Have you ever bought something on Amazon.com without at least glancing at the reviews? When you get a referral for a service professional from a friend, don’t you ask how they liked the work? So why would you think you should sell your professional services without the voices of your best customers?
Last week we talked about how you can use your About page and blog content to demonstrate your professional expertise online. Now we’ll dig deeper into proving you’re worth the hype.
Selling Versus Showing
Any good web content writer can sell your professional services. We get paid to tell readers why they should hire you and explain just how good you are at what you do. We make you sound smart, professional, and efficient — an expert in your field.
But readers are getting increasingly better at seeing through a sales pitch. They know most businesses hire web development companies to make them look their best. And they’re used to someone making big promises about whatever it is they do.
So how do you cut through the hype? Show that you live up to your clients’ expectations.
Client Testimonials Are Authentic
Client testimonials are a great way to attract clients looking for real solutions. The biggest objection to web-based sales pitches is that they can sound inauthentic. Anyone can make claims, but how can the reader know you’ll deliver.
Client testimonials show readers that people like them, with problems like theirs, have been happy with your service and performance. They’re real and unscripted. They sound authentic. And just like a five star review on your next online movie purchase, they tell potential customers that you are worth the money.
Ethical Questions About Client Testimonials
Many white-collar service professionals are worried about whether they can ethically use client testimonials on their websites or social media accounts. Every state, and every profession, have their one restrictions on advertising and confidentiality. If you are in finance or medicine, the answer may be no.
For lawyers at least, client testimonials can be an effective way to market your business if:
- The client posts the testimonial themselves (such as on Yelp, Facebook, or Google Local)
- You get explicit, written consent from the client to publish their testimonial
- You allow clients the option to comment anonymously, or using an abbreviated name (i.e. “John D., Detroit, MI”).
- You respect clients’ wishes to remove their testimonials or edit out identifying information
- You include a disclaimer that past clients’ success does not guarantee similar results
Attorneys should still check their local ethical rules to make sure of the language and any additional disclaimers their states may require.
5 Don’ts of Client Testimonials
Client testimonials are powerful marketing tools. But if you are too eager they can also get you into trouble, publicly and professionally. Before you hit publish on your Testimonials page, take some advice:
- Don’t use your client’s name or likeness online without permission
- Don’t assume that you can use private thank-you notes as public testimonials without the client’s consent
- Don’t post identifying information about current clients
- Don’t allow users to leave testimonials directly on your website without moderation
- Don’t forget to ask for testimonials from happy clients soon after their matter is resolved (while their memories are fresh)
Customer ratings and client testimonials can seal the deal for online users and help convert browsers to buyers. By taking an ethical approach to client testimonials you can let your happy customers feel good about giving something back and increase the ROI from your online marketing.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. If you need help writing content and recruiting testimonials for your law firm or small business, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.