How to get customer testimonials

Almost every product or service is in a competitive market. Testimonials reinforce your brand and if you receive positive feedback, it’s vital you leverage those reviews to:

  • remind existing customers that it’s worth staying with you and not get itchy feet
  • win new business

Potential clients are looking for more than the price tag, if you can instill confidence and bring a personal connection, that visitor clicking on your site is more likely to become a customer (or at least engage and start a dialogue which gives you the chance to get contact details and follow up).

Before planning how to display your reviews, you have to get the feedback. Here are some hints and tips for getting good testimonials:

  • testimonials blog1Ask open-ended questions like “What was the best aspect of the service you received?”
  • Invite feedback in the form of a survey. This is made easier if you naturally have a follow up communication with your client after the product or service has been delivered. For instance if you are inviting registration of a product or are sending shipments at regular intervals.
  • Gather the information you need so you will be able to use it later. Testimonials listed as coming from Joe in Smalltown, USA may seem ‘cold’ or worse – maybe even made up.  A picture automatically personalizes the review and sparks a connection with the reader –  especially if they are shown with your product or using your service. This adds credibility and is naturally a more eye catching section of your site for a reader to focus on.
  • testimonials blog2Don’t be shy to ask for feedback. This is much more than an exercise to elicit reviews. Feedback – good and bad – will help you grow your business and develop as your customers change. Any criticism or ideas for improvement are arguably the most important feedback you will get. Making it just as easy for customers to give suggestions or report problems gives  you a chance to  rectify promptly,  maintain a good reputation and retain business.
  • Make it easy. If you are asking for a response via mail then include a stamped, pre- addressed envelope. If you are able to ask online, it’s just a click away. Be sure to mention there are only a few questions or that it will take no more than a few minutes time.
  • Showcase existing testimonials and invite feedback. Use your social media accounts to promote reviews and engage customers.
  • Positive stories from colleagues are just as important. If you have a network of professionals, their feedback and quotes are also powerful in strengthening your reputation and business appeal.
  • If you can get a video testimonial or can create a montage of reviews into one video clip, you will have a powerful marketing tool. This can be shared to social media and can feature prominently on your website. If it’s worthy of your home page, that’s where it should be. It can be duplicated inside a ‘testimonials’ tab although traffic to that page may be significantly less. Don’t make it too long and make sure the start sums up your message and keeps the viewer interested. A soundtrack and captions will make it look more professional. Make the link easy to share.
  • If you get a ‘thank you’ the old fashioned way, you can still share the text or share a nice gesture.  Post a picture of the bunch of flowers you receive as thanks to your social media accounts.
  • Show a diverse group of reviewers. You’re more likely to spark a connection with a reader if they identify with someone similar to themselves.

“When you display a testimonial, make sure it looks the part. Use design tools to make it catchy and distinct.”

 

If you’re looking for help fine tuning your website, why not contact us today  info@trulium.com

Your Website – what first impression are you giving?

Over time it’s easy to become so familiar with your website that you lose sight of how it appears to a new visitor – a potential client clicking into your site for the first time. That first impression could be the difference between winning their business or losing them as they click into a competitor’s site.

What to avoid

  • excessive load times
  • be responsive and mobile readylimiting your audience by not being responsive – if your site can’t easily be viewed from a phone or tablet, your online visitor will find a site that is simple to navigate and read when it is convenient for them
  • error messages
  • outdated content
  • poor quality images
  • a confusing layout which makes the site (at least appear) difficult to navigate. This includes a page ‘heavy’ on text with no natural breaks or images. Nobody will read the entire page before they decide to find out more, they will jump between headings and scan the site to decide if they like it enough to keep looking
  • a generic site which hasn’t been branded – when a search pulls up your site and your potential customer clicks in, they scan the page to check they recognize a logo, location or slogan which reassures them they are on the business they thought they were

 

The next consideration is what first impression you would like to give. Are you trying to present information or encourage your visitor to explore your site?

If you are trying to draw clients literally to your place of business, consider maps and clear directions from major nearby cities.

First impressions count imageWhen your business is visual eg. florist, artist, designer, showcase your work so that a glance conveys your colors, style and design. Put your best images in the most prominent place as they are your ‘hook’ to spark more interest in exploring your site. Brand the image if necessary so that it is clear the image is your own and not a generic stock image. If you can’t choose or your product range is diverse, consider a scrolling gallery with 4 or 5 images which rotate.

Checklist

Imagine yourself in a potential client’s shoes (or ask someone you trust who is not familiar with your website for their opinion) and consider:

  • do the colors appeal
  • are my service or product clear to see
  • do I appear an expert in my field
  • does the site look professional and trustworthy
  • is any of the content out of date
  • do I have better images to represent my brand
  • is it clear how to contact the business
  • are the navigation menus intuitive
  • are there distractions drawing a client away from my content (eg excessive links or ads)
  • does the site reinforce the other branded material you are distributing? (business cards, shop front, advertising)
  • is there a link to social media so that it is easy to ‘follow’ you

 

first impressions countA website that looked great a few years ago may look tired to your audience today. If you are spending money on SEO (search Engine Optimization) to drive your site higher up the rankings, you need  positive first impressions to capitalize on your advantage and persuade prospects they have found exactly what they need as soon as they find your site.

 

If you’re ready to revisit the first impressions you are giving , contact us today  info@trulium.com

Connecting with your prospects starts with knowing your prospects

New prospects are the key to your future success. Whatever your advertising budget, no business likes to waste time and energy on finding new potential clients and still come up empty. When it feels as though you are a very small fish in a big ocean, there are some tips and tricks for finding new prospects, focusing your time, energy and investment with a strategic plan.

