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A note about writing, marketing communications, and psychology
      August 3, 2020 Issue #13

Upcoming Live Video:
Write the Content Your Prospect Wants

So you need to write something persuasive. An email, social media post, or website copy. Or something else.

Wanna know what to say? And stop agonizing about whether the message will be good or not?

If so, join me on a live video call next week. Let me show you the concept experienced copywriters use to create a message your ideal prospect will love.

During the 20-minute talk, I’ll introduce the framework so you can:
  • Quickly understand your prospect’s point of view
  • Avoid creating boring content that your prospect ignores
  • Give your prospect the info he / she needs at the right time

Here are the details:

Write the Content Your Prospect Wants
Day: Tues., Aug. 11
Time: 12:30pm – 1:00pm EST

To join the video call, copy & paste this link:
Shannan Seely headshot
Hello Friends,

How are you? I'm doing well. Facing a blank page is hard, but copywriters have resources to manage the beast. There's one concept I refer to every time I write. It's that useful! I'd like to share it with you during the video call next week. See the details above. Hope you check it out.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. 

Thank you for reading!

Talk to you next month,

Shannan Seely
Healthcare and B2B Copywriter & Content Marketing Strategist
Seely Marketing Communications
Google eyes on tree in forest

7 Under-the-Radar Tips on Testimonials

Use these lesser-known ways to power up your social proof! 

Testimonials are recommendations happy customers say about your company, team, product, or services.

“As alluring as ice-cold lemonade when you’re standing on Texas asphalt in August heat. Do you see how quickly I learned from this book?! Don’t leave home (and go to a client) without it.” Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting, recommending the book, The Tall Lady with the Iceberg, by Anne Miller

Activate this type of social proof  

In the social proof toolbox, testimonials are the Swiss army knife. But because they are versatile, you may be not using them as effectively as you could. For example, I feel sorry for the company that just keeps them on a testimonial page. Does anyone visit a company’s testimonial webpage? Nope. Such a waste of copy.

A prospect desires to know what others have experienced after purchasing your product or service. What was the customer service like? Were they satisfied after a year or five years later?

Reviews differ by appearing objective and unsolicited because they're posted on third-party sites. Visitors view testimonials with tinge of skepticism, but if done well, testimonials do influence prospects.  

“Let others do the talking for you… Testimonials give potential customers the gift of going second. They know others have worked with you and attained success.” Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand

Ask for testimonials at the appropriate time

Add a step in your process to ask clients for testimonials. Sure, some people will give you a testimonial spontaneously, but for most, you need to ask.
For me, I started setting the expectation with new clients. I tell them I plan to do quality work and will ask them for a testimonial at the project’s end.
“I send an email (shortly after the project is complete, when everyone is still basking in each other’s wonderfulness) saying, 'Would you mind writing a few words about our work together that I could share on my web site?'" Michael Katz, Blue Penguin

What questions to ask for a testimonial? 

I did some research to find the perfect questions you need to ask your customers when obtaining testimonials. And it turns out, no surprise answer here. “It depends.”

Would a customer who's respected in the industry offer a testimonial that supports your company's value proposition? Recommend how you’ve helped people with the #1 pain your ideal client experiences? Would happy customers share their objections others care about -- and then reveal how your product overcame these objections?

Here are some close-to-perfect questions from Sean d’Souza, author of The Brain Audi. He recommends asking: 

  1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product / service?
  2. What results did you find buying this product / service?
  3. What specific feature did you like most?
  4. What are some other benefits of this product / service?
  5. Would you recommend this product / service? If so, why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?
“The voice of the customer is more credible than the voice of the company. It’s a form of social proof.” Andy Crestodina, author of Content Chemistry

Plan how you display the testimonials

The testimonials will help move your prospect along the buyer journey when you do the following:

  • Highlight the newest product or service you offer with relevant testimonials.
  • Summarize testimonials with mini-headlines
    • Do ease scanners into the role of readers by prefacing a lengthy-ish testimonial with a 4- to 5-word summary headline of what the testimonial expresses, writes Joanna Wiebe, Copyhackers.
  • Include a picture, name, title, and company along with the testimonial. Pictures of people always draw attention.
By the way, the 7 tips were scattered in this note. (I just didn't number them.)

Hope I've shared helpful ways to use testimonials to grow your business. If you need a little inspiration to gather testimonials, please read Andy's quote:
“You have superfans. And there’s never been a better time to let others show their support for your brand. They want to help you survive and thrive.” Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media Studios


Crestodina, Andy. Content Chemistry, pgs. 72-74

Miller, Donald. Building a StoryBrand: Use the 7 Elements of Great Storytelling to Grow Your Business.

d’Souza, Sean. The Brain Audit.
Barysevich, Aleh. “The Psychology of Social Proof and Why It Makes Word-of-Mouth Marketing So Effective.” Convince & Convert,

Crestodina, Andy. “26 Ways to Get Ready for the Rebound: A Playbook for What to Do Right Now.” Orbit Media,

Katz, Michael. “Reduce the Fear of Buying.” Blue Penguin,

Mullin, Shanelle. “Social Proof: What It Is, Why It Works, and How to Use It. CXL,

Wiebe, Joanna. “The Ultimate 101 List of Copywriting Awesomeness For Startups & Small Bizzes That Want to Write Sweet Web Copy… Sans Pain.” Copyhackers,

6 steps to creating testimonials that drive sales (and don't suck). Hotjar,


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I'm a healthcare and business-to-business copywriter and content marketing writer.

I help marketing leaders by writing engaging messages people will read, understand, and respond to. So they can attract more customers without spending money on hiring additional staff.

Learn more, here.
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