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Wendy Buckingham  /  Creator, Life Coaching Professionally

 Get Life Coaching Client Testimonials That Rock

Page Summary

Knowing how to get life coaching client testimonials easily from your delighted clients will transform the way your prospective clients view your credibility.

FYI: I may receive commissions at no cost to you. Please see my affiliate disclosure for more.

Why you should ask for life coaching client testimonials

It's not what you say about yourself that often matters. 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.

Prospective clients will see your life coaching client testimonials as proof that you do, actually, get results and are not all spin.

So read on for help on how to get testimonials and use them effectively in your marketing.

To get you going, this short video from niche marketing specialist, Cindy Schulson, summarises the value of testimonials to your successful life coaching marketing strategy.

It looks like you are using a mobile and so you may not be able to see the in-video linking. You can also join Cindy's webinar "3 Steps to Create an Authentic Message" and take advantage of her free coaching testimonial template, by clicking here.

Four easy, elegant ways to collect life coaching testimonials

Here are a couple of things that may get in the way of getting testimonials from your clients:

  • You may be reluctant and even a little embarrassed to ask for one.
  • The client may find it difficult to put the benefits into words, even if they are delighted. 
Smiley faces drawn on 8 fingers of female hand. Each finger has a different comment. Poor. So so. Average. Bad. Good. Excellent. Awesome.
  1. If you have an intake questionnaire for new clients you could ask something like, “At the end of our coaching session/series, if you are happy with the outcome would you be willing to give me a testimonial describing the benefits you received?”

  2. As a completion for each session ask the client what they got from that particular session. Keep notes, especially anything they say that  compliments your coaching skills.

  3. At the end of a cycle of sessions, you could use a series of coaching evaluation questions  to get quality feedback from your client. Use this list to ask the client about how they experienced your coaching and what they have achieved.

    You can post or email the questions but I have had much better results from asking them personally and informally at the final session.

  4. If the client who is willing to give a testimonial seems stuck on what to say, ask if they would like you to put something together from your notes.  Then use complimentary remarks to create the testimonial.  

5 Important guidelines for using testimonials on your website

Man holding 2 thumbs up and headline

Having a page of testimonials on your website or relevantly scattering among your content is a great way to back up your coaching services offered to prospective clients.

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 site, whether video or text, that changes after a just a couple of seconds. 

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.  Either keep them short enough to be read in a second or two or pause long enough to at least get the full essence of the testimonial. 

1. Write the life coaching client testimonial for them but ask for their approval

After they have agreed you can put something together from your notes, send what you have written to the client  saying 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 client  makes any alterations.  They are just pleased to have you do it for them.

2. Ask permission to include their name and profession

The client may have a business website and, with permission, that should be included. If the client is an employee or executive coach a company name is wonderful but the client may balk at that for privacy reasons.

At least get some initials and a location to identify the source of the testimonial.  A testimonial without any identification at all useless and has no credibility (it can even look as if you have written it yourself).

3. What to do with a very long life coaching client testimonial

Yes, I've had some of these and they are wonderful. Pick a sentence or two of the most relevant bits and then have a link “to read this full testimonial” on your website or say “the full testimonial is available on request”.

4. What to do if a prospect wants to contact a past client 

Make sure you get permission from that client. Even though the past client has provided a testimonial, it is not OK to pass on their contact details to the prospective client without permission and preferably a little information about who is likely to contact them. 

5. Make sure your client records in landscape

How often do you see video testimonials recorded with a phone? The quality is good, the coaching testimonial is good but - oh! what are those black lines? It's because the phone has been held vertically instead of on its side. Videos shown on YouTube, Facebook and many more will look a whole lot better for you if the camera position is sideways.  This is also called Landscape or 16:9. And when you post it on your website it will also look better!  

Trusted and Recommended resources from Amazon

Looking for extra ideas for Unstoppable Referrals?

Unstoppable Referrals by Steve Gordon is an excellent reference for anyone looking for a way to authentically create testimonials and referrals. As Steve says: "The goal of a referral is to get someone who loves your business to tell you a story about your business." 

I can confidently recommend this book from Amazon as a great resource.

Why Quid Pro Quo Testimonials Do Not Rock

I have noticed a trend among some new coaches to offer free coaching, either a single session or a series, in exchange for a testimonial. Even to offer to play swapsies on this basis with other new coaches. It's called quid pro quo which literally translated means something given in exchange for something else.

This is NOT the way to get a testimonial and in my view is actually out of integrity in a profession that is about integrity.  Someone who is offered a session for free with this condition 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.

Banner for the Coaching Tools Company online store.

4 Tips For Creating Quality Video Life Coaching Testimonials

Video testimonials are comparatively new but, believe me, properly done, they can be very powerful. Here are four vital things to be aware of if you go down video testimonial path.

1. Keep it short

Around 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 so it all flows together.

2. Make sure the audio quality is clear

Your client's voice shouldn't sound as if it had been recorded in the bathroom. Also check out general background noise.

3. Keep the background simple and uncluttered

Watch out for things like plants looking as if they are growing out of your subjects head.

4. Check that lighting is flattering

No shadows on your client's face and no reflections from glasses.

Some Coaching Testimonials Examples

As you can see, mastering how to get life coaching client testimonials needn't be a drama.

Here 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.

Example 1
This was a spontaneous testimonial in answer to a question on the coaching evaluation form. I could have shortened it easily if necessary.

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

Example 2
I wrote this one for the client to who was willing but  needed hep in writing a testimonial. 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

Example 3
This one was extracted from a 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.

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Created and written by Wendy Buckingham, Class One Productions P/L. Sydney

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