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You’ve probably seen testimonials on other people’s course sales pages, those glowing recommendations for you to invest in their program. This is known as “social proof” and what current and former students say about your online course is an important part of the decision-making process for your prospective buyer.

Seeing someone else talking about their experience with your online course, especially when there's a photo and a name helps with your credibility and expertise. After all, who wants to buy a course from someone with no testimonials? It could indicate that the course isn't very good…

I understand if this section of your course sales page fills you with dread. You may be thinking “I haven’t made any sales, how can I get testimonials?”. I thought the exact same thing when I released my first course. This post will help you get testimonials for your sales page, the ethical way.

The Importance of Testimonials

Prospects are fed up with bad marketing; they've have lost faith in the advertising industry with its over-hyped and exaggerated claims. They know that those who can afford the biggest advertising spend don’t necessarily have the best products.

As a result, more and more of your ideal clients are relying on the recommendations of their peers to guide their buying decisions. Often, these are complete strangers. Think of sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, focusing on the travel and food industries, where many people look for an opinion before booking. The same thing is happening in all industries and business sectors.

Social media also plays a big part in this. If your best friend recommends a good restaurant for you, then you’re likely to go. And these days, many people’s “best friends” are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

When it comes to advertising your online course, you can sing its praises day and night, but it’s much more powerful for your past students to share their positive experiences with prospective students. This is also known as social proof.

How to Get Testimonials

This obviously depends on where you are in your business life and what your experience of selling has been up to now.

  • If you’ve beta tested your course, ask those who tested it to write you a testimonial
  • If you sell other online courses, draw on the feedback from those
  • Ask customers who have bought other products to write about you and your company – these can also form part of your buyer's guide.
  • Use testimonials from other parts of your work if they're relevant
  • Ask for recommendations on social media
  • Take comments made about your blog posts on the subject
  • Ask a friend to trial your course and write something.

If you've created a Minimum Viable Product, then getting testimonials from your early adopters can be made easier using a tool like Thrive Ovation. I recommend adding this in as a feedback mechanism in your course follow-up emails. You'll never forget to ask for them if it's in your onboarding automation.

Final Tips For Good Testimonials

  • When sourcing testimonials, ask people to make a video. It has more impact than a written recommendation. You can even turn this into a competition. From the video with the most likes to the video with the most comments –  you can add in some gamification elements to make testimonial creation fun for your participants.
  • If you can’t get a video, then include a headshot of the person so the reader can visualise the person. In the past I've used a photo with the testimonial as a speech bubble so it looks as if the person is speaking.
  • Add your testimonial giver's name, location, and URL if they have a business, to increase credibility. Of course, get their permission first.