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Use testimonials for ad copy

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Testimonials are the way to go when promoting your brand, your business and yourself.

Why?  Because when you tell people how great you are it’s advertising.

But when others tell people how great you are, it’s the truth.

Endorsements and third-party testimonials are vital to business growth. Best of all, your happy customers will create the most amazing advertising copy for you. (I'll be inserting testimonials I've received to illustrate this point.)

Easy ways to generate and use testimonials

Testimonials are sometimes referred to as "social proof," a term that was coined by Robert Cialdini, author of the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Here are some ways to leverage testimonials:

1. In writing ("old school" and "new school")

2. Copy-pasting

3. Video

In writing

In the old days, one asked a satisfied customer to mail a letter of recommendation. The person would have to use an envelope and a stamp to get the job done.

Then, the letter had to be properly typeset, key-lined, and reproduced so other folks could see it. That finished product could be displayed on your office wall or maybe laminated and placed in a binder for use on sale calls.

Of course, old school still works--kind of. But it's much easier to use email. The problem with email is that only two people actually know about the endorsement: the sender and you.

Use LinkedIn's popular "Recommendation" feature to acquire online testimonials that get a lot more eyeballs.

Get the process started by first writing a recommendation for a LinkedIn connection. Then ask her to reciprocate.

To make your ask, simply send a message that reads something like:

"I'm so glad you're pleased with the work I did for you. Would you mind giving me a three-sentence testimonial so we can help more people? I can have the first go at it, if you'd like, and send it to you for your approval, okay?"

LinkedIn allows you to ask the person for a revise if necessary, but I recommend not trying to micromanage the process, too much.

Instead, work on collecting more testimonials. Like this one:

The third suggestion is to share a testimonial in your e-mail signature file.  If you send only 50 emails per day, you’ll attain 18,000 “impressions” per year, give or take.  You can add the testimonial as a post script (P.S.) or just include it with your contact information.


Whether a testimonial arrives via traditional mail or via email, you should create electronic images that can be shared online across many social media platforms.

Here's how to make the most of "copy-paste" when using endorsements.

If you've received the testimonial in a letter or email, take a photo or scan iit, crop it and clean it up as desired before posting the jpeg to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social media pages.

If the testimonial arrives via email social media, use a screenshot tool such as Snip & Sketch to create a trimmed up version as a .jpg or .png. Here's an example, culled from an email I received from a Present Like a Pro client:

Make sure your Facebook connections see your LinkedIn testimonials and your LI peeps see the nice things FB pals write about you.


Video testimonials are the most effective endorsements, but they can also be the most difficult to come by. Only certain kinds of people are able to pull them off.

Work with people who are good on camera. If they are recording the video and sending it to you, the person is going to need at least a modicum of technical skills. It's sometimes easier to obtain the testimonial in an interview format like this:

More tips

Not all testimonials work out the way you want them to. If a video doesn't work out, I sometimes ask the person to provide the endorsement in writing.

If the compliment is first captured in a voice mail recording and cannot be recreated in a more usable format, consider making a video using the recording as the audio track.

Give extra attention to people who generate unique sentiments.  In other words, make sure the testimonials you use are special.  Average endorsements won’t cut it.

I received a fantastic testimonial from the great Terry Bean (pictured below). It was too special to not re-purpose:

“Michael Angelo Caruso is one of the best speakers in America.”  –Terry Bean, Founder of Motor City Connect and author of Be Connected.

Don’t be shy about promoting your business or yourself, especially now that it’s easier than ever to do so.

With the great Terry Bean, author of "Get Connected"
With the great Terry Bean, author of "Get Connected"

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