Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How to Become the Most Persuasive Copywriter on the Planet

Copywriting, when compared to other forms of writing, is a different kind of animal.

It’s not necessarily about writing well.

It’s about writing persuasively.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a world-class wordsmith or a literary genius.

If you can’t effectively move readers through the proper sequence of steps and ultimately convince them to buy, your conversions are going to suffer.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the world’s greatest writer.

You probably won’t see me publishing a novel anytime soon.

But I’d like to think I’m good at copywriting, which, in its simplest form, is “the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.”

In this post, I’d like to provide you with a straightforward formula you can use to become a highly persuasive copywriter with the end goal of maximizing conversions.

I’ll explain both the basic structure and the specific techniques you need to use to become more persuasive.

Start with a killer value proposition

Research from Nielsen Norman Group found that you have a very small amount of time to grab a visitor’s attention before they leave your page.

In fact, you usually have a max of 20 seconds.

Your first order of business is to make it abundantly clear what your value proposition is.

Now, there are several ways to go about this, but I believe in keeping things simple.

Getting too complex tends to dilute the message and confuse prospects.

What I’ve found to be most effective is keeping my value proposition short, sweet, and clear.

Like this:

I think the Moz homepage does a really good job at this as well:

Don’t make them guess what you’re offering.

Let them know in a split second what you are offering with your crystal clear value proposition.

To accomplish this, try to condense the essence of your product down to just a few words.

Swiftly move to the benefits

“What’s in it for me?”

That’s what most visitors are thinking after hearing your value proposition.

But here’s the thing.

Most people have a tendency to emphasize features over benefits.

But it should be the other way around.

Just look at this Venn diagram from ABC Copywriting:

Notice that benefits are valued over features.

Of course, you need to explain how your product works. But you can elaborate on that later.

What you want to do first is explain how the product fulfills a need or desire.

In other words, explain how your customers’ lives will be better after they buy your product.

Here’s a great example from Moz:

See how prospects instantly understand the benefits of using Moz?

It will save them time and make things more efficient.

They also don’t have to worry about deciphering complex data because Moz takes care of this for them.

When it comes to describing benefits, there are three main types to cover:

  • Tangible
  • Intangible
  • Commercial

This illustration from ABC Copywriting explains these various types of benefits in more detail.

As they point out, “Benefits need not be unique, but they must be compelling.”

Keep this in mind when deciding on an angle.

I personally find that it’s best to highlight the benefits before getting down to the nuts and bolts of the features.

That way prospects should be more receptive and willing to wade through the details.

But if you go the other way around and cover the features before the benefits, you’re probably going to lose a sizable portion of your leads.

Just sayin’.

Now explain the features

“What’s in the box?”

That’s what Brad Pitt’s character David Mills wanted to know in the closing scene of the movie Seven.

While the contents of the box were quite grisly (his wife’s severed head), this question demonstrates the importance of promptly telling your leads what they’ll get by making a purchase.

In other words, let them know what’s in the box.

They already know what you’re offering and what the benefits are.

Now it’s time to succinctly break down the features of your product.

Again, I feel like Moz pulls this off flawlessly, so I’ll use this as an example:

I prefer breaking features down into bullet points or concise little sections like Moz does.

“Digestibility” is huge, and you want to present your product’s features in an easy-to-absorb, intuitive way.

You also want to touch on specifics to distinguish your product from competitors and to add a sense of value.

Here’s how I did this with Quick Sprout:

Keep it simple, but include a few key details that explain why your product is the bee’s knees.


By now, your prospects should understand what your product is, how it will benefit them, and what the features are.

Your final task is to tell them what to do next.

In other words, it’s time for your CTA.

You can liken this to battling a boss in the final level of a video game.

It’s arguably the most challenging aspect of the process, but if you’ve done what you were supposed to do in the previous steps, you should see a reasonable conversion rate.

Once again, simplicity reigns supreme, and I see no reason to complicate your CTA.

Here’s how I approach it on Quick Sprout:

And here’s what it looks like on

Notice that it’s very clear what action I want prospects to complete.

As always, I strongly recommend doing at least some basic A/B testing on your CTA to see what works best.

