonials that give specific examples of the value you've contributed or the impact you've created.
Ask your endorser to include quantitative and qualitative benchmarks that add specific context to your work.
Example:
Jody is a proactive team player.
vs.
Jody was quick to notice inefficiencies in her team's communication with other departments and created a process that saved her team several hours of extra documentation a day. (read: Jody is a proactive team player)
See the difference?
As a reader, which would you hold to higher credibility?
The more specific the details, the more powerful the testimonial.
Pro tip: When asking for testimonials, don't be shy to ask your endorser to include specific examples!

Rule #2. Make sure it's real.

Your testimonial should never include false information.
If someone gives you a testimonial that includes exaggerations or any claims that can't be proven with solid evidence, leave it off your page.
Any kind of false claim will ruin your credibility.
Instead, make sure it includes real facts that are relevant to the work you did.
You may be rolling your eyes, thinking this is common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many people claim that the company would collapse without their endorsee - and have no proof of contributions to back it up.
Also, ask your endorser to write it in a human voice. If it sounds too marketing-y or sales-y, it may raise some eyebrows in suspicion.

Rule #3. Make it legitimate.

The attribution, or who the testimonial is from, is also quite important.
Not saying you need a quote from the CEO.
Just saying that the details included in your attribution can add legitimacy to your testimonial.
When posting your testimonial, you'll want to include at least a first name, person's title and company name as the endorser if possible.
If a title isn't relevant to the kind of testimonial you're getting, a defining keyword works as well. (i.e. haircut client in 2018)
Example:
Jody was quick to notice inefficiencies in her team's communication with other departments and created a process that saved her team several hours of extra documentation a day.
- G.B.
vs.
Jody was quick to notice inefficiencies in her team's communication with other departments and created a process that saved her team several hours of extra documentation a day.
- George, CTO at Teal Dolphin Media
The more context you can give about your endorser, the more it'll establish the testimonial as coming from a credible source.
When you're requesting testimonials and considering which to add to your page, keeping these golden rules in your back pocket will ensure that your testimonials are compelling and persuasiveā€¦and most importantly - real.

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