As a speaker trying to grow your business, testimonials are absolutely vital. Not only do they represent one of the best ways to market yourself as a speaker, but they also help to build your credibility and authority in your chosen niche.
But how do you get them, and where are the best places to start building up these valuable endorsements of your speaking skills?
We’re going to take you through how to get powerful testimonials step-by-step in just a moment. However, let’s make a start by running through why you should always be gathering testimonials whenever you can.
Why Do I Need Testimonials for My Speaking Business?
The bottom line with testimonials is that they are one of the best ways to market yourself as a speaker. We all understand how powerful the recommendations of a friend, colleague, or family member are. When it comes to buying products and services, 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising.
That’s precisely what testimonials are – a recommendation. Given the influence recommendations hold, I think you’ll agree that building up a plentiful list of testimonials is a pretty powerful tool to have in your marketing belt.
Testimonials also provide the social proof that you have the credibility and authority to speak on your chosen subjects. The more testimonials you acquire, the more you begin to look like the expert in your sector you already know you are to planners and event organizers.
So given how amazing they are for your business, where can you go out and get them?
Where Can I Source Testimonials for My Speaking Business?
There are so many ways to gather your testimonials, even if you are yet to speak at an event! So let’s go through some of the best strategies for acquiring these impactful endorsements of your skills.
Speak for Free at Events to Gain Your First Testimonials
If you missed, here’s a previous post that explains why speaking for free is a great way to get started with your speaking business. One of those reasons is because you can use those free events to acquire numerous testimonials and leverage them into paid speaking gigs further down the road.
Remember, you can receive testimonials from all kinds of people linked to the event. Never be afraid to ask audience members as well as planners!
Solicit Existing Clients for Testimonials
Never forget to follow up with existing clients if you are already an established speaker looking to secure fresh testimonials from leading names in your industry. Sometimes all it takes is one testimonial from someone a planner either knows personally or within the industry to secure you another booking.
So just because you may already be landing paid speaking gigs, never stop going after testimonials from your best clients.
Ask Your Customers from Courses or Membership Sites for Testimonials
Many of you may be branching out to speaking on your subject after building a successful business in the same space. Whether you’ve built up a successful membership website or you sell a popular online course, make sure you follow up with your customers to detail your success stories.
Nothing quite says you’ve “been and done it” than providing a case study or success story of a customer who has gone through your training and succeeded in their goals, for example.
How Should I Ask for a Speaking Testimonial?
The answer to this question is as simple as it gets – ASK! After delivering an incredible speech that everybody loved, all you have to do is to walk yourself over to your planner and ask for a testimonial.
Rarely, or perhaps never, will a planner say no – so you need to leave that fear of rejection at the door. If you can get up on that stage, you can ask for a testimonial. My mantra is ABA – Always Be Asking!
What may happen is that the planner could try to delay you or put you off. This scenario is pretty standard, but it’s essential to be persistent and prepped for the initial delaying tactics. A great way to take the perceived pain point out of giving the testimonial is by having your phone or camera ready to take the testimonial via video.
It takes away the hassle of composing an email, and you can have the whole thing in the can in less than 60 seconds. Then not only do you have a powerful testimonial, but you also have crucial video content that you can incorporate into your speaker demo video.
Now some planners and event organizers will flatly refuse to appear on camera, and that’s fine. Written testimonials can be just as impactful. Plus, the good news is that there are still ways to speed up the testimonial process and make the planner’s life a breeze.
Ask if it’s ok to write a testimonial on their behalf and then send it to them for approval.
Not only does it give you the control when it comes to including elements that are important for a testimonial, but you can receive approval very quickly rather than waiting for them to try and come up with something. Almost all planners will agree to this setup since it will save them a ton of time.
Make Sure to Follow Up Your Testimonial Email
Once you’ve submitted your email testimonial or composed an event follow-up email asking for a testimonial, do not sit back and wait. Give them a week or so and, if you still haven’t heard back, go ahead and follow up.
Never think you are nagging. Remember, not all emails arrive in the recipient’s inbox. A quick reminder email could ensure they pause, check their junk folder, and reply to the email giving you their approval. Remaining persistent but polite is the best way to go. Remember, you deserve this testimonial, so never feel guilty chasing a planner up for one.
Where Should I Put My Testimonials?
In short – everywhere! There’s no element of your marketing mix that shouldn’t have at least one testimonial included. You can even tweak your testimonials to fit your target audience, if some will carry more weight in a specific sub-sector you are targeting, for example.
While the below list is not exhaustive, here is where you should be displaying your testimonials:
- Your speaker website
- Your social media channels
- Your one sheet
- Your planner page
- Within your speaker demo video
- Within the signature line of your email
- And wherever else you feel they are appropriate!
Testimonials Are Powerful Marketing Tools – So Always Be Asking for Them!
Hopefully, you’ve now gained an understanding of not only how vital testimonials are, but also how to acquire them and incorporate them into your marketing collateral.
But testimonials are just one string of the marketing bow. There are many more elements you’ll need to integrate into your speaker business. To learn more about what you’ll need to become an efficient marketing machine, make sure to join our free Facebook group – Grow Your Speaking Biz.
It’s a fantastic group of talented speakers who share their experiences as they grow their businesses. If you want to learn from the mistakes others have made before you to shorten your route to success, it’s the place to be!
We look forward to seeing you in there and helping you take your speaking business to the next level.