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New BeginningsHave you taken a course or attended an event lately that you just loved.  Don’t be afraid to write a testimonial.  Testimonials are one of the most powerful tools you can use to get your name out in front of a wider audience.   Yes, you are helping the person you are recommending, but also, you can really boost your business by making good recommendations.

Here’s why:

1. It is *very* likely that the person you recommend will use your testimonial, along with your name and URL.  This means that your name and URL will be on their website, in their e-mails and perhaps even in their book.

2. The fact that you are giving a testimonials shows that you are successful.  Potential clients will see your name on someone else’s site (usually someone a bit further along on the entrepreneurial path), and assume that you have had success and know what you are doing.

3. Having a testimonial on someone else’s site, sort of implies their endorsement of you.  In many ways, we are judged by the company we keep, so having your name and picture on someone’s site that you admire — will only help you.

Here are some quick hints from copywriter guru John Carlton on how to create a great testimonial. According to Carton,  great testimonials are specific … short … sizzling … and signed.

Your first task is to make sure that your testimonial is specific.  Go beyond simply saying “great program” and write exactly how the program solved a problem for you and how your business has changed for the better as a result.  Extra credit — spend some time reading the sales page of the program you are recommending.  Does the salespage highlight certain key features or benefits.  If you write a testimonial letter speaking directly to on of those benefits, your testimonial will be treasured and used again and again.

To make your testimonial “sizzling” – think of it as a mini story.  Before I tool the class, my life business was like X — then it was like Y.  People like to read success stories (especially if the success was unexpected or if you are an underdog).

Keep the testimonials short and to the point.  Pick one result and highlight that.  Don’t ramble (even if you just LOVED the product/course, etc.)  Finally, make sure that you use your real name, hometown and provide a picture (and your web URL).

If you take the time to do great testimonials, not only will you get on the radar of someone who can possibly return the favor in the future, you will also increase your own exposure and credibility.

What is the best testimonial you’ve ever given?