This post goes out to all the yoga teachers out there who are looking to gather great testimonials (and to all the unsuspecting yoga students who may be asked to give one).
One of the most important aspects of any business are testimonials.
A terrific testimonial allows a potential client to take a look into the world of your work and understand how and if working with you will benefit them in their life.
Asking a student for a testimonial may seem like a simple request. But really, it’s not. When I first started asking for testimonials the typical response was either total silence or a very un-enthusiastic ‘yes’ followed by… total silence.
Actually getting a testimonial took a lot of follow up + poking + prodding. This likely left my students feeling a bit squeezed, which left me feeling guilty for asking in the first place.
The truth about testimonials
Let’s be real. Being asked to give a testimonial can feel pretty darn uncomfortable. It could easily be compared to the sound of finger nails being dragged across a chalkboard or being forced to eat live bugs.
It’s not that folks don’t want to give you a testimonial; it’s just that they don’t always know how to do it.
Knowing how to ask for a testimonial is an important part of the process, but even more important is that you understand how to write a terrific testimonial yourself.
That’s what we’re going to explore in today’s post.
So, without further ado let’s dive into 10 tips for writing terrific testimonials.
A testimonial tells a story
When writing a testimonial think about telling a short story about your experience. Tips 1-4 will help you highlight the most important elements of your experience.
1- Start by telling folks why you chose to work with this person. What were you looking for help with?
2- What did you enjoy about working with this person? What did you learn? Were they especially kind, knowledgeable, or good at cheerleading and motivation? Say so.
3- State 1-2-or 3 clear results or benefits from your work with this person.
4- You might choose to write your testimonial in the form of a thank you letter using the same guidelines, or add a brief thank to the end of your story version.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading testimonials on a website I want them to be easy to understand + easy to read. Tips 5-8 will help you fine tune your testimonial and keep it reader friendly.
5- Be yourself. Write the way you would normally talk, use the words you would normally use. Just be you.
6- Keep it simple and to the point. You don’t need to describe every little detail, just stick to the most important bits.
7- Be clear. Words like “it” and “she” create a vagueness that waters down your testimonial and makes it less effective.
Since this tip is, well… kind of vague, here’s an example.
Vagueness: “It was super relaxing. I feel amazing after our session. Her guidance is clear and easy to follow, and I appreciated her attention to detail.”
Clarity: ‘My private yoga session was super relaxing. I feel amazing! Trish’s guidance is clear, easy to follow, and I appreciated her attention to detail.”
See the difference?
8- Keep it concise. Eliminate unnecessary wordage or fluffy talk. Practice keeping your thoughts concise and to the point. Here’s another example.
Fluffy version: When I practice yoga every morning in my sunlit living room, I feel totally grounded and really peaceful. My shoulders and back relax and my mind doesn’t jump all over the place focusing on my worries and to do lists. Plus I don’t have to load all my yoga gear in the car and make the 20 minute drive to the yoga studio and back.
Concise version: When I practice yoga at home I feel really grounded and peaceful. My body relaxes and my mind stops racing. Plus I save the 20 minutes it takes me to drive to the studio. Yay! 20 extra minutes to do something else.
Last minute adjustments
+ out of the box suggestions
Tips 9 + 10 have to do with final adjustments and creativity.
9- When you give a testimonial leave room for adjustments. Give folks permission to edit and adjust as needed. Just ask to see the edited version before it’s published so you can be sure it accurately portrays your experience.
10- Be creative. If a written testimonial isn’t your thing make an audio or video recording of your testimonial, or maybe you could write your testimonial in the form of a poem or a song (sing it baby!).
Writing a terrific testimonial takes a lot of practice but you can consider it time well spent. The better you understand the process and pitfalls of writing a testimonial the easier it will be to gather terrific testimonials from your students.
Tune in next time when we’ll explore how to ask for a testimonial in a way that makes it easy breezy for your students to give one.
Write and play
Think of someone you’ve worked with who deserves a terrific testimonial. Grab a pen and paper, write one, and then give it to them. You’ll get to practice your writing skills + it will make their day!