There’s nothing like the sweet sound of appreciation from people who’ve been touched by your work, right? But client reviews and testimonials hold power far beyond boosting your confidence as a coach.
Why are client testimonials so important?
These gems of gratitude speak volumes to the people searching for guidance and wondering if your coaching services will work for them. Client reviews are more than gratitude; they’re stories of transformation that give a peek into the changes you foster in your clients’ lives!
Let’s dissect the hows and whys of leveraging these gems to not only uplift your spirit as a coach who cares about people but also to uplift your business so you can earn more clients.
How do you collect client reviews?
Client reviews can come in two main ways:
- Directly from client to you, through conversation or email.
- Posted on online review platforms.
You can gather them from both avenues and keep track of them in whatever recordkeeping method you prefer — a Google doc, or a notes app on your desktop, for example.
How Do You Ask for a Testimonial Via Email?
Does it feel a bit uncomfortable to ask for praise? If you’re squeamish about it, automate it when you’re feeling brave. Then you only have to do it once! When you start to see that positive feedback flow in, you’ll realize that most happy clients are thrilled to provide feedback. They just need a nudge.
At a point well into the coaching process or at the completion point, send clients a direct request for a testimonial. Use the free templates here as a guide, customizing them with your personal details.
Who can write me a coaching testimonial?
Anyone who has actually used your coaching services can provide a testimonial. It’s unethical and may be illegal (depending on where the review is posted) to have non-clients leave reviews. For example, don’t ask your siblings, friends, or coaching peers to write glowing reports of your skills.
Coaches who are just starting out often give a few free sessions to get initial reviews. This is not illegal, but be sure that the recipients of this free coaching know that they can be totally honest and are not obligated to provide only positive feedback.
Can you pay clients for testimonials?
It’s unethical to outright pay for testimonials or reviews. But the Federal Trade Commission gives guidance for incentives, namely that the incentive should not be conditioned on a positive review. Also the reviewer is legally bound to disclose that incentive. Thus it’s best to ask for testimonials that are given freely because the client is a satisfied customer and wants to help your business.
When you make the ask, emphasize how the testimonial will help you reach more coaching clients. Let their generosity and gratitude be the motivators instead of perks or payment. You’ll get more sincere and powerful feedback, and there will be zero ethical questions.
Where can I get coaching testimonials?
When you’re on the lookout, a great coach can find testimonials everywhere!
- When your client makes an offhand remark about how much the coaching is helping, that’s a testimonial.
- When group coaching or mastermind group members start raving about how a certain exercise turned around their thinking, that’s a testimonial.
- When a client replies to an email with a quick note of gratitude for the last session, that’s a testimonial.
When you hear any positive feedback, jot down the key phrases. Then ask the client for permission to use their words, letting them see what you wrote down. Find out if you can use their full name or initials.
This technique works nearly every single time because the testimonial giver doesn’t have to expend any effort. They merely have to say, “Sure! You can use my name and say that I said that.” Further, because the review was unsolicited, the wording will be completely natural.
Leveraging Your Reviews and Testimonials for Marketing
Testimonials aren’t meant to simply sit pretty on your website. You should sprinkle that goodness everywhere as a pivotal part of your marketing strategy! It’s about using those authentic voices as a beacon for drawing potential clients into the transformative world you create with your coaching.
Testimonials leverage storytelling — a magnetic force that no savvy marketing strategy should be without.
Getting these testimonials and knowing how to use them is where your finesse comes in. It’s about moving strategically, ensuring that every piece of love from your clients gets its moment in the spotlight to guide more people to your coaching business.
Let’s journey through converting those beautiful words of praise into a full-fledged marketing plan. Here’s how.
Step 1: Gather and organize all reviews and testimonials
If you currently have any reviews or testimonials, getting them all in one place is important. First off, you need to create a system for storing everything so it’s safe and easily accessible.
Your system could be as simple as an email or Dropbox folder. You can even save reviews and testimonials in a Word or Google doc. Just remember, regular check-ins are key! Be sure to periodically revisit this collection, not just to bask in the appreciation but to ensure no gem goes unnoticed or unused in magnifying your coaching abilities.
Step 2: Prioritize your website
Your website is your digital home, and testimonials are the décor that invites visitors in. Your homepage should sparkle with words of praise, showcasing the range and depth of your impact. Meanwhile, a dedicated page, adorned with stories of transformation, invites potential clients to visualize their own journey through the experiences of others. It’s all about letting them see, feel, and anticipate the transformative magic you bring.
Imagine a prospective client scrolling through your website, and their eyes land on a few positive reviews. They’re seeing not just praise but real stories and experiences. Most importantly, they’re seeing possibilities for their own journey. They’re peeping into a world where change is tangible, where their aspirations aren’t just dreams but achievable milestones.
