Celebrants offer such a personal service, your service is very different to mine, to every other member of this website, and the thousands of other celebrants available. We can communicate our differences in text and photos on our website, through blog and social content, and by meeting people but meeting every single enquirer can become tiresome.
So, let me introduce you to a secret warrior in my sales toolkit: testimonies.
Couples I have already married, via a testimony, are the most experienced people to tell new couples how I am different from other celebrants, whilst also confirming that I am indeed the person talked about on the website and social media.
Testimonies are social proof that you’re not a dud, not a scam artist, but you are indeed a person who does the thing you say you do. Because here’s the tip no-one else is telling you: in a world where anyone can start a website or social media account, we’re looking for indicators that you’re authentically, honestly, who you say you are.
How to ask for testimonies
I ask all of my couples the following question:
If you both found my online reviews helpful when choosing me, could I ask for your help in leaving some reviews as well? If so, reply to this email and I’ll send you the links.
“If you both found my reviews helpful” hints at the fact that there’s an ecosystem at play here, that part of the reason they hired me is going to feed into the reason other people book me.
“Could I ask for your help” is an honest and vulnerable request for help. They don’t owe me a review, but if they left one for me it would be great.
“Reply to this email” is giving me permission to follow up if they haven’t left a review. I could simply leave the links here but that makes the email longer and messier and I also don’t have permission to bug them on it.
What kind of testimonies do I want?
I want my testimonies to go where people will see them whilst also asking them to do as little work as possible. I can’t expect my couples to do thirty different things after the wedding. I also want the reviews to go where they’ll have the most impact, so the following statements might have to be updated in line with future trends.
- Facebook reviews: Facebook’s review system is very transparent. I can’t leave a fake review, and everyone has access to not only read the reviews, but also to comment, and even click through to the reviewers’ profile and direct message them. To find your direct link for Facebook reviews it is facebook.com/your username/reviews like https://www.facebook.com/marriedbyjosh/reviews/
- Google reviews: Google is the king of search and reviews make an impact on your presence on the search engine. I ask for my couples to leave a Google review so I maintain a position on Google itself, not that anyone might read it.
- Website reviews: I can copy/paste these reviews from Facebook, or Google, or email, but having people talk about you on your own website is almost better than you talking about yourself. And you don’t own your Facebook or Google account, but you do own your website so always be investing into it.
- Video reviews: 2018 is the year of video, and although at time of publish I haven’t done this, I want to start asking my couples to film a review on their phone and send it to me for me to share. I think there is a real human, vulnerable, and authentic angle to a video review that even trumps the Facebook review. This could be powerful.
With all that said, I still find it hard to receive reviews off some of my couples after a wedding. People are busy, and giving me a review is low on the priority list, especially considering they have already paid me cash, so don’t feel down if they don’t email after the ceremony, it happens to all of us.
How do you get reviews off your couples? Leave your ideas or methods in the comments.