Some specific elements to test include:

  • button style
  • button color
  • wording
  • positioning

Being hella persuasive

Okay, now we’ve covered the basic structure of well-crafted copywriting.

The general structure of a landing page should be roughly as follows:

  • Value proposition
  • Benefits
  • Features
  • CTA

But how do you ensure you’re hitting all the right notes and being highly persuasive?

Obviously, the value proposition and benefits will offer some motivation, but here are some other things I’ve found to be impactful.

Make your content scannable

I’m not going to launch into a huge sermon about the importance of creating scannable content.

You probably already know people read online content differently than they do offline content.

But if you want to efficiently get prospects from Point A (your value proposition) to Point B (your CTA), it helps to make everything in-between easily scannable.

Luckily, the formula for scannable content is quite easy.

Just include headers, bullet lists, and a considerable amount of white space along the way.

Apple, being the savvy marketers they are, do this perfectly on their MacBook Pro landing page.

Here are a couple of screenshots:

It’s seamless.

Persuasive words

An article on Business 2 Community talks about the three different brains we have:

  • the new brain
  • the middle brain
  • the old brain

According to the article,

the old brain is the part that controls decisions, and it also happens to be the most primitive. In this way, the words you use to market to the old brain will often be the most direct, simple, arresting, visual words you have.

So if there was ever a copywriting hack, it’s using highly persuasive words that make the “old part of the brain light up.”

Here’s a list of those words:

And according to research, the five most persuasive words in the English language are the ones in blue, which are:

  • New
  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly

Peppering these words throughout your copy in key locations should have a noticeable impact on conversions.

Social proof

This is my last point, and it’s a biggie.

Incorporating social proof into your copy is the icing on the cake.

This was actually one of Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion,

which maintains that people are especially likely to perform certain actions if they can relate to the people who performed the same actions before them.

I’m not going to go into all the gory details of social proof here.

You can learn about it from this Kissmetrics article.

But I will say that testimonials are usually your best bet, pound for pound.

Here’s how I incorporate them into my landing page on

You can also use things like:

  • ratings
  • media logos
  • subscriber counts
  • social connections (your number of followers)
  • clients you’ve worked with

Just be practical, and provide whatever type of social proof you think would most persuade your prospects to take action.


The way I look at it, there are two main components of effective copywriting.

The first component involves properly structuring your content so that it’s presented in a logical, sequential manner.

This means explaining your product in a way that makes sense to an average person and systematically covering your value proposition, benefits, features, and CTAs.

The second component is weaving in persuasive elements to quell fears, clear up any misunderstandings, and ultimately motivate prospects to take action.

By appealing to people on these two different levels, you can create very persuasive copy and crush it from a conversions standpoint.

What do you think is the single most important aspect of persuasive copywriting?

from Quick Sprout

Monday, May 29, 2017

How I Plan to Help You Quit Your Job and Become a Full-time Entrepreneur

When I quit my full-time job in 2011, the change from a regular corporate gig to working at home as my own boss was a major life changing moment for me.

I went from being a business banker working a regular schedule to working for myself when I wanted to.  When you are married with 4 kids, you have no idea how nice this is!  It's great at 2 in the afternoon to simply say, “you know what, I'm tired of working…I think I'll just go outside for a nice jog.”

Or, “Sure honey, I'll watch our 3 year old so you can enjoy a nice lunch with your friends.”

I get up in the morning and I make my kids lunches and take them to school.  I often pick them up from school as well. 

I get to schedule my vacations whenever I want: it doesn't matter when “Bill” in the other cubicle wants his vacation time; or if it's not my year to get the week of Christmas off.

Having the flexibility of schedule to work when I want and how much I want is incredibly valuable.  I almost always work less than 40 hours a week now, and my income has increased.

Over the past 6 years (since quitting my job), I've built several valuable businesses.  Last year, I sold my most valuable business of all, Long Tail Pro, for a life changing sum of money.

Since selling my software business, I've been reflecting on what my future holds and what are the goals I want to accomplish in business. 

