Using Case Studies and Testimonials to Find Clients
Although you’re passionate about what you do, it’s your client success stories that speak volumes when it comes to finding new clients.
We’re naturally drawn to stories and want to know what happens next. Case studies and testimonials are an incredibly powerful way to illustrate how you’ve helped people. They help prospective clients to understand what you do and the results they could achieve.
The difference between case studies and testimonials
A case study is created by you and outlines a client’s journey. It demonstrates what you can do to solve someone’s problems and what to expect. These can be from an actual client, hypothetical, or even a hybrid of the two.
Testimonials are from happy clients who provide a reflection of their experience and the results they achieved.
Why case studies and testimonials are important
People want to know exactly how you can help them. Understanding how you helped others, is a brilliant way to demonstrate this. They will help to alleviate any fears, potential clients have around working with you.
Your client’s success stories are a huge asset to your business. They provide you with credibility and assist prospective clients to decide if you’re the right practitioner for them.
They can be used throughout your marketing to reinforce your messages and provide evidence of how effective your approach is.
What to include
What the ideal testimonial or case study needs to demonstrate are three main things:
- Why your client wanted to work with you and the issue(s) you helped them with/or why someone would want to work with you
- Their experience of working with you/or the process of working with you
- The results they achieved/the sort of results they can expect
Avoid using the testimonials that are just complimenting you, on how amazing you are. We all love to hear: “Helen was fabulous!” but, that says absolutely nothing about how I actually helped a client and won’t support my business.
How to get testimonials
Start by identifying clients with who you have a great relationship, and who you think will be happy to share their story.
If a client emails or messages you with an update and to thank you, ask permission to use it for your marketing.
A story written in your client’s own words may not be a literary masterpiece, but their choice of language will resonate with your potential clients. If they have included something that doesn’t fit with your ethical guidelines or country’s regulations, suggest changes, and send it back to your client for approval, prior to publishing.
If someone provides a written testimonial, ask if they are willing to include a photo as this provides another layer of credibility.
You can protect your client’s identity by using only their first name, using their initials or giving them a different name (although for clarity, mention this). This is particularly important if the work you do is of a very sensitive nature.
Ensure your clients don’t feel pressured, or obligated to provide a testimonial for you.
Have a process
Create the habit of requesting testimonials once a client has finished working with you. The best time to ask is when they still feel motivated by the results they got and remember the details of working with you.
I’ve found a happy client will gladly share their experience as they want others to benefit in the way they have. Once clients have achieved the results they want and feel confident, I ask if they would be willing to share their story. If they say yes, I’ll make a note to email them a quick reminder a couple of weeks later if I haven’t heard anything.
Different types of testimonials and case studies
Traditionally, many testimonials and case studies were written. With smartphones and the internet, there are so many other possibilities available.
It is often easier for clients to produce a quick video and many are happy with this format these days. These hold incredible power as they provide a ‘real person’ for potential clients to relate to.
Another option is to interview a client once they have finished working with you. This can be in person, remotely, on video, audio recording, or taking notes. And you get to ask the relevant questions and format it in a way that works in your marketing.
By taking on the creation of the case study, or testimonial, you are increasing the chance of client participation. All you’re asking your client for is a little of their time.
If you do this, always show the finished piece to your client for approval, prior to publishing.
With most of us turning online to find solutions for our challenges, getting your testimonials posted online is a must. We all love to read reviews before we decide to buy and having them will help you to stand out online.
If someone is happy to do a testimonial for you, ask them if they’d be happy to share it on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and any other platforms or directories you’re on. This will help to raise your profile and credibility online, especially if you’re moving to work more and more online.
You can also use any reviews posted online about you in your own marketing so if you have reviews about a book on Amazon or your services on Google, share them in your marketing too.
What if you don’t have testimonials?
You may be just starting out as a new practitioner and don’t have any testimonials.
Consider doing a hypothetical case study to demonstrate the journey of a client working with you.
Ask family and friends who you practised on while you were training for testimonials.
You could also request endorsements from your colleagues, your school, or employers to provide proof of your capabilities and credibility.
Word of caution
Don’t just publish anything. Make sure it fits with the guidelines of your professional body. Some bodies have very strict rules on the use of case studies and testimonials.
If you’re based in the UK you must comply with the ASA/CAP codes, you can find more information here.
Make sure you have the contact details of your client and written permission to use their story. GDPR requires you to have permission for exactly how, when and for how long any data is going to be used.
Be reasonable about what you include to ensure you (or your client) are not making any claims that cannot be substantiated if challenged.
If you need help with finding clients for your holistic business, book a discovery call with me and find out how I can help you.
Podcast 58 show notes:
- (01:36) The difference between case studies and testimonials
- (02:46) Why case studies and testimonials are important
- (04:08) what to include
- (05:43) How to get testimonials
- (08:08) Have a process
- (09:20) different types of testimonials and case studies
- (10:52) Online reviews
- (12:16) What if you don’t have any testimonials
- (13:34) Word of caution