How To Get Testimonials for your Sports Instructor Business

How To Get Testimonials for Your Sports Instructor Business

Following on from our recent article about the value of testimonials and reviews for sports instructors, today we’ll have a look at different ways you can ask for a testimonial. However, before we dive into it lets first have a look at the reasons that might hold you back from getting more testimonials and eventually more clients.

The common reasons are;

  • You have no time
  • It’s uncomfortable to ask
  • You don’t see the value

I’m too busy…

Do you want more clients or not? If yes, then you will make the time. Having a plan/system in place will make your life easier and it will also ensure a good response rate.

It’s uncomfortable…

At first it might be uncomfortable, especially when you starting out but as you get used to it, the feeling will disappear. Again, having a strategy/system will help to overcome this.

I don’t see the value…

If you’re not convinced, have a look at our previous article – the stats might will surprise you.

Create A Plan

How To Get Reviews and Testimonials for your Sports Instructor Business

“Have a plan and be consistent” – I’m sure 99% of you tell this to your clients. Well, the same goes for you and your testimonial strategy. Having a plan/strategy is the first step to success.

Your plan should cover the following;

  • What testimonials to ask for (a full review or one question, before-after photos)
  • How you’re going to do that (online or offline)
  • When you’re going to ask for them (after a class, after a number of weeks/months)
  • What you’re going to do with them (post them on website, add them to your Newsletter, share them on Social)

Types of Testimonials

There are different types of testimonials that you can aim to generate:

  • Ratings on review sites, such as Google+, Yelp or Offpeaks
  • Written or video testimonials that you post on your website
  • Visual proofs (e.g. before and after photos)
  • Social media reviews, especially on Facebook
  • One-to-one introductions to potential clients

How to ask for testimonials or reviews

As an independent sports’ business or instructor, your reputation is important, so asking a customer or client to provide a review or testimonial can be a scary experience. Here are some tips for how and when to ask.

Online Reviews

Do you have a Facebook ‘Local Business’ page or Google Business page, or listed on OffPeaks or Yelp? Then ask your clients if they would consider leaving a review for you on those channels. This is the most straightforward way to get a review. It will automatically be public, so you can reuse its content later. Offer to send them the direct link if they are not sure how to leave a review.

Other Testimonials and Reviews

Remember that people are time poor and so asking them to fill in lengthy surveys is not a good idea. Stick to a few of key questions, such as

  • Why do you use our service / train with us?
  • What are the main differences working with us have made for you?
  • Would you recommend us to friends, colleagues and family?
  • How could we improve what we do?

The power of reviews is that positive ones will help you market your independent sports business, fitness studio or coaching services, whilst negative ones will help you learn how to improve.

And last but not least, don’t forget to ask for permission to use the feedback of testimonial. You may want to put it on your website or flyers, so always ask for permission before you do.

  • The best time to ask for a review is immediately after you have interacted with a client. It might not be possible to do that straight after a session, but if you can follow-up as soon as they get home, that is ideal.
  • Consider setting up a feedback form that clients can fill in on their smartphone – that way they might well fill in the form or rate your service whilst they are still enjoying the glow of endorphins post-session.
  • If you deal with a large number of clients, think about using automated emails to send your clients a feedback form.

How to format your Testimonials and Reviews

How to Format Testimonials for your Sports Instructor Business

You can get reviews submitted via a form on your website or an independent review site. Or you can get creative! Here are a few examples:

  • Ask clients to give you a 30 second video review that you record on your smartphone. This is a great way to capture the moment straight after a session, a competition or a race. Don’t be too prescriptive – just ask your clients how they feel.
  • Add the text from a review as an overlay on top of an image that you then post on your social media channels. The image can be something inspiring and relevant for your business. Check out Unsplash for royalty-free images you can use without. Then use Canva to add the text and save the image.
  • If you have the right target market then you can go all out with technology and create your own animated gif by adding text from a review to a photo or film clip. Giphy is a great tool for this and really easy to use.
  • Or if you’re confident that your audience will get it (again, you know your audience better!), go all meme on them.

What to do with the Testimonials and Reviews you receive

Once you start gathering reviews or testimonials, start using them to promote and grow your sports business. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with this valuable feedback;

TIP #1 – Set up a page on your website where your most positive reviews are listed. It might be worth just using the reviewers’ first names but also include some details, for example;

  •  Jane, 39 years old and a Cross Fit beginner says “these sessions really are open to everyone and I have grown massively in confidence” or
  • ‘Bob, 26 years old: “I would never had managed to run the marathon and still been smiling at the end had it not been for the training I received here”

How to Get Testimonials for Your Sports Instructor Business - Get Creative

TIP #2 – Start to collate some of the reviews so that you can publish data on your website or in your newsletter, for example;

  • 75% of our customers tell us that they would whole-heartedly recommend our studio classes to their friends, colleagues and family.
  • 9 out of 10 of our customers say that value for money is one of the best things about our yoga classes.

TIP #3 – Include a different testimonial at the footer of every email that you send out to prospective clients. This shows that you have a range of happy clients.

TIP #4 – Add testimonials to your social media channels. Quote from reviews in Tweets or Instagram images’ comments, or ask clients to post on your Facebook page.

TIP #5 – Create flyers with the best testimonials and put them through doors locally. You can also send them out to an address list you have, or leave them in local businesses for people to pick up.

Reviews and testimonials are a powerful way for you to get more clients for your independent sports’ business.

All you need to do is give people the opportunity to review your independent sports business.

Then just use what they told you to convince others to try you out. But remember to make it easy for clients to leave their feedback and then be creative when you use that material.


About the Author Julie Freeman

Marketing @ OffPeaks. A Swiss expat to London, passionate about the mountains - hiking them, running them or biking on them. Also passionate about helping sports instructors grow their business.

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