Testimonials - the most powerful proof a Virtual Assistant can get
by Di Chapman
You are fantastic!
That was the testimonial that not only made my day but makes most of my days. If I am feeling blue or stuck for words or just feeling a bit slow, I remember that unexpected one line e-mail from a client and the WOW factor hits all over again.
I had turned around a piece of work for a London Bond Trader in what seemed to me normal time but what was obviously to him outstanding. His e-mail made me feel wanted and needed.
That one statement made me realise that many of those who write their own testimonials and just get the client to sign them, miss the most important thing of all, testimonials don't just do your virtual assistant business good, they do you good as well.
I coach people who want to become Virtual Assistants as well as working with new and experienced VAs. I tell them all that they need to obtain permission to use any unexpected compliments or comments that they receive by e-mail or letter.
Quite often these are far more outstanding than the officially written and a long thought over testimonial. But let us be honest ALL testimonials are pure gold.
For those of you who want to become Virtual Assistants, start collecting testimonials before you start your business.
You can get them from:
- Charity or voluntary work you do
- Your current employer - perhaps in an annual review
- Your ex-employers
- People of status that you interact with on a regular basis
This means that when you put your Business Profile together you have statements about yourself and your work that you can include. This will give you the edge and you will not look like a 'newbie' at all
Existing Virtual Assistants
It is just as important for you to ask your clients for testimonials. You can also ask for referrals at the same time if you are slack, it is 8 times easier to get work from existing or ex clients than from new prospects.
Make sure your testimonials appear on your website and in your Portfolio. If they are formal recognition such as winning a business award or something similar, you can even use these after your name - I often use the strapline - "Di Chapman, The Award Winning Virtual Assistant".
Experienced Virtual Assistants
Get new testimonials - keep updating your website with new and inspiring comments from your current clients. Your website is your window on the marketplace, keep it up to date.
Testimonials are one of the strongest free advertising mediums open to Virtual Assistants and other Small Businesses.
Get as many as you can. Put them in your written portfolio but more important, ensure that they are placed on your website so that other prospective clients can see them.
Find one, a short one, and memorise it. When times are busy, you feel harassed or you are slack and in need of work, repeat this testimonial to yourself. You will realise that if one client feels that way about you, so will many others.
My mantra is 'You are Fantastic'. The writer of that testimonial has no idea how much help and support those 3 words have given me and my business.
This shows the power of testimonials, one of the most powerful advertising tools you can have and they are free.
How do you get testimonials?
- Write a short list of say 5 clients
- E-mail them with a request for a testimonial
- Do NOT write this yourself and ask them to OK or sign it. It will start to show pretty quickly if you do this as the writing styles will be the same.
- Most clients will be only too pleased to write you a testimonial
- Put the testimonial up on your website and in your printed materials with the writers name, company and URL (with their permission).
- As you get new clients, e-mail them after say 3 months requesting a testimonial.
- If you have a 'one off' large job, also ask for a testimonial.
Testimonials, worth their weight in gold, but most importantly they are FREE.