I was once told by a salon owner to choose your hair stylist by their own hair, but she went onto explain the good stylists don’t have time to do their own hair. What kind of mixed message is that? If a stylist’s hair looks bad, mine will somehow turn out amazing? Reality is, we judge books by their cover in a matter of seconds, especially online.
I don’t think most salon clients choose their stylist by their own hair, its reviews and portfolios. And today those are both posted on the salon web site or social media sites like Yelp, Instagram and Facebook.
The same can be said for any client-based business. The first step will be a generic search on Google for said service whether it be for a life coach, an attorney or a financial advisor. And like it or not, Google is posting 5 star reviews –its not limited to retail stores and spa services on Yelp anymore.
So how do you get reviews and in the right places? What if I you get a bad review? Let us help clear this up:
Ask and you shall receive. Most of your clients are happy to post a review. But they will forget or even procrastinate, its true. You can ask them in person, but be sure to send an email with a link to where they can submit a review – simplifying it for them will help. I know if it’s in my Inbox, it gets done.
Hand it to them on a silver platter. Now this can be subject to criticism if its not done right, but have it available on an iPad or other tablet in your office or waiting room. Just give them privacy to write an authentic review. It’s when you stand over them or pressure them this could go astray.
Be a good sportsman. You’re going to get a bad review nobody is perfect. But this is also your opportunity to make things right. Monitoring and responding to the negative reviews is in your favor, even if the party doesn’t take you up on any offer. The important thing is everyone else will see you responded appropriately and offered to make things right. That goes a long way with most people.
Toot your own horn. Re-purpose those good reviews everywhere you can. Got a good recommendation on LinkedIn, get permission from the person to put it on your website, put it in your eBook or even quote it in your next video. Got a glowing review on Google+, tweet it. Just make sure all attributions are accurate.
Go full circle. Most visitors reading your reviews will look for the most recent ones first. A review that is a month or 6 months old simply won’t hold as much credibility depending on your service. Keep those reviews coming week after week, month after month from new sources each time. Readers are skeptic if you try to fill the pipe, so make sure each review is from a new client each and every time.
Asking for reviews is the hardest part but make a commitment to yourself and the business that you’ve created. You’ve earned the commendations and it’s in your best interest to share them with prospects. In today’s marketing world, online reviews are word of mouth marketing and the highest form of any lead—referrals.