My Goal to Help Others Quit…

As I've reflected on the kind of impact I want to make in the world, I kept coming back to how lucky I am to be my own boss and work my own schedule.  So many stresses related to work and money and schedule in my life have completely vanished over the past 6 years.

I want other people to be able to quit their jobs that they are unhappy with and enjoy some of the same benefits that I've had.

So, at the beginning of the year when I was setting my annual goals, I kept coming back to how much I would love others to enjoy a flexible schedule as a full-time entrepreneur.

Here is the goal that I wrote down: “Help as many people as possible quit their jobs and pursue entrepreneurial ventures: Empower individuals to pursue their dreams”

When I wrote that down, I had no idea how I would accomplish that.  I also had no way to quantify it (like every SMART goal should have).  Should I help 1 person, 10 people, 1,000 people?  I had no idea (and perhaps still don't) what is a realistic goal to shoot for in that regard.

However, as difficult as this is to convey through the written word, I REALLY do want to help people quit their jobs and pursue their entrepreneurial ventures.  This flexibility of schedule and increase in income, truly is a way to empower people to pursue their dreams (whatever those dreams are).

Some people want to travel the world, others want to build schools in Africa, others want to learn to play an instrument.  Whatever your dreams are, I believe that most of them can be accomplished through entrepreneurship and having this freedom of schedule.

I know it's a bold claim to say I plan to help you quit your job; however, it truly is a goal that I have.  As a result, I created Niche Pursuits Insider; a community of online entrepreneurs helping each other learn about online business and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

I hope you'll hear me out…

The Plan to Help You Become an Entrepreneur

I believe there are several factors that prevent people from starting a business that will be sufficient to support them full-time.

One of those factors is education.  Some people really don't know how to start an online business yet or how to get traffic to your website (if you are starting a niche website for example).

However, I honestly don't think education is the biggest factor.

A bigger limitation for people is motivation.  As I recently conducted a survey of my audience, people over and over again mentioned that they lack the focus and motivation to see projects through to the end.  They get shiny object syndrome and move on.

I really would like to help people stay motivated and focused on completing their business ideas.  I truly hope that Niche Pursuits Insider will be the community that keeps you motivated and focused on your goals.

Speaking of ideas, having the “right idea” also is important.  Even if you are knowledgeable about how to start a business and are motivated, if you have a terrible idea…it still probably won't work out.

Then finally, I think another major roadblock for people and their business ideas is marketing skills.  You might have the right idea, but if you don't know how to get it in front of the right people, you aren't going to succeed.

At the end of the day, there is no magic formula to a successful business.  But I do think I've put something together that can help eliminate some of these roadblocks that people often run into (education, motivation, the right idea, and marketing skills).

I've always provided free education here on and through my podcast.  However, many people still want or need more.

For this reason, I've created Niche Pursuits Insider.  This community goes way beyond just providing information about starting niche websites or launching your own physical products on Amazon.

The core of Niche Pursuits Insider truly is to form a group of like minded individuals trying to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

Let me explain what you get when you join Niche Pursuits Insider, and why I believe this will help you quit your job.

Insider Blueprints

First, you get my “Insider Blueprints”.  This will check the “education” box that I mentioned before.  These “blueprints” are not a full course, but they are very specific plans on very specific strategies. 

For example, are you interested in picking your first product to launch on Amazon?  We've got you covered with a blueprint that will walk you through exactly how we pick our products.

So, we have a few of these targeted Blueprints up right now, and we will be adding new ones each month.  However, like I said, I really don't think “education” or these blueprints is the biggest reason you should join Niche Pursuits Insider.

Niche Pursuits Insider is not a “course” and that's not why you should join (although I think these blueprints are highly valuable).

Entrepreneurial Community

I think the bigger factor is the community.  We've created a private Facebook group where my employees (Jake and Jason – both successful niche site builders) and myself are actively engaged helping others and answering questions.

So, if you want access to Jake, Jason, and I…Niche Pursuits Insider is really the only place we offer that.

However, the other community members are also there to share what's working for them and can help motivate you to stick with your goals.  There have been many studies that have shown when you are trying to lose weight and you are working with a group to accomplish a similar goal, you are exponentially more likely to achieve that goal.

