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Today’s article comes from one of our fabulous Vogue Vendors, Amy Fraughton , owner of Photo Business Tools

Testimonials are a lot like parenting a teenager.  Your clients will listen to other people more than they will to you!  Am I right?  You can have all the great details you want on your site, but when someone else says how great you are, then now they believe you!

And you know what?  I am totally okay with that.  Testimonials, also called social proof, are a fantastic way for you to sell yourself and your photography.  If you don’t already have a long list of testimonials on your site, take some time to gather them and get them posted.  This is a MUST for every site!

When getting testimonials, there are definitely some great ways to get them and there are some total flops on getting testimonials.  Avoid the flops for sure, if someone doesn’t give you a testimonial when you ask, then it can give your self esteem a hit.  When in actuality, your client loves your work, but is just too busy to respond.

Tip 1: Here is my biggest flop:  don’t ask for a testimonial!   There was a time in my business, where I emailed a group of clients all at the same time and asked them for a testimonial.  I think one person responded, and I felt so bummed.  I realize now that these clients do love my work, but everyone is busy, and I simply wasn’t on the top of the clients to do list.

Tip 2:  Ask for their opinion instead.  People love to tell you what they think. Especially women!  Instead of asking them to write a testimonial, ask them to share what they liked best about the session and the images.   You may want to ask specifically about their “experience” or about their images too.  You could also ask what they would say to a friend that was looking for a photographer.   You will find that they will be writing testimonials without knowing it.

Tip 3:  Timing is everything!  One of the reasons I didn’t get much response when I requested testimonials was because I missed the boat.  To get a glowing testimonial, you want to capture their thoughts when they are having an emotional high.   The best time is right after they have received all of their images. Send them an email, thanking them for their business and then asking for their feedback.

Tip 4:  Remember to K.I.S.S.   Keep It Simple Sweetie.  You need to make the process as easy for them as you can.  Don’t ask too many questions, keep your communication brief, yet friendly.  Then when they do send you some great comments, ask their permission to use it on your website.

Tip 5:  Keep your eyes open.  I keep an email folder titled ‘testimonials’.  If you start looking, you will find that people are sending you testimonials all the time, just not written out like one.  For example; someone sees their online gallery for the first time, then emails you right away sharing how much they love the pictures and they are so excited!  I put these emails into my testimonials folder.   Later, when I am ready to add it to my site, I will fix the statement a bit so it is written as a testimonial, and then contact my client.  I let them know that I loved their feedback so much that I want to use it as a testimonial on my site, would that be okay?  Then say, “Is this quote okay?”  and show them your rewritten statement from them.  So instead of them having to think of and write a testimonial for you, they can just approve their own statement that you’ve fixed up a bit.

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