How to Write a Testimonial
You have had fantastic service. You love the product. You really enjoy working with a particular company, and then… they ask you to write a testimonial for them. What do you do?
If you are like most people, you say “sure” and then sit and stare at your computer for a while, your brain spinning, and not knowing where to start. You type in some words, and then delete them. Your brain draws a blank so you put off writing that testimonial for another day… and another day. You really mean to write it, you just don’t know how.
To help you put your thoughts into words, here’s five ways to help you write that testimonial.
1. Stream of consciousness approach: The easiest way to write a testimonial is to speak it. Imagine a friend or colleague has asked you about the business or service – what would you say to them? Either record your answer (most mobiles have a mini recorder in-built into them) or have someone scribble down your answer.
2. Jot it down: The thought of “writing” can give some people a cold sweat. The word “jotting” doesn’t have the same fear level. So just “jot” a few points down on some paper, and then fax it off.
3. Structured approach: If you prefer a bit of structure, then write your answers to the following points:
a. Start with what prompted you to choose this service or product
b. Then – what you were concerned about or afraid about (e.g.: you may have found similar services were very slow or the service person didn’t turn up)
c. Then – what happened when you bought the product or service. What did you do and what results did you get?
d. What was your favourite feature of the product or service?
e. What did you like most about the approach the product or service took?
f. Who would you recommend this product or service to? Why?
g. Anything else you would like to add.
4. Be specific: Always write about specific details and not general comments. Comments such as “they are the best company to deal with” are too broad. If you say “they turn up on time, clean up after themselves, take the time to explain everything in non-geek speak” add more meaning.
5. Video it: The most powerful testimonials are ones that made using videos. Just grab your camera phone or webcam, and either get someone to ask you the structured questions listed above while you answer, or just talk about the product or service. Send the camera film to their mobile, or drop it onto a disk and mail it. Simple!
A few last pointers.
Don’t worry about how long or short your words are. If you write a page, they can always edit it and just use the key points if they are looking for a short testimonial, or they can use the whole thing. By writing until you are “done” you give the company options.
You need to be 100% honest. Only include things in your testimonial within your direct experience.
And finally, where possible give permission for your full name and company name to be used. If you have a website, give permission for your website to be linked to your testimonial. This has the added benefit of giving your website more Google juice through gaining a link back to it, as well as adding credibility to your words.
Writing a testimonial doesn’t have to be a chore – just pick the approach that best works for you and give it a go. You will feel great for being able to share your experience of the product or service with people, and the company you are writing for will feel appreciated and valued.