I believe the same is true of starting a successful online business.  If you are sharing your progress and asking questions to overcome your road blocks in the community, you are more likely to stay motivated, engaged, and even achieve success.

Real-time Learning and Case Studies

The problem with blog posts and expensive courses is that they often get outdated.  That's why a major part of Niche Pursuits Insider is live training and community webinars each month.  In fact, twice a month!

So every 2 weeks, I and my team will be sharing our latest tips and strategies for what is working right now.  You don't have to worry about whether the tactics you are implementing are outdated or not because we are literally going to be there on a live training session with you every other week.

You have questions?  We'll answer live on the webinar.

These “real-time learning” sessions will also involve case studies.  We'll take an Insider member's website and walk through how we think it can be improved.  This will certainly be valuable to the member's website we walk through; however, other people will often be able to apply the exact same ideas to their businesses.

Check Out Niche Pursuits Insider for $1

I could try and charge $1,000 or $2,000 for Niche Pursuits Insider, but honestly, my goal is not to maximize my personal returns.  My goal is to help as many people learn, get motivated, and quit their jobs as possible.

As a result, I'm making it as easy to join as possible.  It's $1 to try it out for 7 days…and you get access to everything.

Check Out Niche Pursuits Insider Here

You might ask, “If you want as many people to quit their jobs as possible, why don't you do it for free?”.

Well, I've been blogging for free for 6 years and put as much information out there as I can.  I've started a free private Facebook group and over 16,000 people joined.  The amount of emails and FB posts I get is overwhelming and not sustainable if I'm doing it for free.

For it to be worth it for me to respond to questions, hold live training sessions, and truly be engaged with my community, I need to have a smaller group that my employees and I can work with.  We charge money to make the group size manageable and yes, so we have some financial incentive to stick around.

Overall, I will continue to provide free content on my blog and podcast. 

However, if you would like to be more actively engaged with a group of like minded entrepreneurs as well as my team and I, I hope you'll consider joining Niche Pursuits Insider right here.

My goal is to help as many people enjoy the freedom that comes with being an online entrepreneur.  And Niche Pursuits Insider is my way of accomplishing that goal.

I hope to see you there!

The post How I Plan to Help You Quit Your Job and Become a Full-time Entrepreneur appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

from Niche Pursuits

How to Get 99+ Endorsements on All Your LinkedIn Skills

“I got 99+ endorsements, and they all help prove my proficiency in key areas.”

That’s what Jay Z might say if he was optimizing his LinkedIn profile.

Hopefully you get the reference.

But seriously, LinkedIn endorsements are really important.

In fact, they’re one of the most effective ways to prove your expertise and back up your claims.

Anyone can say they possess a particular skill, but having 99+ endorsements proves that.

What are endorsements?

Before I go any further, allow me to explain this concept if you’re unfamiliar.

It’s pretty simple.

Endorsements are a LinkedIn feature that allows others to verify your skills with a single click.

Here’s a screenshot of the formal definition given by LinkedIn:

For instance, the top three skills I list on my profile are SEO, online marketing, and web analytics.

Endorsements are a simple way to prove you are not a charlatan—you’re genuinely proficient at the skills you list on your profile.

The more endorsements you have, the more legit you appear.

Ideally, you’ll want to reach 99+.

Not to toot my own horn, but that’s what I’ve achieved on the vast majority of my LinkedIn skills.


Here too:

All are 99+.

Of course, you can have thousands of endorsements for a certain skill, but 99+ is the highest number that will appear unless someone actually clicks on the skill to dig deeper.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

I actually have 2,134 endorsements for SEO, but 99+ is what visitors first see.

Why are endorsements important?

Getting people to endorse you can open doors and unlock opportunities that might not have happened otherwise.

It’s a way to validate yourself and show you really do “have the chops.”

This is obviously appealing to those who come across your LinkedIn profile, looking to find a partner in a business project, working arrangement, and so on.

Some experts even suspect it can impact your search ranking.

The bottom line is the more endorsements you receive, the better.

In this article, I’d like to discuss some strategies to help you get 99+ endorsements on all your LinkedIn skills.

Let’s start from the top.

