When you first launch your business, you need to start making sales as soon as possible… but the problem is, as a new business owner with no clients to speak of yet, you’re missing one of the vital components for your marketing;
Ha! I know… that was pretty obvious, right? Actually clients are not the missing component… what you lack is what clients provide… testimonials and case studies.
It’s your ability to be able to PROVE to your prospects that working with you will bring them great results that provokes their decision to buy. So how do you get these important testimonials and case studies when you don’t have clients, so, as yet, results are unproven?
Testers and Tasters:
Consider giving one or two of your ideal clients free access to your coaching, consultancy, training or products in return for a testimonial and to feature as a case study in your marketing.
Get permission from your testers at the outset for you to use their name, photo and results in your future promotions, and cap their free access to you to a specific period… say a set number of months or sessions… whichever works best for you.
If you know it will take 6 sessions with you to generate the desired results, offer 6 sessions for free or you won’t be able to achieve your objective… a results orientated testimonial.
Don’t offer these free testers to anyone and everyone… choose the recipients carefully to make sure their testimonial will “talk to” your ideal, future paying clients. There is little benefit to you in having a testimonial from a 50 year old married guy when your ideal client is a 20-30 year old single mum.
Look for general results
You’ve thought about who you’d like to feature in your case studies, you’ve approached them and been unable to find anyone willing to take part… but don’t give up yet.
Think about other businesses in your sector, doing what you do already and getting results. They won’t necessarily be doing EXACTLY what you do… but being able to prove that similar work brings results is better than nothing.
For example… let’s say you are a Hypnotherapist specialising in overcoming phobias. You will likely be able to find people who have received Hypnotherapy that resulted in them overcoming their phobia… consider asking them if you can feature their story instead.
Don’t pass yourself off as their therapist, but their results prove that hypnotherapy can be successful in treating phobias… the way you carry out the therapy on your clients may be different, but the results will speak for you better than not using any case studies could.
Got your first paying client?
Once you gain paying clients, don’t forget to ask for testimonials from them too. Some will be only too happy to do this for you… others may need a little more persuasion.
Here are a couple of my top tips for getting testimonials from more of your clients;
Ask immediately: as soon as your client has achieved results from working with you, ask for the testimonial. While they are in that “happy place” they will be more likely to a) agree to your request, and b) provide it.
If you run a workshop or seminar, have your pocket camcorder with you and ask attendees to record a testimonial on the spot. This requires little effort on their part so you’ll get a good number agreeing to take part.
Write it for them: for those clients who have agreed to provide a testimonial but never actually get around to composing it, consider writing it on their behalf and sending it over to them for approval.
Sometimes, their reluctance comes from not knowing what to write… so you preparing a couple of short paragraphs in 2 or 3 variations that they only have to choose their favourite or edit slightly, is much more likely to get their response.
If you’ve been in business for some time, how did you overcome the lack of testimonials/case studies at the outset? Please share by leaving a comment below.