How to Use Reviews and Testimonials

typing-smallRecently I’ve been very fortunate to receive some glowing reviews and testimonials about me as a massage therapist and author. (See past column) Besides making me smile big, feel like I’m in the right field and believe what I do actually makes a difference in other people’s lives, getting reviews also helps other people make the decision to purchase my books, get on my massage table, or schedule a coaching session. As I mentioned in a recent column, reviews also give past clients confidence that they too have made the right choice in choosing to work with me or my business.

But will they ever see the reviews?

In my world, YES! When I see a positive review, I look for ways to spread the news and impact. Here are a few ways you can use/re-use the reviews you get.

  1. Post on Facebook and other social media sites. Be sure to include a picture of your facility, yourself or that illustrates what a special experience you provide
  2. Add to your website. This can be on a special “testimonials” page or intermixed around your services, bio or other information.
  3. Include in a newsletter or blog. Include links to review sites where you’d like the reader to post their own reviews.
  4. Post in your business. Reviews can make for an interesting read in a guest book or “brag board” in your waiting area.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback about what you do. Even a negative review here and there can give you helpful feedback and insights into how to make your business better.
3D-(LR)Some recent reviews about my book Free & Easy Ways to Promote Your Massage, Spa & Wellness Business on Amazon

“This book offers simple but great advice. Gave me some great resources for social media and marketing. Can’t wait to start implementing them.”

“I have been called to venture out on my own and I needed some tips on marketing, getting and maintaining clients, and referrals. Felicia covers all that information in this book as well as offering additional useful information like networking, growing your business, and helping you get a visual on goal setting and achieving! Within the first few days of reading this book, I begin to apply the information I read and ta-dah! A client purchased a package from me and now she comes in on a weekly basis. I applied her referral program and ta-dah! I now have consistent clientele! I am so excited and encourage anyone who is looking to expand themselves to check out Felicia’s book!!”

“This is a must have and you must follow her suggestions! I have been in the wellness business for over 14 years, full-time and successful. Her suggestions are spot on and clearly outlined for implementation. As a result of reading her book, I had new to do’s for my business…about 8 to get started with today!”

Read them all or leave your own. You can also get a FREE copy of the book’s Online Resources by clicking here.

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I Just Got a 5 Star Review – Why You Need to Share the Good News

yelpI just got a 5 Star Review on Yelp:-)

It’s from a brand new massage client that I met at my last triathlon. You can read about that here and I’ll share more in a future article on how I used that event to market my wellness center/spa.

For now, here’s the review:

“Felicia helped me recover from driving aches and pains. one hour made all the difference in my life. She gave me active stretches to do for homework. I feel 100% better after my massage. Thank you!”  ~ Jane

As soon as I saw it, I shared it on Facebook. Besides the fact that seeing this first thing made my day, I wanted to share this review because I have two open appointments tomorrow I’d like to fill. Reading a review like this is likely to help possible new clients to try me as well as to remind current clients why they like me. If also affirms in people’s minds that I am good at what I do and that even if today’s not the day, I am the person they’ll call when they need a massage.

Tooting your own horn is a great way to promote yourself and is one more way of “showing up” when others won’t. Don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments, big and small. Your clients and friends will be proud of you and often both you and your bank account will feel good when you do it.

How I Finished in the Top 3 in My Niche (or Age Group) at a Triathlon

RTTFH-logoA lot of success in life and business comes just by showing up. I mean certainly, there’s training, preparation, education, planning and all that. But at the end of it all, none of those will matter if you don’t take action and SHOW UP!

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I earned the distinction of placing in the Top 3 in my age group at a local triathlon! The event, Tri for Hospice, raised money for our local Hospice organization, a charity that my business supports throughout the year in different ways. When I found out about the event just a week ago, I was pretty unsure I was ready to take part.

I’ve been training for an event in June but am not in top form yet. Although I’ve been running a lot for the last few months and feel really good in that area, I just started back with my swim coach last week. We’ve modified a few things about my position in the water that have my swimming in a bit of disarray and I’m still working the kinks out. Though I have a recumbent bike at home which I used a lot, I’ve also been lazy about getting on my road bike, and the two are just not the same. I have no excuse other than it’s hard to do everything needed between running my businesses and trying to have a small social life. But after some thought – and the unexpected chance to become a sponsor of the event – I decided to dive in, literally, as of two days before the triathlon.

I have to be honest and tell you, I almost didn’t do it. In addition to my lack of adequate training, I was not feeling my best when I woke up yesterday. My last real pre-race meal the night before had included some crab dip that did not quite agree with me and left me feeling so nauseous I couldn’t have my usual pre-event breakfast. I also had the beginnings of a poison ivy rash starting on my arms and a headache…all great reasons to stay home and go back to bed. But I’d made a commitment to myself and to Hospice – and told A LOT of people I was doing it. So off I went and signed up as a last minute participant at the course.

felicia ridgewoodThe race went well all things considered. The swim was not my best: super cold water, an unfamiliar pool, and my first event in almost two years. I felt like I slid back a bit towards being a “not-drowner” rather than being the swimmer I’ve worked hard to become. But I made it out alive, got my bike shoes on and donned the rest of my cycling gear before hitting the road.

The bike was better – it is my best area usually – but as I said, I hadn’t been on my road bike at all since last summer. Still I slogged through ten miles feeling pretty comfortable and then had to face the two mile run. The course was what I feared it would be – a lot of rolling hills, most of the steepest up-hill parts coming on the way to the finish.

As I trotted along the first mile of the run, I passed a guy about my age, Murphy, who was walking down the hill. I recognized him from the bike route where I’d passed him changing a flat tire on his bike. “You know this means the way back will be almost all up-hill, right?”

He replied. “I almost feel guilty for walking the easy part.”

I told him it wasn’t about perfection, it was about finishing and that he shouldn’t worry about it.

“Three months ago I was on the cardiac ward,” Murphy responded. “I just want to finish even if I come in last.”

“Then you need to just be proud of yourself for being here and be glad you’re still breathing. Don’t even worry about finishing last. You’re ahead of all the people who didn’t show up today.” We continued on to banter a bit more before I ran ahead of Murphy, thinking how lucky we both were to be there. He finished a few minutes behind me and I cheered him on as he crossed the finish line. We both watched and cheered as they gave awards out to the top 3 overall finishers and the #1 finishers in each age group. I didn’t see my results until I got home later and saw that I had a Top 3 Finish in my age group.

But here’s the funny part…there were only three people in my age group. And I’m still happy about being in the Top 3-)

Why?

Though a lot of folks don’t realize it, many people and professionals do “well” simply because they just show up. They are one of the best in their niche or field because they are  willing to step out, take a risk, try something new or just BE THERE when others aren’t. Just showing up to attempt to conquer a difficult task or goal is much more than many people will even consider, let alone do. 

If triathlons have taught me nothing else, it is that being there and being willing to do your best, regardless of the “perceived” outcome or “place” you achieve – or the possible failure you might experience – makes you achieve success more often.

So yes, I am quite happy with my “top 3” finish. I showed up, even when I didn’t feel my best or most confident. Yes, I was afraid of failure, and of looking stupid, and had a few other things stacked against me. But I took a deep breath as I made the first step into the icy cold pool and persevered to the last step as I ran across the grassy finish line. By doing just that, both Murphy and I – along with all of the participants of the race – are all truly successful:-)

*Special thanks to Murphy for inspiring me – and to Karen for allowing A to Zen Massage to be a last-minute race sponsor.