Prioritize your skills

Most people have a wide array of skills.

And LinkedIn is more than happy to help you share them with the world.

In fact, they allow you to list up to 50.

I list a few dozen on my profile.

But you need to be selective about the skills you list at the top.

Like I mentioned earlier, the top three skills I list are SEO, online marketing, and web analytics.

This is important for two reasons.

First, it tends to be easier to get endorsements when it’s for your core skills that people naturally associate you with.

For example, I do have experience with website development. That’s true.

But I’m far more skilled at SEO.

Therefore, most people associate my name with SEO more than website development, which makes them far more likely to give me an endorsement for SEO.

That’s why I made the conscious decision to use SEO as the first skill on my profile.

Second, people tend to get overwhelmed if there is a ridiculous number of choices.

But if you place your primary skills at the top, people can zone in on those skills, which increases the likelihood of them giving you an endorsement.

Endorse others

I’m a firm believer in the law of reciprocity.

It’s a psychological principle I’ve discussed in several blog posts mainly in the context of conversion optimization.

Long story short, it simply means that people are inclined to do something nice for you if you do something nice for them.

But reciprocity can be applied to LinkedIn endorsements as well.

And it’s not rocket science.

Endorse the skills of others, and there’s a good chance a considerable percentage of them will return the favor.

I recommend starting with the people you’re closest to and have the tightest relationships with.

This might include colleagues, team members, previous employers, and satisfied customers/clients.

Look over the skills they list on their profiles, and add a few endorsements.

Once they see you’ve made the effort to help them, many will be inclined to help you as well.

If they know for a fact you’re adept at a particular skill, it shouldn’t be any trouble for them to endorse you.

And the beautiful thing is it’s easy to do.

It’s not like it requires a major time commitment.

Unlike personal recommendations that require someone to write a unique statement, an endorsement requires only a single click.

It’s really no big deal.

Straight up ask for endorsements

One thing I’ve learned in life, as well as in business, is that it’s important to ask.

Some of my biggest breakthroughs were simply the result of me asking for help, a favor, etc.

And you know what?

A lot of people are more than willing to help you out.

Tactic #1

If you’re looking to raise your number of endorsements quickly, I suggest politely asking others to give them to you.

An article on Portfolium discusses a specific formula for increasing endorsements by asking.

It’s simple.

The author, Scott, created a brief message that he sent to 300 connections asking for endorsements.

Here’s what it looked like:

I’d like to point out his opening line:

What skills do you want to be endorsed for?

I think this is a more effective way to approach people than immediately asking for an endorsement—it doesn’t make you come across as overly self-serving.

After sending this message to 300 connections, Scott saw a drastic increase in his number of endorsements.

It went from a meager 28 to 302, which was an increase of over 1,000%!

The amazing thing is that it took less than 15 minutes.

Tweak this template as you see fit, and send it to as many connections as possible.

While you may not get quite the level of results that Scott did, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll see a substantial spike in your number of endorsements.

Tactic #2

Here’s another simple way to go about asking.

It involves leveraging existing resources where people understand your skillset and know what you bring to the table.

Some examples might include your blog and email.

Here’s what you do.

First, invite others to connect with you on LinkedIn.

This is necessary because the last time I checked, only first-degree connections are allowed to endorse you.

To do this you, you could leave a CTA with a link to your LinkedIn account at the end of blog posts or in your email signature.

Then, each time you make a new connection, send them the message I discussed in the previous tactic.

Be active on LinkedIn

One of the things I find interesting about LinkedIn is that many people seldom update their profiles.

While there are 467 million users, only 3 million update their profiles on a weekly basis.

That’s a tiny percentage.

Most people update their Facebook at least two or three times a week.

It’s usually the same with Instagram profiles.

As for Twitter, it’s not uncommon to hit double-digit updates daily.

But for some reason, most people totally forget about LinkedIn.

But that’s not how I roll.

If you look at the activity feed of my profile, you’ll notice I update quite frequently:

And for a good reason.

The more often I update, the more I’m on the radar of my connections.

This means more traffic to my profile and more opportunities for engagement, including endorsements.