Step 3: Share social media shoutouts
Celebratory posts should express your gratitude and subtly showcase your work’s impact to the world. Your stories and highlights? Try dedicating 1-2 weekly posts showing how well you’re doing in the words of your clients.
Before posting, remember to keep your client’s privacy in mind. Ask your clients for permission to share and refrain from tagging them unless they are comfortable. You can also change or leave out names to protect your client’s privacy.
Step 4: Optimize your profile on review platforms
Optimizing your profile on review platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot is all about making your coaching services shine online for all the right people to find.
First, claim your space! Ensure your business is listed, your details are accurate, and your profile photo is professional. Next, weave a bit of creative writing and your unique coaching personality into every piece of text. Your business description should not just inform; it should engage and invite. Then, make your contact details clear and accessible.
Finally, gently encourage your satisfied clients to shower their love and experiences on these platforms. Because when potential clients are out there searching, your optimized profile, adorned with genuine words of praise, will guide them straight to you.
Step 5: Follow up and express gratitude
A heartfelt thanks to clients not only honors their words but nurtures the coaching relationship for future collaborations or referrals. Maintaining relationships isn’t just about recurring business; it’s about building a community where every transformation contributes to a collective upgrade.
Top 5 Platforms for Publishing Client Reviews and Testimonials
Sourcing reviews and testimonials requires a blend of strategy and authenticity. You want great stories — the real, impactful experiences of clients who’ve blossomed with your help. You can ask for them, yes. But some clients may review you on third party sites without letting you know. So monitor your reviews on those platforms to stay in the loop.
Here are the top five platforms for getting client reviews and testimonials.
1. Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is where you set up shop on the internet’s most frequented street: Google search results. Think of it as your business’s home online, giving clients a sneak peek into who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, how well you do it.
Now, if you’ve got a physical location or are focusing on serving your local community, Your Google Business Profile is crucial. It’s where locals will hit you up, looking for the transformation only you can provide.
Facebook is the town square of the digital world. When your clients shout out your praises here, it’s shared, liked, and echoed through networks. Facebook is a space where your business isn’t just seen but celebrated in a community. Your coaching stories are the topic of conversations, turning into genuine and willingly publicized endorsements.
Now, if you’re keeping things lively on your page, engaging, and sharing value, those testimonials become the cherry on top to affirm your expertise amidst your vibrant online presence.
Imagine stepping onto a stage where your coaching business is the star of the show on a renowned and trusted stage. Yelp invites potential clients to lean in by trusting your current clients’ words as they seek the best services in the area. Your success stories don’t just stand as testimonials; they become recommendations, whispered from one local to another, guiding them toward a transformative journey.
Recognized for its authentic customer reviews, your client testimonials on Trustpilot aren’t just applause; they’re your digital accolades, speaking volumes of your impact and reliability. For your online and e-commerce platforms, this is where your virtual credibility is built and showcased.
LinkedIn, is where coaching proficiency meets professional acknowledgment. It’s the space where B2B services and career coaches find their tribe, connect with peers, and where your client success stories articulate your expertise. Your testimonials here vouch for your skill and place you firmly on the map in a professional landscape, highlighting your authority and expertise.
Do I need permission to use customer testimonials?
If you see a customer testimonial that’s publicly posted, for example on one of the five platforms above, it’s perfectly fine to use that public information in a testimonial elsewhere. In some cases you may want to cite or link to the original source to cover your bases.
If you feel uncertain about posting a LinkedIn recommendation on your website or sharing a Yelp review on your Facebook page, it never hurts to reach out to the client, thanking them for the positive feedback and asking permission to use their words in other spaces.
Handling Negative Coaching Reviews
Constructive criticism, while sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, is a gateway to evolution and refinement in your coaching practice. When a not-so-shining review makes its way into your world, we address it with the grace it deserves.
And what does that mean?
It means responding with empathy, keeping our composure, and always maintaining professionalism. Dive into the situation with a solution-oriented approach, thanking the unsatisfied client for their feedback, addressing their concerns authentically, and highlighting how you intend to navigate through it or improve. This is your opportunity to turn a negative experience into a redeeming second chance.
Reflect and adapt because sometimes, nestled within a less-than-positive review, are pearls of wisdom that can elevate your services to new heights.
Reviews and Testimonials Are the Beating Heart of Your Coaching Business
From that first whisper of praise to a cascade of client stories of transformation, testimonials stand as a testament to your past successes that illuminate the path for prospective clients to join you in their own journeys of self-discovery and growth. Client reviews, both glowing and constructive, carve out a path for coaches to stride forward with an understanding of their expertise and an ever-expanding toolkit of transformative strategies that work.
Want to learn how to gather winning reviews and testimonials? Download the free Coach Factory guide. It has two customizable templates to guide your requests.