getting a thumbs up testimonial

Tips for Using Testimonials to Build Your Health Coaching Business

Testimonials are a great way to bring life to your website, and credibility to your work.

Potential clients respond well to seeing themselves in the successful shoes of your past clients. Their words help your prospective client visualize themselves having the same kind of positive results. Reading testimonials, along with your blog and other content, allows your new prospect to sell themselves on working with you, making it easier to enroll them into your programs.

A good testimonial puts what you do into words, and takes away the mystery of your work, making it easier for clients to see themselves hiring you.

Collecting and Using Testimonials

First and foremost, you need to begin requesting testimonials. If you’re just getting started, you may not have any client testimonials yet. You can still pull a few together by turning to friends, family or colleagues who you have counseled or supported in the past, even just one time. Ask if they’d say a few words about how that experience was for them, or write something for them.

Even if you only have two or three, that’s a good start. Put them together on a page on your health coaching business website: you might name it Testimonials, Praise, Raves, Success Stories or My Clients.

Ask for a testimonial towards the end of every health coaching program. Make it part of your private program graduation checklist and provide a feedback sheet at live events.

Make it really easy for your client to provide a testimonial by asking leading questions that encourage specificity. Keep it to around five questions. You can send your questions by email, provide a link to a quick form to fill out or offer to write it for them using your session notes, health history and revisit forms.

If you want to create a form try SurveyMonkey, WuFoo or Visual Form Builder (a free WordPress plugin).

Most often, you’ll need to write the client testimonial yourself or edit what they sent you. You can then send it to them for their OK, asking them also to confirm how they want their name, occupation and location listed. Also ask for a photo, or take a pic when they’re in your office. These small details go a long way to bring their words to life and create relatedness for your incoming clients.

If a client prefers to remain anonymous, you can always change their name or location. A name alone, however, doesn’t tell as much of a story as a name and occupation.

As you collect testimonials, share them on a page on your website, in blog posts, on sales pages, in your ezines, on social media and at live events. Update them regularly.

What Makes a Good Testimonial

Many health coaching business websites I see have a testimonial page with a few short notes cut and pasted out of emails from clients that don’t really tell a story and sometimes contain typos and poor grammar. These notes don’t give a good impression of your clients or of your work, and should be edited before publishing.

Each testimonial should have a headline: a quote pulled from the testimonial that highlights the story in a compelling way. People are busy and they may only skim the page, so these headlines might be the only part of the page they read.

The best testimonials paint a before and after picture. They tell a little bit about what the client was struggling with when they first came to you, and how their lives are different afterwards. They might say a little about the “how” they make those changes too, but the challenges and results are the most important part of these stories.

Your testimonials are most effective when they¬†maintain one tone. It makes them much easier to read for your potential client. She feels like each testimonial is written as a recommendation to her about you, rather than feeling like she’s reading private notes from the client to you.

You can always edit a testimonial to change the tone. For example, instead of “Thank you for showing me how to choose healthy foods…”, you, a health coach named Jane, would make it “Jane showed me how to choose healthy foods…”

Include a photo of each client, and if you can, get before and after pictures for weight loss clients.

Place your best testimonials at the top and bottom of the page, and mix in video testimonials if you have them.

View Testimonials in Action

I recently updated my client testimonials page to be easier to read and have a more pleasing look. I used a simple, free WordPress plugin called Testimonials Basic¬†and I’m really happy with the results.

Have a look and let me know what you think: click here!

If you’d like to learn more about collecting testimonials, using them to attract new clients and updating your website’s testimonials page, start now with an Awesome Business Breakthrough Session here (use coupon code HCW20 to save $20).

To you and your awesome business,
Heather

Heather Cottrell

Heather Cottrell shows coaches, bloggers, wellness pros and other mompreneurs how to grow your business online. Get expert support and coaching around content creation, social media strategies and digital marketing specially designed for creative professionals with a mindset for success. Find Heather Cottrell Business Services at HeatherCottrell.com and on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn.

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