What I’m trying to say is that you should make a point to consistently update your LinkedIn profile with quality content.

It doesn’t even need to be your own content.

Curated content is totally fine as long as it offers real value and scratches your connections’ collective itch.

And when you’re choosing what type of content to post, try to make sure it’s relevant to the primary skills you’re seeking endorsements for.

If conversion optimization is your thing, you might want to post something from ConversionXL.

Considering the small number of people posting updates on LinkedIn, it should be fairly easy for you to gain users’ attention when they scroll through their feeds.


When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is the go-to network.

While it doesn’t get as much attention or have the same user base as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you don’t want to overlook it.

In fact, it’s been an incredibly powerful tool for me and has helped me make several valuable connections over the years.

One of the ways you can prove you’re legitimately proficient at the skills you list is by having others vouch for you by giving endorsements.

It’s quick and easy but can have a tremendous impact on your personal brand, especially if you’re able to gain 99+ endorsements.

By using these strategies, you can effectively leverage your network to get the endorsements you’re looking for.

And who knows what opportunities this will lead to in the future…

The long-term implications can be profound.

How do you typically go about getting endorsements for your LinkedIn skills?

from Quick Sprout

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Ultimate Blueprint for Creating a Super Persuasive Testimonial

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the correlation between testimonials and higher conversions.

As humans, we’re wired to seek feedback from others.

But testimonials may carry even more weight than you may have thought.

Research found that

customer testimonials are considered to be one of the most effective content marketing techniques, identified by 89% of B2B marketers.

And there’s one particular A/B test involving testimonials I really like.

It compared different variations of a landing page for Seiko Watches.

Here’s the first version, containing no testimonials:


And here’s the second version, containing a widget featuring positive customer reviews:


Guess by how much the conversions improved.

By 58.39%!

Not too shabby.

But I have a bone to pick with the way most brands approach testimonials.

I feel the majority stick to a conventional format and aren’t fully harnessing the true power of testimonials.

In this post, I break down what I think the ultimate blueprint for creating a super persuasive testimonial is.

I’ll briefly touch on the fundamentals and throw in some other angles you might not have thought of.

Here we go.

Use images

I won’t bore you with a long-winded explanation of the importance of images.

This is usually one of the first bits of advice you’ll hear.

But they really are a critical element of a strong testimonial.

In fact,

65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to how their brand story is communicated.


Not only do images make testimonials look more professional, they increase “truthiness,” defined as a subjective feeling of truth.

This is what you’re looking for when attempting to create a connection and persuade leads to buy.

Include specifics

You probably know I’m a stat guy.

I love stats!

For me, data is the perfect way to help prospects connect the dots and understand why your brand is worth doing business with.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to include concrete numbers in your testimonials.

Don’t just feature testimonials that say your product “is good.”

Give prospects real data.

Here are a couple of examples of testimonials I use on

There’s one reason I use these specific testimonials.

They work.


Seeing that Timothy earned $15 million in revenue and received 26% more traffic is much better than saying something like, “Neil really helped my company and you should work with him.”

It’s the same story here with Gawker Media:


Here’s how Freshbooks uses this technique:


The point here is to make it crystal clear what results your prospects can expect.

Show them how you can help them in a tangible way.

And here’s another quick tip.

Try to stay away from round numbers, like 20% and 30%.

Consumers tend to prefer exactness, and using only perfect numbers may raise suspicion.

Show the good and bad

If there’s one mistake I see brands making time and time again, it’s using only rosy testimonials.

Don’t get me wrong: you obviously want to sell yourself and ensure that prospects view you in a positive light.

But you don’t want to go overboard and feature testimonials that offer nothing but praise without any negatives whatsoever.

This can kill your credibility, and it tends to make visitors more skeptical.

After all, any charlatan can slap up some bogus reviews and make themselves look like a saint.

What people are looking for is authenticity.

They want to see your brand for what it really is, flaws and all.

In fact, studies suggest that bad reviews can actually be good for business.

Research from social commerce company Reevoo found that

68% consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.

Just think about it.

Have you ever done research on a product and seen nothing but rave reviews, with every single testimonial giving it 10 out of 10?

