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December 21, 2023

How to Get Raving Client Testimonials & Reviews

As a consumer, what do you do before you buy something? You look at the reviews. 

You want to see what other people have said about a product or service before you decide to invest your money into it. The same goes for people looking at your business and whatever you are offering. 

Therein lies the power of “the review,” or in the case of health and fitness professionals, raving client testimonials. 

But how do you get raving client testimonials and reviews?

My name is Annie Miller, and I help you build profitable and sustainable online health and fitness businesses without but selfies or selling your soul to vanity metrics. 

Today, we give you an option for increasing inquiries and possibly profit through prioritizing high-quality social proof from your clients. 

I find it interesting that a lot of coaches I work with, and speak to, find it awkward or strange to ask for feedback and testimonials from their clients. 

You always want the most authentic answers, of course. But oftentimes if a client is not prompted with the right questions, we can get really long-winded answers, or not the articulation that best describes a client experience. 

Today we’re going to go over different types of testimonials that you might receive in the online health and fitness space, and how to use them. But more importantly, how to get raving client testimonials that you are looking for from a marketing standpoint by prompting your clients with the right questions.

The Power of Social Proof & How to Get Raving Client Testimonials

Social proof does a few things for your marketing, your confidence, and the confidence of a potential prospect.

When you have testimonials from clients backing up your coaching approach, it gives you confidence in marketing your services. It can also provide confidence in prospects to invest their money with you.

The reason is, you have a personal motive for them to sign up. They know you’re trying to sell them something whether wholeheartedly, authentically, or not.

Unless a current or past client is in an affiliate program of some kind, and they’re getting a kickback, most social proof is not from someone who is trying to sell you something. 

It’s instead from someone sharing their genuine experience, and likely some kind of transformation they’ve had when working with you. 

There are no strings attached for this person, and that’s why social proof is so vital for a brand. It boosts confidence in prospects to invest their money with you.

It can also do a fair amount of the selling for you, or at least affirm the rest of your marketing. 

Other people have trusted your process and had success with it, and now potential prospects know that. Not because YOU told them, but because your CLIENTS did.

You’re not just out here blindly making claims. You’ve gained credibility because people say that what you do works, and use their own words to do that.

Next up is screenshots and written testimonials.

Let’s look at different types of social proof and client testimonials you might receive as an online health and fitness professional, especially in the digital era.

This can come in the medium of screenshots, a training app, successes the client has had, or from a communication app like Voxer or Slack.

Before we go any further, I want to make clear that I am not a lawyer, and you need to consult with a lawyer before using a client’s testimonial without permission. 

You can build this into your terms they agree to when signing a contract, or joining your program. And there are also more specific client testimonial release contracts and forms, that can be implemented into your business. 

Back to the screenshots. Just because something is a screenshot does not mean that it’s a “low quality” testimonial. 

I want you to focus on screenshots that really back up your coaching philosophy and whatever it is that you claim to do for clients. 

If you can get an organic screenshot of someone sharing their successes, in their own words and context, that’s money in the world of testimonials. Doesn’t get more authentic than that.

Something to consider when using screenshots as testimonials, is to add context to the screenshot. Not to put words in the clients mouth, but to add clarity or alignment with your brand messaging. 

Here’s some examples of what I mean by that. You’re essentially drawing out the main punch line or point or theme of the testimonial in the screenshot. 

These are all from my FitsPRO Foundations Business Course for starting or refining your online health and fitness business.

I really like this approach for sales pages or sharing on social media because it allows a prospect to see the verbiage that one of your clients would use and then you draw that parallel to your method or your messaging. Like what’s the POINT of the testimonial?

Now, let’s get into how to get raving client testimonials when you are formally asking for a review. 

You should absolutely be doing this once your clients have completed their time with you, or in their off-boarding process. This is going to be in a much more formal manner. 

This is what I would suggest to you if you are a coach or practitioner in the online health and fitness space. 

Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers. 

I say this all the time for my question boxes on social media. And it applies to you as a coach when you are attempting to get quality feedback from your clients. 

First, you need to think about what your marketing message is, and what the tangible, measurable, or emotional and more subjective results are that you expect your clients to get from working with you. 

