Why we need testimonials
I think we can all agree that testimonials could be considered a necessity of life ...
Testimonials attest to the value of a product or service. They’re credible because they’re actual feedback from customers who purchased and used your product or service and were pleased with the results.
In fact, 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business (Big Commerce). For this reason, testimonials carry a lot of clout. They can help convert prospects into buyers.
Glowing testimonials frequently ease the reluctance and uncertainty potential customers may feel. And hey, as the business owner or service provider, they can relieve the doubt that you might be dealing with. The positive feedback tells you that you’re on the right track with your business. Everyone needs a pat on the back now and then!
What makes a good testimonial even better
A positive testimonial is always worth sharing with the masses. But are all testimonials created equal? What, exactly, separates a good testimonial from a great one?
One word - specifics.
A good testimonial says, “You did a great job, thank you!” In this case, whatever it was that you did, you satisfied the customer’s needs in some way.
But what does this tell the person who’s reading the testimonial? What does she learn about you or the work you do? Is knowing that you’re capable of doing a ‘great job’ enough to convince her to hire you?
What if a prospective customer has specific expectations that she wants met?
Well, to answer that question, let me introduce you to “Jill.”
Jill had hired a freelance copywriter a while back who failed to meet her project’s deadline. Jill wasn’t happy about that, and was wary about running into that problem again.
Not long after, there’s a project in the pipeline, so it’s time to find another freelancer. Jill enlists the aid of Google, determined to find a writer who won’t let her down.
She looks over the search results and picks a website of a copywriter that sounds promising. After a quick skim, Jill starts to think this one might work. She reads a little more and then -- whoa -- she sees this testimonial:
“The case study you submitted was outstanding! Thank you for meeting our tight deadline!”
Aha! Now, that comment struck a chord!
After being disappointed previously for this very matter, Jill’s now found a copywriter who’s capable of meeting a deadline!
OK, so there is no Jill, I made her up …
But, don’t you see the difference between the first “you did a great job” testimonial and the second, more specific one that wowed Jill?
A great testimonial gives specifics about what makes a service or product so extraordinary. And those details can sway even more prospects to take the plunge, especially those who are looking to solve, or avoid, (as in Jill’s case) a particular problem.
Specificity sells, in your testimonials, and in your copy. Take advantage of it!
Is it better to hire a freelance copywriter who’s already an expert in your field?
This is a question you may ask yourself as you consider working with a freelance copywriter. And it’s a valid one, for sure.
Last month, I wrote about how you can work successfully and productively with a copywriter who isn’t an “industry insider.” I gave my rationale here, and used an example from my own experience.
As I explained, it is possible for a copywriter to get up to speed quickly and learn the essentials about your industry. A vast majority of copywriters already do this on a daily basis. After all, one can’t know everything about everything, right?
However, what if you’re selling a product that appeals to a niche market?
Let’s say you sell fly fishing equipment ...
Fly fishing is a sport that uses a significantly different method for casting a line compared to other types of fishing. This requires the fly fishing enthusiast to acquire a specialized skill, which develops through practice and experience.
It’s a good bet that your fly fishing customers are a keen bunch with a rabid affection for their sport. You’ll want your copy to resonate strongly with them. So a copywriter with a robust understanding of fly fishing consumers and what drives their passion may be your best choice.
A master angler can probably better express that passion in the copy, because he’s walked in your customers' boots (or rather in this case, their waders.)
Ultimately, whether you decide to hire an industry expert or not, remember one thing: The copywriter you choose must have the knowledge and skills to write copy that will achieve the results you’re aiming for.
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter