We’ve been talking about the benefits of Authority in attracting new leads, clients, and business opportunities.
It might seem that some types of professionals — lawyers, dentists, chiropractors — would have more natural Authority due to their specialized knowledge and extensive training and education. But particularly in the Internet age, when it’s easy to find services anywhere, it’s all the more important for you to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competition to succeed.
Merely being a high-Authority-type professional is no longer enough. Strong marketing is essential.
Don’t Just Blow Your Own Horn
One other problem with establishing Authority in a vacuum is that until people get to know you, they never fully trust what you say about yourself. Especially when entering a situation they know little about, there is always some worry that you’ll say anything just to get their business.
Who people do listen to are your former clients and business associates. These are people who have already worked with you and can tell the story of their experience. Reviews and testimonials are powerful ways to increase your Authority.
Reviews work on the principle of Social Proof. When faced with a decision, we’re drawn to observe and follow the activity of others who have come before us. So, even if they’re not actively referring people to you, your clients can still be recruited as salespeople simply by providing testimonials.Reviews and testimonials are powerful ways to increase your Authority. Click To Tweet
How to Get More Testimonials
In a word: ASK! Checking in with clients about their experience is an important part of customer service. Happy clients are usually more than willing to say a few words on your behalf. And if they’re unhappy, that’s also valuable information you can use to plug the holes in your practice.
Asking for a testimonial should be a regular part of your client wind-up activities. While it’s best if they reply in their own words, you can offer to write up a short summary for them. Just make sure they agree to put their name and any additional comments to it.
Get in touch with past clients too, especially those who had unique cases. Ask everyone to think about possible referrals too!ASK for testimonials and referrals from all clients, past and present. Click To Tweet
Where to use your Testimonials
In a word: EVERYWHERE! There’s room for testimonials in all your marketing materials, including your web pages, email signatures, business cards, printed brochures, and even in paid advertisements.
When using testimonials on your website, it’s good to have them all on one page. A large collection looks impressive and establishes lots of social proof. BUT you should also include reviews on your other web pages as well. Not everyone takes the time to visit a separate Reviews page.
Place testimonials in prominent view, near the top of a page, and also at the bottom. On blog pages you could consider a testimonial in the sidebar.
Use testimonials that are appropriate to the subject matter of the page. If you practice more than one area of law, for example, a review of your will-drafting service won’t really work well on your real estate law page. Be careful how you set up any website plugins that rotate through a list of testimonials.Use testimonials on all your web pages. Match the testimonial to the page subject matter. Click To Tweet
Get more Stars
Online review sites like Google My Business and Yelp are also popular. Claim your business profile and make sure the information is accurate.
BONUS: a busy profile on these sites can often help your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For added benefit, copy the review text and include it on your website. Link the testimonial back to the original review site, to provide verification of its source.
The one drawback of review sites is that you have less control over what is published. Don’t stress out about low ratings — people understand that you can’t please everyone, and a completely 5-star profile looks suspicious anyways. What they do look for is an active response to client concerns. Monitor your reviews regularly. Respond promptly to less positive feedback, even just to say you’ll contact them off-site to discuss.
BONUS TIP: Video Testimonials
Video gives a HUGE Authority boost to your testimonials! They’re viewed as even more authentic than written text. Keep a video camera handy in your office. Ask clients in advance if they’re willing — try not to spring it on them!
Video quality doesn’t have to be superb — modern smartphones have pretty good cameras these days. Just make sure it’s well lit and stable (avoid handhelds). Do give a thought to audio, which can really affect watch-ability. If you can have an external microphone set up, this is ideal.
Building Authority and Social Proof is just one of my “9 Ways to Get More Clients in 7 Days or Less!” To get your copy of the free report, click here.