13 Ways to Use Testimonial Marketing to Grow Your Online Training Business

Published Date:  22 Nov, 2023 | Updated Date:  25 Nov, 2023

Are you maximizing your testimonials to improve your sales and leads? If not, here’s how.

As entrepreneurs, we so often get so caught up in asking how our clients and students are doing…

…that we forget to ask them how we’re doing.

Yet, when you take the time to ask, what you’ll be getting so much more than a simple check-in with your audience.

You’ll end up with great source material to use for testimonial marketing across your website and content publications!

Yet even if you’re already a pro at gathering and utilizing testimonials, today we want to challenge you to think a little deeper about how you collect and review testimonials, and what you do with them once you’ve got them.

13-Ways-to-Use-Testimonial-Marketing-to-Grow-Your-Online-Training-Business

That’s why in this article, we’re looking at:

  • What are testimonials
  • What is the goal of a testimonial
  • The importance of collecting reviews and testimonials
  • How to gather testimonials from your clients and students
  • The impact of video testimonials for training businesses
  • How to store, manage, and leverage video testimonials for content creation
  • How to address common objections with targeted testimonials

By the end of this guide, we’re sure you’ll be buzzing with all the new ways you can implement this incredible source of feedback into your content marketing system.

So let’s get started!

Should I be collecting testimonials and reviews from clients?

YES! Testimonials and testimonial marketing both serve as powerful tools for online businesses.

But what is the goal of a testimonial?

For one, they affirm the value of their offerings, as well as drive more conversions and foster a deeper connection with potential customers.

They also help…

  • Build Trust and Credibility: Online businesses don’t have the advantage of face-to-face interactions to establish trust. Testimonials provide real-world evidence of your product or service’s value, helping to build credibility with potential customers.
  • Overcome Skepticism: Since online shoppers can’t touch or try products before buying, they may be more skeptical. Authentic testimonials can address doubts and assure customers of the quality of your offerings.
  • Provide Social Proof: Humans are influenced by the choices of others. By showcasing positive experiences from past clients, new customers are more likely to make a purchase.
  • Highlight Benefits: Through testimonials, potential customers can understand the benefits of your product or service from the perspective of someone who has actually used it.
  • Increase Conversions and Sales: Positive testimonials can influence purchasing decisions, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • SEO and Online Visibility: User-generated content like testimonials can improve search engine optimization (SEO) and increase the online visibility of your business.
  • Feedback Loop: While primarily positive, testimonials can also provide constructive feedback, allowing you to refine and improve your offerings.
  • Create Brand Advocates: Customers who leave testimonials often become brand advocates, helping to promote your business to their networks.
  • Enhance Content Marketing: Testimonials can be repurposed into various content forms, from social media posts to video clips, enriching your content marketing strategy.
  • Address Potential Objections: Through real-world experiences shared in testimonials, potential objections or misconceptions about your product or service can be addressed and clarified.

But how is it that we go about maximizing all of these incredible advantages from a simple testimonial?

Well, the first step is to make sure you’ve got a good foundation in place to collect those testimonials in the first place.

That’s why we recommend the following process to gather testimonials, and set yourself up for success to use them for business and content improvement!

7 tips to gather testimonials without scaring away clients

6 tips to gather written testimonials without scaring away clients

Have you ever been afraid to hear what your clients have to say about your business?

That could be a good indicator that you know you need to improve your business, as well as your connections with your clients.

To help you begin to rebuild that connection, here are some reliable tips from our experts on how to gather written testimonials from clients…without sending them running!

Consider the defining attributes of your client

Consider any additional benefits you may get depending on the job or life situation of the client you’re going to get feedback from.

For example, a corporate CEO will give more authority to certain businesses, whereas a mother of three children will lend more authority to others.

Address customer challenges and goals

This can help you guide the client toward providing a more effective and persuasive testimonial–particularly if you’re using a questionnaire approach (where you send clients a structured questionnaire).

You might ask questions such as, “How did you find the guidance provided?”, or, “What results did you achieve from the session?” Then you can craft a compelling testimonial from the answers!

Stay focused, and address potential objections

When you write or collect testimonials, the resulting text should clearly indicate what the client was struggling with, the solutions offered, and the benefits they derived.

