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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Good testimonials from happy clients are the gold of establishing your coaching credibility.
It's not what you say about yourself that really matters when it comes to attracting clients. It's what other people (in this case your coaching clients) say about your coaching that may convince prospective clients that you are the coach for them.
They will see your life coaching client testimonials as proof that you do, actually, get results and are not all hot air and spin.
However, for some coaches, asking for client to officially say nice things about you can be a challenge. The solution is to set it up for the client, so it is easy for them to share great results by asking the right testimonial questions for coaching clients. So read on for help on how to get those testimonials and use them effectively in your marketing.
Firstly, here are a couple of things that you may find get in the way of getting testimonials from your clients:
Here are four hassle free ways to approach this that have worked for me....
If you have an intake questionnaire for new clients you could include something like, “At the end of our coaching session/series, if you are happy with the result of my coaching, would you be willing to give me a testimonial describing the benefits you received?”
At the end of each session, ask the client what benefit they have received or what they have learned.
Keep notes for future reference, especially anything they say that is a break-through or compliments your coaching skills.
At the end of a series of coaching sessions ask some feedback questions about your coaching. In the "related pages" at the bottom of this page, you'll find a link to a list of questions.
Use it to help you compile your own questions to ask the client about how they experienced your coaching and what they have achieved.
If the client is willing but is unsure how to write a testimonial for a coach, ask if they would like you to put something together from your notes as in No. 2. This also avoids the client putting creating a testimonial in the "I'll get around to it" or "too hard basket".
Send or read what you have written to the client acknowedging how much you have enjoyed working with them and “This is what I have put together from my notes on our sessions. Do feel free to correct or edit it in any way”.
Rarely have I found the happy client makes any alterations. They are just pleased to have you do it for them.
These five tips will make sure your testimonials look and feel genuine.
A testimonial without any identification at all useless and has no credibility (it can even look as if you have written it yourself).
So, wherever possible get permission to use the client's name, and/or location and profession. However, if this is a problem for the client they may balk at that for privacy reasons.
If this is the case, at least get some initials and a broad location and/or position to identify the source of the testimonial.
Yes, I've had some of these, spontaneously given, and they are wonderful but too long or inappropriate to use in their entirety. My solution was to pick a sentence or two of the most relevant bits and use those as an extract. You could link “to read
this full testimonial” on your website or say “This is an extract, the full testimonial is
available on request”.
Alternatively, edit it yourself and ask permission of the client to use the shorter version giving lack of space as a reason.
If you are OK with this, make sure you get permission from any former clients before you pass on contact details. Even though the past client may have provided a great testimonial, it is not good etiquette to pass on their contact details without first getting their permission. Also, it is good to give the referee little information about who is likely to contact them.
Having a dedicated page of testimonials on your website or FaceBook page or scattering them relevantly among your content is a great way to back up the the coaching services you offer.
However one thing I would advise against is letting your website person talk you into having them as a moving graphic in the header of your website, whether video or text, that changes after a just a couple of seconds before there is time to read it all. Much better to have just one really good testimonial that is static and a link to more.
Personally I find it most annoying if I am trying to read a testimonial and the screen moves on to the next one before I have time to even take in the first couple of sentences or click to make it stop.
If you do favour this style of displaying testimonials, either keep them short enough to be read in a second or two or have a pause between each item long enough to at least get the full essence of what it says.
Video testimonials are comparatively new but, believe me, properly done, they can be very powerful. Here are four vital things to be aware of when setting up a video testimonial on Zoom, A video testimonial, however great, can be ruined by poor presentation and set up. A few moments spent checking the points below, before you press the record button, will be very well spent.
Also I would suggest you don't just have a video testimonial but also provide a text one. Not everybody (including me:) wants to take the time to watch a video. They just want a quick read. So it can pay to look after both preferences.
Around 30 seconds to a minute is plenty – and the words from your client should be energetic and to the point. The best way to do this is to ask questions and then be prepared to do some editing to take out your questions so it flows fluidly.
Your client's voice shouldn't sound as if it had been recorded in the bathroom with an echo. Also get them to check out general background noise. Things like traffic, dogs barking, kids whining or lawnmowers can be very distracting and take attention away from the positive message.
Watch out for things like plants looking as if they are growing out of your subjects head. Or such interesting things in the background that they are a distraction from what is being said.
No shadows on your client's face and no reflections from glasses. Be wary of light from windows.
Also check that the position of the client to the camera does not have you looking up their nose rather or down their cleavage rather than straight on.
If the cient is recording their own testimonial on a mobile phone without help or questions from you, ask them to make sure it is done with the phone in landscape mode. You may have seen video testimonials recorded with a phone are just not the best. They may have black lines despite the quality and sound being good?
This is because the phone has been held vertically instead of on its side. Videos recorded on your phone shown on YouTube, Facebook or your website or other platforms will look a whole lot better if the camera position is sideways or what is known as Landscape or 16:9.
I have noticed a trend among some new (and not so new) coaches to offer free coaching, either a single session or a series, in exchange for a testimonial.They may even offer to do exchange coaching with other new coaches for a testimonial. It's called quid pro quo which, literally translated, means something given in exchange for something else (or you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours😀).
This is NOT the way to get a credible testimonial and, in my view, is actually out of integrity in a profession that is about integrity.
Someone who takes advantage of a free session iwith the stated exchange of a promise of a testimonial is not going to give a completely honest or negative review. Much better to wait until they show their appreciation for your good work and then ask.
As you can see, mastering how to get life coaching client testimonials needn't be a drama.
are a few examples from my files and a short description on the process of getting them. Read each one and you will get the picture on how you can help your clients to help you.
This was a spontaneous and quite long testimonial in answer to a question on the coaching evaluation form. I could have shortened it easily, as shown in the brackets, to pick out the main points.
Coaching with Wendy has been one of the most powerful experiences of my life. (It is not often, in fact sometimes ever, that you can sit down and get completely present with yourself, and have someone be there to LISTEN to everything your thinking and feeling. And then in addition to just listening, help to equip you with the tools that you need to deal with the challenges life throws your way and work out what you really want and need from a situation.) Wendy coached me through two of the biggest decisions I have made in my life so far, and it was because of her guidance and support that I felt I had the confidence to make these decisions. I am now living a bold life that I love and will continue to use what I have learned from my coaching for years to come. Kyla Raby, Team Leader, World Youth International
I wrote this one for the client to who was willing but needed hep in writing a testimonial. I wrote it from my notes and he then edited minimally. As I said, don’t be shy, be willing to own how well you have coached.
When I started working with Wendy my life was pretty out of control both personally and financially. I was in overwhelm! With Wendy’s help and support I cleaned up my act and set some specific goals. As a result I am now managing my finances more effectively, feel in control of my work and home environment and even my dating techniques have improved. Coaching with Wendy has definitely been a worthwhile investment.
Alex Smith, Actuary
This one was extracted from a much longer testimonial letter:
Originally I approached Wendy for help with goal setting. As I worked with her and got to know her strengths better, Wendy's role broadened to one of a business coach and mentor, a role she fills very well. I have found Wendy professional, perceptive, practical and a real asset to my business direction. Catherine Saxelby Consultant Nutritionist and Food Writer.
So you see even if your clients are not that articulate in expressing their appreciation for your coaching, there are lots of ways to help them along.
I hope this has helped you learn how to get testimonials. And finally let me tell you again - credible testimonials are the most powerful, fabulous and free marketing tool.