Different questions are going to lead someone to answer based on these different types of results that they could have. 

Getting high-quality reviews & raving client testimonials is just a bit of reverse engineering

The first thing I want you to do is think about who is reading these testimonials and why does that matter? 

The person reading these testimonials is likely going to be someone debating whether to work with you or not. They’re at the BEGINNING of their client journey. 

A lot of testimonials focus on the END result. Which is great, but many people in the beginning of their client journey can’t even comprehend the results for themselves yet. 

That end result is not meeting a potential client where they are today. 

So if we can take our paying clients back to when they started with us, and then paint that full picture of the transformation they’ve had, that’s ideal. 

That’s a high-quality testimonial. 

And that is a testimonial that is going to be a lot more valuable to a prospect. 

How you do that is simply by asking a question along the lines of:

“What would you be doing if you had never joined X program?”

“What were you doing before you joined X program?”

“Where were you (emotionally / in your health and fitness journey etc) when you decided to enroll in X program?”

Word these however it makes sense for your offer.

These are money questions because they lead a client to answer with verbiage such as

  • “Before “x” I was ____”
  • “When I signed up, I had been ____”
  • etc.

It takes the client and the reader back to the beginning. To point A, before reaching point B.

Take some time to think about the answer you’re trying to lead them to, rather than the type of answer you’re trying to lead them to. Ask the question that will help them frame their answer in that manner.

It’s still going to be THEIR authentic answer, but it is framed in a way that YOU can best use. It should be a win-win for all parties. A win for you, for the client and the prospective client.

Now we will go into the results. 

This is going to be dependent on your business model, and what you sell. 

Some people focus on weight loss, some people focus on food freedom, some people focus on weightlifting, powerlifting, or education. 

There are no rules as to what type of result you sell or market with your offer. You just want to ask questions for testimonial requests that align with your brand.

Regardless of tangible or emotional results, we want specificity across-the-board. 

If applicable, you want to ask what their biggest, tangible or measurable takeaway was. 

Give examples when you ask this. 

Have you hit a PR without pain? Did you drop a certain amount of body fat? Did you hit a certain time or duration, some kind of performance school with running?

If applicable, ask how they’re feeling or what they are experiencing now compared to when they started? 

Where have they gained freedom, joy, and neutrality? 

I’m giving options because this is such a broad spectrum. This depends on the focus of your health and fitness methods.

Again, you want to give examples after asking the question to help prompt them.

The goal with both of these, whether it’s a tangible, or an emotional testimonial result, is to help paint a picture for a prospect that will be viewing this testimonial. 

It is not to make promises to that prospect. 

We can’t promise results. You need to have some kind of disclaimer on your website or wherever these raving client testimonials and reviews are going to be placed. 

But hearing other people’s journeys, albeit measurable or subjective, can help a prospect put themselves in that person’s shoes. They can see it for themselves. 

That’s what reviews do. That’s what quality social proof does.

In the simplest sense, it says… “I did it! And you can do it too.”

Do you currently ask for formal testimonials? Would you rank them as high quality? OR not quite? Let me know below.

If you tend to get no testimonials at all, or very long-winded, wordy testimonials, I encourage you to ask these specific questions whether you decide to send them in an email, or create some kind of Google sheet or TypeForm…it’s up to you.

But don’t be willy-nilly about asking for testimonials. 

It’s best to ask for them at a time that makes sense, and you want to make it as easy and accessible for your clients as possible. 

Most clients are happy to give you raving testimonials and high-quality reviews.

When you ask clients for reviews and make it easy for them, it’s their way of giving back. More often than not, it’s also a great reflection process for them.

You can also add a scale if you wish. Ask “on a scale of 1 to 10, would you recommend this to another person trying to x?” This allows you to gain some numerical data over time. 

You can then make accurate, truthful claims like “95% of clients recommend going through this program for x.”

Again, this gives you backing and credibility. It gives your methods, your program, or your service backing from those who have gone through it. 

This has been one of my personal favorites to use in marketing.

That’s just a little cherry on top. 

Go get some high quality, raving client testimonials, and make the most of them within your marketing. I’ll catch you in the next one.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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