Photography Marketing & Business Building - How to Get and Use Client Testimonials

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It has been proven over and over again.
Using testimonials from happy clients builds credibility and trust.
Testimonials tend to get people to take action and contact you now.
They definitely get results when used correctly in your marketing and advertising, because they make your marketing so much more persuasive - both online and off line.
Here are 7 little known secrets about how to best use testimonials in your online and off line marketing.
Get the testimonial at the right moment - which is right after they have either seen their photographs for the first time, or when they come in to pick up the finished photographs.
These are the two times when emotions are the highest, and when they will be most willing to give you a raving testimonial.
Get the testimonial on video, or at least on audio, if at all possible.
Most of your clients will be happy to give you a wonderful testimonial if you just ask them nicely, and this includes audio and video testimonials.
So have a simple video camera available, and also one of those digital recorders, so you are ready to get the testimonial.
Also transfer the testimonial into writing.
If you got it on video or audio, simply transcribe it.
This way you can use it three different ways - video, audio and in print.
With just a little coaching, you can guide them to mention one of your "Unique Factors" or "USP's" in their testimonial - which is even more persuasive to a prospective client.
Ask them to mention your guarantee, or your incredible service, or the fact that you met them ahead of time to plan everything so wonderfully, etc.
Always use their photograph with the testimonial, since you are a photographer! This accomplishes two things.
First, it shows off your photography skills.
Secondly, it adds more credibility to the testimonial.
I have a rule.
Never use a photograph in any marketing without having a testimonial from that client with it; and never use a testimonial without having their photograph with it.
They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Always get their permission to use their full name, city and state at the end of the testimonial.
This makes it much more believable.
Instead of just using "J.
Jones" you use "Dr.
John Jones, Grand Rapids, MI.
" 7.
Make sure all your testimonials are real.
This seems obvious, but it must be said.
Don't make them up.
Be honest.
You don't build a long term successful photography business by being anything other than totally honest and real.
Without testimonials from happy clients, most people are not going to believe what you say in your marketing - and this greatly hurts the response rate.
This is true both online and off line.
You see, everyone knows this is your web site, brochure or sales letter.
Everyone knows you wrote it, or paid someone to write it for you.
So the words mean very little to them on the surface.
People are skeptical.
In fact, the words can actually hurt you and your credibility if you're not careful - as they might make you look arrogant or egotistical.
So have your happy clients talk about you and their experiences with you.
This is way more believable, and therefore more effective, than anything else you can do.
Now, an important note: I'm not an attorney.
I'm not giving you legal advice.
If you will feel better, you can, of course, have the client sign a copy of the agreed upon testimonial.
I have never done this, but if you want to cover yourself more carefully for whatever reason, you certainly can do that to be safe.
The bottom line: testimonials are an extremely important and powerful part of your marketing efforts.
Get them, and use them - in all the marketing you do, both online and off line, and watch your photography business grow and prosper!
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