Testimonials are a great way to build credibility for your company with your marketing materials. I’ve included them in the “writing” section of the website components because there are a few approaches to using them most effectively.

First of all, you’ll need to get some testimonials. There are many strategies for the how-to of getting great testimonials, and I can recommend the following resources:

  • Ask Sean D’Souza of psychotactics.com about Reverse Testimonials
  • Bill Metcalf is an expert in getting “Raving Fans” testimonials from your clients

Then, the next question is, who to get them from? Get testimonials from:

  • Your clients: This is the most common type of testimonial to use on a site. Ask each of your clients, as you work with them, to provide a testimonial. It can be a scary practice to start, but having a bank of testimonials to work from is important.
  • Your power partners: Even if you don’t work directly for them, you do work with them. Their testimonials can be a testament to your professionalism and working style.
  • Your vendors: Especially if you’re in a field where you’re turning technical stuff, like files, over to your vendors, you can get some great testimonials on your expertise from them. For example, my printers are always telling me that I do an exceptional job of preparing my print design files from a technical perspective. Having a testimonial from one of them could help my clients to see that I have good attention to detail.
  • Other professionals in your field: I have several testimonials from other designers on my website. This may seem like a strange strategy at first glance, but one of my biggest marketing methods is to write informative articles about the design field. Many other designers use my articles and newsletters to better explain things to their clients. And, I think that their testimonials about that show that I really know what I’m talking about!

Once you’ve got them, what do you do with them?
I recommend using testimonials throughout your marketing materials, but your website is one of the easiest and most prominent places to put them – especially if they’re long. Since you can make a web page as long as you want (it just gets “scrollier”), having a long testimonial doesn’t cost you extra or take up valuable page space.

What page to put them on?
A common mistake is to create a separate “Testimonials” web page on your site, and to not add any compelling reason for a visitor to go there. Why would someone want to click on yet another page just to see all the sugary-sweet stuff that people have to say about you? It’s a much more effective tactic to include them throughout the site, with one on every page or on every few pages.

How to make them more prominent:

  • Put them in a sidebar, or in a text box with a colored background or border. This draws more attention, and pulls the eye in to your testimonial.
  • Highlight them with your clients’ logo, or photo. Again, this will pull the eye towards the testimonial and make it more visually interesting.
  • Place them near samples of work that you’ve done for the client . Seeing the testimonial in context adds more value to it.
  • Put them into your website text, or inside of a case study. Format your text like a newspaper article, with the quote in-line with the copy. This makes it more natural to read.

These strategies will make your use of testimonials more effective, which will help you to really build your credibility with them.