6 Creative Ways to Get Testimonials When You're Just Starting Out

Whether you’re selling dog treats, vegan shampoo, or have a nail salon, since you’re just starting out, you’re still building a name for your business. 

Sure, you’re getting some attention on social media, some bits on your website, but what are you doing to show prospective customers that your product/service is da bomb? (I can use ‘da bomb,’ right?… Too millennial?)

Let’s be honest here, how many people do you know would take a leap of faith on a brand they know nothing about? Not many, right?

And while your product or service is ah-mazing, customers rely on the opinion of others before making a purchasing decision. So how can you give customers the trust they need to make a purchase?

Welcome to the world of customer testimonials.

If you don’t know much about customer testimonials, don’t worry. In this article, you will learn 6 creative ways to get testimonials.

What Are Customer Testimonials?

Before I jump ahead, let’s get on the same page. What exactly are customer testimonials? 

Customer testimonials are honest recommendations from previous customers. 

In other words, a satisfied customer purchases your product or service and gives a recommendation of the product/service itself and the overall purchasing experience.

You’ve probably written a customer testimonial yourself. After buying a computer online, you may have received an email asking to share a positive review of your experience with the company. Happy with your purchase and customer service, you wrote down a positive comment, and boom! That’s a customer testimonial.

Here’s an example of customer testimonials from our website:

As you can see above, each testimonial talks about their experience with Tailor Brands, both with our logo maker and overall customer service experience.

So, for example, if you’re new to Tailor Brands, these testimonials will tell you that our logo maker is easy to use and creates the perfect logo for an affordable price. It gives you the social proof you need to make a purchasing decision.

Why Your Business Needs Customer Testimonials

You know what customer testimonials are, but let’s dive in a little deeper into why you need them on your website and social media pages.

Social proof

I’m going to start with the obvious. Think about yourself when making a purchase. You don’t pull out your credit card right away and yell “take my money!” when making a purchasing decision. 

If you’re exploring a new brand, you go full detective. You look through their website, social media profiles, read reviews on their products/services, and then decide if you’re going to make a purchase. When you think about it, you take quite a few steps to develop trust in the business you’re purchasing from. 

See, you’re no different from the rest of us. We all do the same thing when making a purchase. In fact, 97% of customers look at reviews before purchasing – that’s most of us.

And as a business that’s just starting out, it’s crucial to focus on building brand credibility and trust. With customer testimonials, you show prospective customers that other people not only have tried your product/service, but they also love it.

Converts visitors to customers

You’re just starting out as a small business, so every customer that lands on your website matters. 

It’s important you grab their attention and lead them through the buyer’s journey (the purchasing process a prospective customer goes through when on your website).

By posting testimonials, you help customers decide to purchase from your business.

Creates a personal connection

As you know, it’s not easy making a sale, especially if you have an online business. There lacks that one-on-one personal element that physical businesses have. 

So, customer testimonials add a personal touch to your website. And while 96% of customers don’t trust ads, customer testimonials allow prospective customers to learn about your product/service through another customer. Testimonials give that one-on-one personal touch to your business.

Now that you know why you need customer testimonials on your website and social media pages, it’s time you learned how to get testimonials when you’re a new business.

What Makes a Good Customer Testimonial?

happy man holding up lettuce in front of a camera

Anyone can write a testimonial saying, “Great product! Would buy again!” But what does that testimonial mean? Anyone can write that. 

Sure, it acts as social proof, but prospective customers don’t learn why they should buy from your business. 

So, when collecting customer testimonials, you want to choose ones that are the following:

It's honest 

You can always turn to family and friends to help you initially (I’ll talk about this later on). While it’s completely fine, the testimonials need to be honest. 

Fabricating testimonials isn’t ethical. And, people usually tell when a testimonial is fake, making you look less trustworthy. So, be honest.

It’s an endorsement

I’m going to use the example of having your friends or family members write customer testimonials for your product/service. You can do that, but they should have used the product/service. 

A customer testimonial should come from someone who’s personally experienced your product/service and who is willing to endorse it. If not, it’s not a genuine or honest testimonial.

It mentions qualities of your product/service

The best testimonials specifically mention the qualities of your product/service. It answers “why” prospective customers should consider purchasing your product/service. For example, check out this testimonial from our website. 

This customer mentioned how easy our logo maker is to use, the quality of their logo, and how quickly they made their logo. 

What prospective customers learn about our product from this testimonial is that our logo maker is easy to usehigh-quality, and fast.

Now, because you’re just starting out, you may not get testimonials that check everything off this list. And that’s okay. You’ll get there. Right now your goal is to get social proof on your website and social media.

6 Creative Ways to Get Testimonials When You're Just Starting Out

man talking on the phone while looking at a sheet of paper

By now, you know that customer testimonials can do wonders for building your brand’s trust and credibility. But how can you get testimonials when you’re a new business?

1. Look to family and friends

I’m sure you used your family and friends as guinea pigs when testing your product/service. And that’s great! This is how a small business starts.

But now that your business is up and running, you can look to your family and friends to help get customer testimonials. However, as I said before, it’s important they’ve used the product/service and that the testimonials are genuine. 

If they haven’t used your product/service, give it to them and let them try it out. Not only will you get a testimonial out of it, but you’ll also gather some helpful information about your product (who knows, maybe there are some tweaks you’ll need to make to improve the user experience).

2. Look on social media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media. When we buy something new, we love to brag about it online. If you’ve made a couple of sales already, there’s a chance a product/service review is floating around on the internet. 

Check social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see if anyone has made a post tagging your business. If so, you already have a customer testimonial that you can use.

3. Use quotes from emails people send you

If you’ve received any emails from customers who have thanked you for your product/service, you can use them as testimonials. 

Even if the email only says, “Thank you so much! I love my new _____!” It’s a start in the right direction.

Note, if you are going to use their name, ask for permission. 

4. Check out your blog’s comment section

If you have a blog and you’ve allowed for comments, do read them. In the comment section, you can usually find some great customer testimonials. 

All you need to do is take a screenshot and you’re set.

To encourage more readers to give testimonials, you can suggest that. You can say something like: “Has our product/service helped you? Let us know in the comment section below!” 

5. Ask your audience for testimonials

If you’re going to wait for someone to give you a testimonial, you’ll wait all day. If you want a testimonial, you’ll need to chase them. 

Post on your social media and ask people to leave you a review. You can make it a contest – those who leave a review are entered into a draw to win your product. 

6. Offer free product or discount in exchange for a testimonial

I’m not gonna lie, I’ll do anything for a discount. Living is expensive!

To give customers a nudge in the right direction, offer them a discount if they leave a customer testimonial on your website or social media. 

You can even raise the bar by offering a free product to those who make a video testimonial. Social media is shifting towards videos, so this is a great way to get extra views as well.

7. Use a popup on your website 

While customers always look at your social media pages, they’ll be spending most of their time on your website. This means you should have ways for them to create a testimonial. 

For example, a popup on your website offering 10% off if they create a testimonial. This is a great start!

Over to You

Customer testimonials are literally gold. Not only do they show other customers that you have an audience, but they create brand trust and credibility. 

Even though you’re just starting your new business, it doesn’t mean you can’t get customer testimonials. Try out these creative ways to get testimonials from your customers. 


The information provided on this page is for information, educational, and/or editorial purposes only. It is not intended to indicate any affiliation between Tailor Brands and any other brand or logo identified on this page.

Natasha Ivanovic is a Vancouver-born creative writer that started her writing career as a freelancer while studying for her Master’s in Investigative Psychology. On the weekends, she writes short stories for her blog, TheLonelySerb, and cuddles with her bulldog, Bob.