Entries Tagged 'Testimonials' ↓

Beware of Testimonial Thieves

You already know testimonials are like gold dust.

They give potential clients a glimpse at what you’re like to work with and an idea of how you’ve helped other companies.

You also know they have to be attributed to a specific person because there are so many bogus ones out there.

Well, did you also know there are some very dubious companies out there who think it’s OK to cut and paste testimonials from one company and claim them as their own?

I would never have believed someone could stoop so low had I not had first hand experience of such people.

To cut a very long story short, my company website is about to have a makeover. As a result, a number of social media sites that I am on will have to be updated, so in a rare moment of spare time I set about doing a search to make sure I found all the sites. Can you imagine my horror when the search turned up a copywriting website that had stolen three of my testimonials and claimed them as their own!

How could I tell?

They weren’t bright enough to remove the reference to my name or company in one of them.

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

The problem is the company in question is in America.

An email has been sent asking them to remove the testimonials and, at the time of writing this, I am waiting for a response. If nothing happens further action will be taken.

I am staggered that there are people out there who:

  1. Think this is OK
  2. Are too bone idle to work hard for their own testimonials
  3. Has such little regard for copyright laws

The moral of this short tale?

Do a Google search on your company and check out any of the URLs that come up that look a bit odd.


Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

How Testimonials Can Hurt Your Business


You can’t sell without it.

Customers only buy from companies they trust and like and one of the best ways to promote trust is by including testimonials on your website or landing page.

But sometimes, that can do more harm than good.

Why? Surely testimonials are the best form of social proof there is.

Normally I would agree with that, but there are some companies out there using testimonials that harm their business.

Harmful testimonies

How many times have you come across a website or landing page that lists testimonials but doesn’t attribute them to a person, or just show “Mrs B from Scotland”?

Would you trust their authenticity?

I wouldn’t.

How to make the most of your testimonials

If you’re going to put testimonials on your website they must, as a minimum, be attributed to a real person showing their full name, position and if possible a photo.

It’s also a good idea to have them address specific concerns, for example, ease of use, great customer service etc. After all, if that was something that stood out for them, the chances are it’s a concern for others too.

Getting testimonials and endorsements from celebrities or prominent people in your industry would be great, but not everyone is in a position to do that. So the other option is to use testimonials your customers can relate to. An example would be that if you sold waterproof cameras, a testimonial from a scuba diver would carry more weight than a wedding photographer.

Another thing you can do is to include video testimonials.

Don’t always concentrate on the positive

I know, an odd thing to say, but if your testimonials and reviews give a balanced picture, potential customers are more likely to believe them.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m considering buying a product and all the testimonials are glowing, I will head off to do a bit of independent research. The danger with that is (apart from finding someone who slates your product) I may come across a better deal elsewhere. So give your potential customers a balanced view and prevent them from leaving your website.

All in all, testimonials are a valuable tool for online marketers. They give a real life view of your products and service that should allay many of the fears potential customers may have.

But if you’re going to use them, make sure you follow the tips above and build that all important trust.

Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd who cycled 300 miles in 24 hours last year.

How to Make The Most of Your Testimonials

Sally Ormond Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+



Testimonials are wonderful things.

They offer potential clients an insight into your service and approach and illustrate the benefits of your product/service in a real life situation.

Listing them on your website, or dotting them amongst the rest of your copy is OK, but you could make more of them.

Turning testimonials into stories

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned story to get your readers engrossed.

Let’s face it the testimonials you receive from customers are like the wrap up of a story. They’re just missing the beginning, middle and protagonist.

But if you were to add that information, hey presto, your testimonial suddenly turns into a case study.

Weaving a story around the testimonial is easy; just make sure it’s factual.

First, set the scene – give some background to it, who is the client and why did they come to you? This is where you explain the problem they had.

Now in comes the protagonist – that’s you, or at least your product or service. Think about why they came to you (don’t make this bit up, if you know write about it, otherwise skip it). Write about how you approached the problem and what you did to solve it.

The happy ending – now your reader wants to know the outcome. This is the bit they’re concerned about; what did your solution do for your customer? Hopefully, the testimonial you received has a bit more substance to it than just “they were really nice and helped me, thank you.” In this section you want to show the reader how your solution helped, using their testimonial as a summary of the whole case study.