To me, that’s a red flag. I feel something is definitely up.

This isn’t to say you should include testimonials that bash your company.

That would be foolish.

But showing a flaw or two can actually work to your advantage.

Make testimonials traceable

Anyone can say a testimonial was written by “Jack W. from Orlando.”

But how do your prospects know it’s legit?

They don’t.

I’ve realized one of the best ways to quell skepticism is to make your testimonials “traceable.”

By this I mean including a link to the person’s website, portfolio, Twitter page, etc.

It doesn’t really matter as long as you can prove that the person giving the review actually exists and that the testimonial isn’t fabricated.

And here’s another idea.

Create an entire page that thoroughly explains how your product/service helped the person and contributed to their success.

Here’s a nice example from Kissmetrics:


By clicking on the link, prospects are taken to this page where they can learn more about the company (Mention) and how Kissmetrics helped it improve its performance.

They’ll instantly know the testimonial is genuine, and it can provide even more incentive to purchase.

I took full advantage of this tactic on, where I feature a case study of Timothy Sykes.

Here are a couple of screenshots:



I’ve found this to be a tremendous help, and it’s helped me reel in several big name clients.

Target heavy hitters

I’m going to preface this by saying this isn’t applicable to every brand.

If you’re coming from relative obscurity, it may not be feasible to get testimonials from big name celebrities and industry experts.

But if you can land even one “heavy hitter,” the rewards should be plentiful.

Here’s a good example from Help Scout:


It’s safe to say Gary Vaynerchuk is a pretty big deal.

Here’s another one, featuring Seth Godin:


Just imagine the impact of having someone prominent giving your brand a nod of approval.

It could make all the difference.

Check out this resource for some pointers on landing this type of testimonial.

Experiment with a long-form format

If you listen to standard advice on testimonials, you’ll probably hear that you should keep them short and sweet.

However, this isn’t always the best route to go.

In fact, longer testimonials are often more persuasive than standard, short ones.


Think about it.

Long-form testimonials allow you to explain the ins and outs of your product and provide specific examples of how it has helped your customers.

You can effectively cover multiple aspects of your product and address any concerns your prospects may have.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of long-form testimonials is Noah Kagan’s landing page for Make Your First Dollar course.

Here’s what I’m talking about:


It’s incredibly in-depth, and I’m sure many of the people reading this testimonial could put themselves in Bryan’s shoes.

Now, I’m not saying long-form is the right approach for every single brand, but it’s definitely something to consider.

If you zig when your competitors zag, this could be your ticket to making your brand stand out.

Experiment with video

Who says a testimonial has to be a conventional text-based snippet?

There are no rules.

I’m a fan of experimenting with different mediums, especially video.

And quite frankly, video has never been hotter than it is right now.

Here are just a few interesting video marketing stats:

  • “45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.”
  • “85% of the US Internet audience watches videos online.”
  • “51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.”
  • “Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.”

If you’re crushing it with video in other areas of marketing, why not incorporate it into your testimonials?

One company in particular that pulls this off flawlessly is Codecademy:


They provide a great real-life example of how one of their users elevated his career and created one of the top 50 websites in 2013.

It’s very compelling, and I’m sure it’s motivated many “iffy” prospects to go ahead and sign up for Codecademy.

Unbounce did A/B testing on their homepage to see what impact video testimonials would have.

Here’s page A, featuring traditional text testimonials:


It looks good enough.

But here’s page B, featuring a video:


This led to a 25% conversion lift!

If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas for creating video testimonials, check out this post from HubSpot.

There’s a bunch of great examples.


At its core, a testimonial is a very simple thing.


a formal statement testifying to someone’s or a brand’s character and qualifications.

But the way you go about creating a testimonial and the elements you incorporate can make or break it.

The more tried-and-true tactics are okay, and I’m sure they will have some impact.

But the tactics I explained in this post should maximize that impact.

Following this blueprint should enable you to create a highly persuasive testimonial your prospects will eat up.

This should make it possible to quickly gain their trust, squash any skepticism they may have, and ultimately motivate them to buy.

What do you think the most important element of a testimonial is?

from Quick Sprout