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Posted: November 08, 2012

Do you testimonial?

The powerful words of others

Teri Karjala

I am no marketing expert, but I do know from experience that incorporating testimonials into your marketing can have a powerful impact on the flow and rate of your business.  In the mental health or medical industry, as well as many other industries, two things are certain:

1) The majority of business is generated based upon referrals.
2) To be successful, you have to build your reputation in the community and become an expert in the field.

Keeping these factors in mind, you can build up your own business by creating solid foundations based on credibility, your “expert factor” and trust. One easy way to accomplish this is through the continued use of client testimonials.

Using testimonials as a marketing tool allows you to draw in others who may not have considered counseling before by providing evidence of how your service or product has helped another like-minded individual. Testimonials are best when unsolicited. 

Here are some examples of testimonials that our practice has received.

Client testimonials:
"I wanted to just take this opportunity to say thank you. I really enjoyed stepping outside my comfort zone to see myself from the outside in. I am grateful to have been referred to you, and I really enjoyed my sessions with you … I just wanted you to know that you made a difference in my life, and my family thanks you, my beneficiaries thank you, and I thank you.”  
-38-year-old male

Networking testimonial:
“You are such an awesome and involved person, thank you for inspiring me.”
-Sally

Speaking testimonial:
“I met you this past Wednesday evening when you gave a fabulous presentation to our Meet-Up Group. I must say it was probably one of the best business meetings we've ever had. Thank you!”
-Kevin

You can use testimonials in a variety of settings, including newsletters, websites, mailings, speaking engagements, publications and all social media outlets. LinkedIn offers a “recommendations” section essentially listing testimonials, letting others know how you rock!

What Testimonials Help Accomplish

Viewing testimonials that others have written for your business may inspire some of your clients to write down their own experience. In the bottom line of creating business boom, testimonials can help accomplish the following:

• Establish a basis for trust
• Provide “evidence” of the quality of your service
• Help to establish you as an “expert” in the field
• Provide a human factor for others to connect with/ relate to
• Improve your confidence as a professional
• Build respect and establish rapport for you within your professional community

When we think of testimonials, we usually imagine positive feedback. However, I also want to point out how even negative feedback can be turned into a positive. Consider the latest advertising campaigns by Domino’s Pizza featuring CEO Patrick Doyle. In the ad, Doyle states how, after having received some negative feedback on the company’s food, Domino’s has taken action by improving it. Although Domino’s is not the first to take this approach of bold advertising, the company has used this "take action" technique to create a winning solution that builds an even a stronger rapport with its loyal customers and encourages those who were disgruntled to re-try its products.

It is easy to see how the use of testimonials is one of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to reach new customers, especially with the rampant use of Internet-based business reviews. To best incorporate testimonials into your marketing strategy, make sure that they have ample placement on your flyers, brochures, website and at your physical location. Clients who view these testimonials are likely to want to add their own to your collection. 

Always remember to thank reviewers personally for their feedback, be it positive or negative, and get permission to use their testimonial for advertising purposes. In honor of the principle of "paying it forward," remember that you too can help grow the business of companies that you are pleased with by writing testimonials and reviews. 


 

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at www.talkingwithteri.com.

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