How to get testimonials

Here’s how to get testimonials from your customers – and how to use them on your website (or social media) and in your marketing.

Why it’s important to get testimonials

Other people are much more likely to want to buy from you and buy at the right price if someone else says that it’s great.  After all, I could tell you that I’m the best business adviser in the world, but you’re much more likely to believe one of my clients if they say it.

Here’s what I could say about myself

“I’m a really good business adviser, and you’ll definitely make more money if you work with me.”

Well, I would say that, and there’s no evidence for this being any truer than this statement.

“My special blend of muesli cures cancer” (unlikely to be true)

“I stood on my head for hours while dictating my book” (definitely not true, the headset would fall off)

“I wrote my book in a week” (it took 2 years)

But if you listen to other people

“The difference between working with Julia now and where we were is enormous.” Joanna Nutley and Kate Ashton, Nutleys Kitchen Gardens

“She has a great brain and is full of ideas for how to develop my marketing.” Nick Price, Of things Immaterial

“Vervate is already doing really well, we’re getting tons more enquiries for the new services and I’m able to suggest much more interesting and innovative things to our existing customers.” Susi Doherty, Vervate

Why are these testimonials different?

These statements are very different, aren’t they?  They all talk about some particular aspect of working with me that someone has appreciated, and they are from real people.

And all of them are from real people – in fact, you can even see photos of these lovely people over on my testimonials page


The rules for how to get testimonials


  • Make them short. People will skim the testimonials section and won’t read the detail. If you ask clients for testimonials, they’ll often write an essay, but it’s okay to edit it down.


  • Wherever possible, put the name of a real person and if you’re selling to companies, their business name.


  • Add a photo of the person wherever possible, because this makes it seem like it’s from a real person


  • Don’t be tempted to make it up – you’ll get caught


  • When asking for testimonials, feel free to suggest something they might say. For example, Chris Chart said this “After one session, in particular, Julia suggested an improvement to how I use my CRM system. I did this the next day, and in a week, I had 18k of new work in the pipeline.” It was true, of course, but Chris might not have put it in his testimonial if I hadn’t suggested it


  • Use figures wherever possible, eg, 18k of new work, profits went up by 350%, 18% increase in serotonin levels when you eat my Brazil nut muesli. But you must be able to back them up.
  • If you quote someone, for example, something they said in an email, get their permission to use it


  • Use testimonials from people who are similar or represent your target audience. If you’re selling your quilts to women over 50 who like crafts, don’t put a quote and a photo of a 22-year-old supermodel. Or a man. If you want to sell to big companies, get quotes from big companies, not Worthing Chamber of Commerce.


  • Do not get testimonials from anyone related or married to you – you will quickly be found out.


  • If you can do a 45-second video of a client talking about what they liked about working with you – do this. If a client says something effusive in a meeting, ask them if they could say it again on camera and take a quick video on your phone.



  • Don’t just put your testimonials on one page, sprinkle a few on your sales page, on your contact page, as a widget on the side of your blog.


  • Don’t have the same testimonial on every page of your site


  • Do not let your web designer persuade you to have the testimonials on a carousel or slider on your website. It will confuse the visitors to your site.


  • Include a couple of relevant testimonials in a pitch document you send to clients, especially if it’s from someone similar and/or for a similar piece of work.

Let me know how you get on

I’m hoping that this will spur you into action to get testimonials from your clients. Maybe you could send the last 3 people you worked with an email asking them for a quote right now? Why not?

Here are some ways I can help you and your business:


Photo credits to Katy Belcher and Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash