What would we do without Google? I dunno, just Google it! At the time of writing that question took 0.25 seconds to get about 1,050,000,000 search results!
The fact is, a whole generation of today’s business owners grew up without the internet. And while they are coming to grips with the enormous social changes to the world and the way we do business, they are being bombarded with advice and don’t know where to turn.
For many business owners it’s a chaotic online world and they are looking for answers. Business owners are thirsty for information about how to use social media to build your business. People flock to Social Media presentations and online training to find out the secrets of social media and search engine optimisation. They want to make sense of the chaos.
In chaos there is opportunity. For the entrepreneur, there is information at your fingertips to learn about any subject you care to search for. You can create a niche business and connect with obscure products and find a market for it.
In this new online environment, everyone’s an expert, or else they are telling you they are! So when people are searching for service providers or products, increasingly customers don’t take what you say in your marketing at face value.
Customers don’t believe the hype. They quickly get a feel for if a business is genuine by what others are saying about it (not what the business is saying about itself.)
The major changes to the search engines in the last couple of years relate to using original content in your website and marketing channels, and being endorsed by others.
Here are some tips to leverage testimonials for your business and support others at the same time:
1. Give great service, do what you say you’ll do and then a bit more.
2. Support other businesses by commenting positively on their blogs and Facebook pages.
3. Give genuine endorsements to your colleagues on Linked In.
4. Deal with any customer requests or negative feedback immediately.
5. Ask customers to give your business a review on review sites such as Product Review or Trip Advisor.
6. Immediately after completing a service, ask, “How was the service for you?” Record their answer in writing or on a video using your mobile phone. Ask permission to use it in your marketing and there you go…you have a testimonial!
7. Good manners never go out of style. Be grateful and supportive of others.
There is enormous value in testimonials and endorsements. The humble testimonial is making a comeback in new, innovative ways online.