By Pam Lontos, CSP, MA
You are writing a book to sell online, on your website, at your speeches, or in bulk to corporations. What can you do to boost sales? People don’t believe ads or what you say about your own book. You’ll need testimonials from satisfied readers to place in every marketing piece you create.
One of the main reasons people don’t buy a book is fear of making a wrong decision. There are so many books in the marketplace and it’s sometimes hard to choose. So when they see that an author is endorsed by someone else, that fear is minimized.
How to Get Testimonials
- Choose from your own satisfied clients who represent your target demographic.
Choose clients who exemplify the best-case scenario for your service or offering then say, “I’d love for you to share your thoughts on my book. Would you please write a short testimonial?”
- Offer to write the testimonial for them. People often turn down requests for testimonials because they are too busy or don’t know what to say. In that case, offer to write the testimonial for them. Ask them what it is they’d like to say about the book and offer to let them review what you write. Most people will leave the testimonial as is, happy they didn’t have to take the time to write it themselves.
- Look through your past notes and correspondence. Chances are you’re sitting on a pile of testimonials and don’t even know it. Go through past emails and correspondences from clients, friends, and readers. Are there a few nice sentences in some of their messages? If so, ask the person if you can use their words in your marketing materials.
How to Write Testimonials
- Show results. Testimonials need to specifically show the results a person experienced from reading your book. For example, “Joe Smith’s health book helped me end my 20-year battle with migraines.” or “The suggestions in Mary’s book helped me save over $2,000 in marketing costs last month.”
- Keep it short. Each word of the testimonial should have value. If someone writes you a page-long testimonial, edit out any words that don’t directly address the end result. This doesn’t mean you can change the meaning of their quote; but you can edit out the parts that don’t contribute to the meaning. For example, if someone writes a full page about how your book helped them save 30% on their HR costs, you can condense it to one sentence. “This book saved us 30% on our annual HR costs.” Often, the more words you take out, the stronger the testimonial becomes. It’s also easier to read and stands out more.
- Use big names whenever possible. Whenever you give a speech to or consult with a large company or association, try getting the president to give you a testimonial. This is not to say you should ignore the comments from the audience or employees, just don’t forget to get the big names on your testimonials list, as well.
How to Use Testimonials
- Include testimonials in your marketing pieces. For print, it’s best to have testimonials stand alone from the text, rather than try to weave them into the ad copy. Other marketing pieces that should feature your testimonials include: your website, brochures, direct mail pieces, postcards, billboards, newsletters, social media updates, and, of course, the back of your book.
- Create a testimonials file. Each time you receive a kind letter from a client or reader, highlight the parts that state benefits and scan or save the letter into your computer in a file called Testimonials. Additionally, you can create a page on your website where you feature all your testimonials.
The Ultimate Sales Tool
It’s always better when someone else sings the praises of your book, so let your clients and readers sell it for you. Testimonials are the ultimate sales tool, so remember to use them in all of your materials.
Pam Lontos, CSP, is the president of Pam Lontos Consulting. Pam consults with businesses, speakers, authors, and experts in the areas of marketing, publicity, and speaking. Pam is a past vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting where she raised sales 500% and she founded PR/PR Public Relations. She is the author of I See Your Name Everywhere: Leverage the Power of the Media to Grow Your Fame, Wealth and Success. She is also a former professional speaker. For a free 20-minute consultation, call (407) 522-8630 or email Pam@PamLontos.com www.PamLontos.com.