A topic most of us dread, whether we are teachers asking for one or we are students being asked to give one. Why? Because there are so many misconceptions about what testimonials are really about, here at Kuula, we strongly believe they can really help improve other people’s lives. Yes, testimonials can have that big of an impact, so keep reading if you want to find out how.
What is a testimonial
Let’s start from the beginning and be clear about what testimonials really mean. A great testimonial is a celebration of transformation, a celebration of possibility for people who would like that transformation. By transformation we mean any shift that occurs in people’s minds, bodies or other areas they may look to change. It’s a story of how an experience has changed a person’s life and how eventually other people could achieve those same results.
A few examples of great testimonials:
“After sleepless nights and multiple attempts to get in some sleep, I tried Jane’s yoga nidra classes. At first I was quite skeptical, but I am pleased to share that I finally managed to sleep a whole night without interruptions!”
“I was hoping to increase my flexibility through yoga classes, yet I discovered that there’s so many more benefits that come from a regular practice. My mood has improved, my back pain is gone, and I feel so much better. Thank you Michael for your guidance.”
As you can see from the examples above, people are describing an issue they had and how they managed to solve it thanks to a specific class or offering, rather than complimenting the teacher or providing feedback on how they carried out the class.
So why do testimonials matter?
- Improvement: within a testimonial it’s always easy to understand where you could improve as a teacher or if there’s anything you could do to help your students more.
- Credibility: testimonials provide an extra layer of credibility, removing that risk of uncertainty when it comes to deciding who to practice with. As a student, it’s nice to read other students’ testimonials and get an understanding of what you could possibly expect from that class.
- Loyalty: By asking your students to share their personal experiences of your classes, rather than simply ‘rating’ you as a teacher, you will foster a deeper sense of connection with them. Clients who feel looked after and appreciated are far more likely to share their feedback and encourage others to join.
- Conversions: through testimonials, teachers show potential clients how they could achieve a similar transformation through their classes, generating more word of mouth, which is ultimately your most powerful sales tool.
How do you get testimonials?
If you are struggling to ask your students for testimonials, think of it this way: it’s not about how amazing you are as a teacher, instead it’s about what has changed for them positively as a result of attending your classes. This gives you invaluable and genuine insight that you can then share with potential new students.i.
And if you are a student, think of it this way: by sharing your experience of a particular teacher’s class, you are not only helping the teacher but also helping others to make improvements to their lifestyles, physical health and mental wellbeing!
It’s a win-win for everyone.
Rather than asking your students to write something down, maybe have a short conversation and frame it in a way that you think would be helpful for prospective students. Always ask for permission and be clear on your intentions.
Another way to do this is to ask to record a little video together, maybe just after a class, having an informal chat about your student’s experience. Remember, it’s not about the teacher!
And now, what to possibly avoid
The most important thing to know with testimonials is that they are a nice thing to have, but they don’t validate you as a teacher. Your beliefs about yourself validate you as a teacher and will sell your classes.
Over-reliance on testimonials, the excessive usage of testimonials to convince people into buying your services/offerings, is often due to a lack of self confidence and belief in your own capabilities. No amount of testimonials will ever make a difference in the amount of students that will join your classes unless you believe in your capabilities.