That’s because answering common objectives through testimonials is an effective sales technique!

Here, you can consider your frequently asked questions on your sales page, or ask about any concerns the respondent had prior to enrolling. If this fear did not manifest, ask a little more about that as well.

You can even have each testimonial focus on a particular objection potential clients might have to avoid the “is it worth it?” dilemma that so many prospects come up against.

For instance, concerns about comfort during the session or doubts because they’ve tried other techniques in the past without success can be used to persuade new students with similar objections.

Include beginner and advanced testimonials

It’s beneficial to have testimonials that cater to both beginners and advanced users. This ensures that everyone, regardless of their level, feels that the service or product is suitable for them.

That means gathering testimonials from long-term clients and new students, to ensure you’re getting (and giving) a fuller picture of how your business works to your current audience.

Target testimonials to certain products, events, or techniques

These testimonials are particularly helpful when potential clients are in the evaluation phase, comparing different modalities or methods.

However, we also recommend keeping a focus on obtaining more specific testimonials, particularly related to the products and events you’re promoting.

For instance, a testimonial that speaks to someone’s initial skepticism about the efficacy of an online course product but ends up having a profound experience can be particularly impactful.

Another example is a testimonial that praises the online course because it allowed the individual to revisit the material, leading to a better grasp of the technique and enhancing their regular practice.

Get photos or testimonial images from connected social media profiles for reference

Why use photos for your testimonials? To help provide a sense of truth, consistency, and authority to your testimonials…and to your website!

Thankfully, most testimonial providers will give you permission to use their name and pictures. They can also provide you with these assets if they choose.

However, we recommend suggesting photos from their social media profiles as the easiest option, since it requires no work on their part. If no photo permission is granted, a stock photo or AI-generated avatar image can be used.

What about video testimonial marketing? Should I use it?

Again, the answer is yes!

While text testimonials are great, video testimonials can be even more compelling–especially for life coaches and online trainers, for whom establishing trust is paramount.

However, we acknowledge that it might be challenging to get clients to provide video testimonials due to shyness or other reservations. Here are four simple ways to overcome this:

  • Desire to Help Others. Let them know that their testimonial will help you help other people that are having similar challenges as them.
  • Assure Comfort. Reassure clients that the video doesn’t need to be perfect, and they can speak naturally.
  • Provide Guidance. Give them a set of questions or topics to address, so they don’t feel lost.
  • Simplify the Process. Consider using simple online platforms or apps that allow clients to easily record and send their testimonials.
  • Incentivize. As a last resort you may offer a small incentive or thank-you gift for their effort. However, this requires you to include a disclosure of the incentive close to the testimonial, which is why it should only be used if all else fails.

Once your clients or students feel more at ease giving you feedback on your business, then you’ll be able to maximize the effectiveness and utility of video testimonials for use later down the line.

Here are just a few more tips we use to ensure our video testimonials include all the content we need to create great content:

  1. Empower Your Clients. Give them control. Assure them they’ll get a say in the final edit. If they aren’t comfortable with the end product, it won’t go live. This gives them a comfort blanket and will likely increase participation.
  2. Remind Clients About the Bigger Picture. Remind them that their story can inspire and aid others on a similar journey. This altruistic angle might just be the nudge they need to step forward.
  3. Leverage Digital Tools. With tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams at our disposal, recording a conversation has never been easier. A familiar platform might decrease the intimidation factor of a professional camera setup.
  4. Narrate Their Success. Have testimonial providers highlight their transformative journey with you. Genuine narratives resonate more with potential clients than rehearsed lines.
  5. Use a Simple Structure to Guide Feedback. We suggest a quick intro, a deep dive into their experience, and perhaps a word of advice for those considering your services– this is a formula that’s concise yet effective.
  6. Use Diversity as a Strength: Try to get testimonials from a range of clients – different backgrounds, issues, and success stories. This caters to a broader audience and showcases your versatility.
  7. Sensitive Topics. You may deal with deeply personal issues, for example as a life coach or mentor. If this applies, always ensure testimonials are handled with care and respect. Sometimes, less detail is better.
  8. Genuine Over Glossy. In the world of digital marketing, authenticity trumps a highly polished video. Let your clients’ genuine experiences shine through.
  9. Vertical and Horizontal Shots. For maximum versatility, record testimonials in a combination of vertical and horizontal shots. If in doubt, you can record a horizontal landscape video while having your subject framed in ⅓ center so it can also be cropped into a vertical video.