  1. What does your current client base look like?

Start by looking at your top existing clients and try to find a link between them. Are they all in the same core demographic, are they geographically concentrated, are they part of a network which you would like to be introduced to? Are your key contacts typically in a certain department or forum?

  1. Leverage your good work

Trulium portfolio image for blog

Your best advertisement should be your portfolio of work. It’s a showcase of the services you offer and gives a potential client a picture of what you can do for them. If your business is art, take every opportunity to show bold and bright images. If you are selling food, make up samples and take trays to nearby office buildings or parks to create a buzz and attract your local consumers. If your tents are hired for receptions, or your limousines are hired for a corporate function, make sure your business name or contact details are visible and accessible.

  1. Highlight Testimonials

When you have clients who give you good testimonials, highlight them. This means more than having a ‘testimonials’ page on your website – a prospect would have to be very interested already to go and find that data. Put the reviews front and center, scatter them across all your branding as you’re sure to say great things about your own business, it carries more meaning when coming from one of your customers. What would that look like? It could be

  • Posting the review to social media
  • Adding a quote to separate sections on your website
  • Adding text to images on your site so the testimonial can be seen on sliders or featured images
  • Including a review on printed material, flyers, business cards

sample testimonial on image for blogThe reviews should be as concise as possible. Credibility comes from adding a name and maybe the City, State (eg The best burger in town! – John, Denver, CO). Unless you’re going to update the content frequently, don’t add a date as it will soon look old. If you are going to update with new reviews frequently (monthly perhaps), then adding the date becomes an added selling point as it proves the current quality of your work. The viability depends on how many reviews you receive and the workload in keeping your branding current.

  1. Ask for a referral

Your customers almost certainly have their own network of professionals (or friends) who at some point will be looking for the services you offer. They may automatically think to refer your business, but would be more inclined to if you have already suggested the idea. A great way to put yourself in the front of their thoughts is by offering an incentive, for instance, refer a new client and receive one month free, or receive a gift card.

  1. Think ‘out of the box’
  • If your clients are local, go ‘old school’ and consider postcards, flyers on doors or ads on local bulletin boards
  • Sponsor a local sports team or school event to get your logo and name in front of the community
  • Partner with a business that dovetails with yours to run a joint campaign and half the costs or double the reach
  • Ask existing clients how they found you and see what has worked in the past
  • Leverage your existing network by asking if they will display your business cards or brochures

Lastly, position your business so that you can be easily found by those prospects you have not actively reached out to. Optimize your website, post to social media, consider online advertising, look for trade shows, connect across social media platforms like LinkedIn and Google+. Make it so easy to contact you that your prospects pick up the phone or email you immediately.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today  info@trulium.com

Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?

Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook … the list of social media sites keeps growing and growing.

You may be wondering what the differences are between each them and whether or not they are for your business. Here’s some help from Trulium to get you started, especially if you’re considering Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual scrapbooking app/social media that allows you to pin board and share images with others. Instagram is a photo sharing app and Facebook utilizes both photos, text and videos, although as of lately, it’s getting more visual. You can actually share your “pins,” or visuals, from Pinterest on Facebook, too.

Pinterest is highly visual and you can pin almost anything from on the web onto it and share it with other users. Pinterest also allows you to re-pin other people’s “pins” and they can do the same with yours.

Pinterest can be used to create buzz around your business, especially if you have lots of visuals to showcase. You also can include videos, blog posts, etc. When you create a pin, you can attach web addresses to them so that when people clink on those pins, they can also go to your website. This is especially handy for sales and promotions. Pinterest can be an effective way to promote your branding.

Here’s something another thing to consider. According to the Pew Research Center (March 2013) and based on social media statistics they gathered, women are five times more likely than men to use Pinterest.

We believe Pinterest has the potential to be a great marketing and sales tool, depending on your link of business, and it can boost your Search Engine Optimization and Content Creation.

Got my more questions about Pinterest or other social media? Feel free to contact us at Trulium. We’re here to help.

3 Tips for Making Your Company’s Social Media Better

You may be noticing more and more companies these days utilizing social media to promote their businesses. Social media is a great for accomplishing this aim as long as you are clear about your focus.

Here are three tips for making the most of your company’s social media:

  • Make sure you create individual pages for your business versus your personal accounts. It’s best to have a professional identity and branding for your business that’s separate.
  • Look at your goals and then use each social media platform for that specific purpose. Some examples: LinkedIn can be used to connect you with others in your profession and establish your credibility as an expert. Twitter can be used to promote quick company news items, and Facebook is great for creating new content and links that can go back to your website.
  • Establish a schedule for posting items and be ready for feedback. If you post too much about your company, too often, people may start to tune you out or you may lose social media followers. You want to establish a regular presence but not overwhelm people. Be sure to mix up your content with fresh, fun items.

Have a great week ahead!

Curtis & the Trulium team

Making Google Analytics Work for Your Website

Ever started a diet but not tracked your calories? If so, you probably found out fast it was harder to lose weight without knowing that information. Using Google Analytics to bolster your company’s website and potential is a similar process. Google Analytics is a valuable tool that can give you many useful metrics such as:

  • the number of unique visitors to your pages;
  • where your visitors are coming from;
  • web browsers used by your visitors; and
  • keywords used to find you.

Like our dieting analogy, knowledge from those metrics is powerful. You can use metrics to make adjustments to your pages, your Search Engine Optimization strategy, or your website in general to make it more appealing to your current and potential customers.

“Need another reason to consider using Google Analytics? How about for tracking e-commerce? According to InternetRetailer.com, e-retail spending is expected to increase by 62% by 2016.”

We, at Trulium, are here to help you make the most of your Google Analytics reports.

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