Now, your testimonial has become a story that shouts about your service, giving it a real life context that is meaningful and that your reader can relate to.

Plus, it’s a great way to add fresh content to your website.


Copywriting – How to Sell Without Being Obvious

Selling without sellingWhen companies write their own copy, they tend to fall at a couple of hurdles when it comes to its effectiveness:

  • It’s full of we
  • It’s a blatant sales pitch

The first point is covered in this very sanitary blog post, so this post will concentrate on the second.

How do you convince your reader to buy something without being blatant about it?

Before I answer that, let’s take a look at the problem itself. When you’re writing about your own business, you’re keen to get across every last detail to your reader.

You want to tell them all about the features (sadly forgetting the crucial benefits) and then you’ll proceed to tell them it’s amazing, brilliant, superb and fantastic in varying font sizes, colours and turns of phrase.

The problem with that is the reader will instantly recognise your sales pitch and if there’s one thing people don’t like, it’s being sold to.

So if you want to get them to buy from you, you’ve got to be a bit more cunning than that.

How to sell without selling

As a copywriter, I use 3 techniques to get around this particular problem. Each one will help you sell your products or services without the reader recognising an in-your-face sales pitch.

Let’s take a look at the first…

1. Storytelling

As kids, we’ve all grown up listening to stories. We naturally warm to them, listen to them and learn from them, which is why it’s such a powerful way to communicate the benefits of your products or services to your readers.

By reading about a situation and how your product helped someone, will sell the benefits to your reader without them realising they’ve just been sold to.

That’s because they have seen how your product/service works within a given scenario and how it benefits the user.

Placing it within a content they can relate to, is a powerful way of selling without obviously selling.

2. Testimonials and case studies

Whether you use a testimonial from a client, or use their story as part of a case study, because it is a real life story, your reader will read it and take more notice of it than anything you write.

After all, the authors of the testimonials have no incentive to lie about your service, so they are seen as trustworthy insights into your business.

Another powerful way to use testimonials is by video. There are a few people who take the view that testimonials can be written by anyone and where’s the proof that the person sighted is the person who wrote it. But if you have a video testimonial, it will tend to blow the sceptics out of the water.

3. Teaching

Does teaching really work?

Of course it does.

Whether you offer a free sample, video ‘how to’, or an offer, these all act as bait to get your reader hooked.

People love something for nothing, and if it means they get to see how great your product or service is first hand, they are more likely to buy from you.

Over to you

Do you use any other techniques to avoid the ‘hard sell’ approach?

Perhaps you’ve had particular success with one of the above. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.


Powerful Testimonials

Testimonials are a very powerful marketing tool.

They instantly show potential customers what you are like, how you work, how trustworthy you are and how your customers perceive you.

And that’s why it’s so important to ask your customers for testimonials.

But a simple “thank you, we were happy with the service you gave” doesn’t really tell you anything. The best testimonials have substance to them. So how do you make sure you get what you need?

Asking the right questions

 The easiest way to ensure you get what you need is by asking them to answer specific questions in your email request.

Outline that their feedback is vital to help you and your company continue to improve and that you would be grateful if they would take the time to answer a few questions. Of course, you should also make them aware that their responses may be used as testimonials on your website and marketing materials.

So what do you ask?

Well, how about:

  • What made you decide to choose [company name]? Was there anything that made them stand out above their competitors?
  • What did you need from [company name]?
  • Did you have any concerns about choosing [company name]?
  • How did they help you with your challenge?
  • Were there any specific features of the service that you particularly enjoyed/found useful?
  • Would you recommend [company name] and why?
  • Would you like to add anything else?

By asking specific questions like this you will gain detailed testimonials that give potential customers a great picture of what you are like as a company.

 When should you ask for a testimonial?

 If at all possible, you should ask for testimonials from every client. Of course, for many companies that’s just not practical.

You should aim to ask for as many you can and, if you offer a range of products and services, try and get them for different aspects of your business to give a rounded picture.


Regularly updating testimonials on your website will not only help you show off your credentials, it will also help you add fresh content.


Remember, a good testimonial is worth its weight in gold so make sure you ask for them regularly and ask specific questions to really make them work for you.

Sally Ormond, freelance copywriter, blogger and social media addict