7 Types Of Testimonials: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Synopsis
Testimonials need to be one of the key ingredients of your book’s marketing plan. If they’re created and utilized properly, they can have a very positive impact on your sales. This list gives you a quick run-down of a variety of testimonials.

The Professor 1

What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn about the seven most common types of testimonials.
2. You will learn the essential ingredients that enable a testimonial to help your book sales.
3. You will learn why you must get an assortment of testimonials.

The Power Of Testimonials Infographic

Introduction
Testimonials need to be one of the key ingredients of your book’s marketing plan. If they’re created and utilized properly, they can have a very positive impact on your sales. This list gives you a quick run-down of a variety of testimonials.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #73

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #73

By reading this list you will get a good idea of what makes an effective testimonial, a mediocre one, and a useless one. Once you understand the differences, you’ll be better prepared to explain to your readers and fans on how to create a testimonial that will help you improve your book sales.

Here is my list of the 7 types of testimonials that you should know about and recognize:

Type # 1. Faked Testimonial
I strongly advise against using a fake testimonial. Readers, who are also your customers, are very sophisticated, and very tuned-in to what is real or fake. If there’s even the slightest hint of being contrived, you’ll lose your audience – and they won’t come back. Don’t forget, it’s extremely easy to get legitimate testimonials. So, there’s no practical reason to create fakes.

You must be very careful not to do things like this because it’ll cause you and your book to lose credibility with your audience. And, as a self-publisher, credibility with your audience is absolutely essential if you expect to have any kind of success – financial or critical. Building credibility with your audience can take years to build. Don’t ruin all of your hard work by being too lazy to get legitimate testimonials.

Thank you very much to Heather Woods for posting my article.

Thank you very much to Heather Woods for posting my article.

Type # 2. Real Testimonial, without person’s name, title, and company
For example: “Jones’ book was really good.” Zachary S.

This testimonial is a total waste of time, and insulting to your audience. Your audience will automatically assume that these are fake – even if they’re real. And if by remote chance they’re not perceived as fake, your audience will question why none of your readers would give their full name and title. You’ll lose sales either way. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to use their full name and title – and your buying audience knows this. Your job as a self-publisher and book marketer is to find them.

Type # 3. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, talking about your book in generalities
For example: “Jones’ book was really fun to read.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate physics professor, MIB University.

This one is also way too vague to be of much value to your buying audience. But at least this one has a real person with a fancy title attached to it. You’ll need to get back to this person and ask them for a more specific testimonial. Mention to them a few things in your book that they might have noticed or been interested in. Tell them more about what you were trying to accomplish with your book.

Linkedin - 7 Types Of Testimonials

Linkedin – 7 Types Of Testimonials

Type # 4. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, talking about you the author
For example: “Jones is an amazing author and teacher. His writing is so clear and concise.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate professor in physics, MIB University.

This is a nice statement about you, the author, but doesn’t say anything about the book itself. Some of your buying audience might be swayed to purchase your book because it says nice things about you. But most consumers want to know more about the book itself. They want to know how other readers have been helped by your book.

Type # 5. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
For example: “Jones’ book helped me finally understand Einstein’s theory of relativity. His book made it so clear and easy to understand. Because of this book, I was no longer falling behind in my studies, and was finally able to pass my final exam.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate professor in physics, MIB University.

Ok, here we finally get to it. This is a much better testimonial because it’s telling your buying audience about how they should benefit from reading your book. This “third-person testimonial” is an extremely strong one to get. It’s much more believable than the others. It’s speaking directly to your audience’s need and telling them how they’ll specifically and directly benefit from buying and reading your book.

“Testimonials need to be one of the key ingredients of your book’s marketing plan.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)

Type # 6. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, and a head-shot photograph, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
In addition to “Real Testimonial #5”, try to get the testimonial writer to give you a small head-shot photo. This won’t be easy to get, but you should ask anyway. This will be especially good to use on your website.

Type # 7. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, and a video, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
This one is like hitting the jackpot. This is the ultimate testimonial. Keep the video testimonial down to about 60 seconds. Place it on your website. If at all possible, ask them to create the video testimonial to be used on Amazon, as a customer video testimonial. This’ll be extremely hard to get. But keep it in mind, and you will eventually find someone to help you with this.

Conclusion
Your audience is seeking out books like yours because they have a need that must be filled. A need that they are willing to pay their hard-earned money in order to get help and advice that will enable them to fulfill that need. Your book’s testimonials must show them how they will benefit by buying your book.

You must get an assortment of testimonials like this from a variety of people: celebrities, experts with fancy titles, minor celebrities, industry insiders, other authors, and average people. An assortment of testimonials like this add up to become a very powerful way to boost your credibility and your book’s sales. Testimonials from a wide variety of your reading demographic makes all of them seem more believable, which makes them, as a group, a very powerful marketing tool.

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Have you had any luck getting great testimonials?
2. How have you used them in your marketing materials?
Let me know in the comments section below.

This article is also featured in Joel Friedlander’s online publication The Carnival of the Indies – Issue #73
This article is also posted on LinkedIn.com
This article is also posted on EzineArticles.com
This article is also posted on Heather Woods’ blog Writing For The Love Of It
This article is also posted on Publetariat.com

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Hashtags: #selfpublishing #bookmarketing

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About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

Author, educator, business owner, husband, and father of twins. Kunz’s mission is to help others profit from their skills, knowledge, and experience - achieve success with writing and publishing non-fiction, and grow an audience of people who know, like, and trust them. Kunz is the founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company near New York City.
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