HINT: Wondering how long your video testimonial should be? We recommend you keep it succinct. Aim for around 2 minutes, but up to 5 minutes is acceptable. Trust me, in the digital space, less is often more!

Okay, so you’ve gathered your testimonials…now what?

13 Ways to Use Testimonial Marketing to Grow Your Online Training Business

testimonial-marketing

The following list is for you if you have at least one testimonial at your fingertips right now.

Although you’ll still want to cultivate the process of collecting more testimonials and reviews, by the time you have a single piece of feedback, you can begin using them on everything from email campaigns to promos for specific courses or techniques.

So, to get a sense of just how much value there is in client or student testimonials, here are a few suggestions to help you capitalize on them to build awareness, engage, and convert new prospects into your revenue stream.

For example, you can use testimonials to support or supplement your:

  • Landing pages. Place strong testimonials on your main landing or home page to establish credibility right off the bat.
  • Dedicated testimonial page. Create a full page that aggregates all of your testimonials. Link to it in your main navigation or footer.
  • Product and sales pages. Incorporate testimonials that are specific to individual products or services on their respective pages.
  • Checkout pages. Display testimonials near the checkout or cart page. This can help alleviate last-minute purchase hesitations.
  • Social proof pop-ups. Implement pop-ups or banners showing recent purchases or testimonial snippets. Tools like Fomo or Proof can help with this.
  • Video lead ads. Capture new audiences with positive stories from recent clients who are there to support you in driving them to your landing page.
  • Retargeting campaigns. Use testimonials in retargeting ads to convince potential customers who’ve visited your site but haven’t made a purchase.
  • Email marketing. Incorporate testimonials into your email marketing campaigns, especially in the nurturing sequences.
  • Social media posts. Regularly share testimonials as posts or stories on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Case studies. Develop full-length case studies that dive deep into a customer’s success story. Promote these via your website, social media, and email marketing.
  • Webinars and online courses. If you’re promoting a webinar or an online course, sprinkle testimonials throughout the presentation to reinforce the value you’re offering.
  • Print and promotional materials. If you attend trade shows, conferences, or even for direct mail campaigns, integrate your testimonials into your printed materials.
  • Google and third-party review platforms. Encourage satisfied clients to leave testimonials on Google My Business, Yelp, Trustpilot, or industry-specific review platforms. Embed or link to these external reviews from your website.

HINT: To drum up authority, display the logos of the prominent brands or personalities from which you have endorsements or testimonials.

As you’re using your testimonials across the entire scope of your marketing operations, then, remember that the crucial role of testimonials is to build trust and credibility in your audience.

You are also encouraging readers to take action based on testimonials, which means you’re beginning to find that sweet spot where your content (and the feedback you receive) all work in one direction: to build your business and increase your revenue take-home.

Using your testimonial marketing content for better content and more lead generation reviews

testimonial-marketing

As you begin to use your testimonials to grow your online training business, you’ll start to see tons more possibilities with the other content you already collect, produce, and share.

In much the same way that testimonials can be used for all the use case scenarios above, your own emails, articles, posts, courses, and video ads can all be transformed into another, related content asset.

That means sustainably using your content, products, courses, and assets to build out the branches of your digital marketing and sales processes…

…and then reaping the benefits when all of your work turns into great new leads, conversions, and profits.

To be sure, this is just one of the systems we’ve implemented for ourselves at The Digital Navigator, and which we implement for clients to help them scale their businesses without a bunch of extra content creation needed.

That’s why we created this short testimonial marketing guide, after all!

So, if you decide that you want a little help cultivating a system by which you can gather and use testimonials to grow your business, feel free to schedule a call with us.

We’d be happy to go over your next steps forward, and to provide you with a series of options for how we can best support your online training or coaching business.

Otherwise, it’s time to start implementing what you’ve learned. Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

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