A Powerful Marketing Tool - When and What to Ask Your Clients To Get Effective Testimonials! (Updated)

We live in a world today where people read reviews of everything before they buy - and coaching is no different.

Client testimonials are a very powerful marketing tool because they're a personal recommendation from someone who has actually experienced your services. By providing testimonials you build a potential client's confidence - in you. Take a look at my personal coaching website testimonials page for some examples - then consider how reading those testimonials makes you feel. Do you think they would help you hire me as a life coach?

So, When do you ask for a Testimonial?

  1. The easiest way to ask for a testimonial is right away when a client says something glowing about you. Simply ask if it's OK to use what they said as a testimonial. NB. Make sure you get written permission - see final thoughts below.
  2. A great time to ask for a testimonial is when you do a monthly or quarterly review.
  3. Ask when a client is wrapping up with you.
  4. Finally, try asking when your client has just had a big success.

Many people are happy to write you a testimonial but just don't know where to start. So be sure to help them out with some pointers!

Here are 5 questions to help your clients get started:

Use these questions to help clients make their testimonials as effective as possible.

  1. If you were to review what you've learned so far and write your own SUCCESS STORY, what would it say? Eg. Why you came to Coaching, what you were hoping to resolve or improve and where you are now.
  2. What do you like best about coaching and what is/was your biggest learning?
  3. How do you FEEL as a result of Coaching? Eg. Once upon a time I was feeling ... , then I worked with (your name) and now I feel ...
  4. Ask your client to share specific results they have had as a result of coaching with you. How did the coaching help them/contribute to those results?
  5. Finally, what might your client say to someone considering using my services?

TIP: Ask your clients to say whatever comes into their head - heartfelt thoughts in their own words work best!

And while we're on the subject, if anyone would like to write a testimonial about our Coaching Tools, the Blog or Newsletter - we'd love to hear from you!

Final Thoughts, make sure:

  • You keep dated copies of your testimonials, signed if paper-based or clearly from their email address if it's electronic. For example I have a specific email folder - as well as filed printed printouts of all my written testimonials.
  • Be sure that you have specific written permission to use their name or first name or initials, and any other details to promote your business.
  • Ensure that whatever you do with your client's information is in accordance with whatever data protection laws exist in your country/state.

TIP: Social Media has many "built-in" options for recommendations. If you're on Linked In, there's a built-in option to email people and ask for their 'recommendation'. This is a form of testimonial - visible to anyone who views your profile on Linked In. And Facebook offers recommendations for your Facebook Page.

So, now all you need to do is start collecting those testimonials. What will you commit to doing this week? The best time to start is now!

If you liked this article on testimonials, you may also like:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>


  1. Rev. Vernon Diannah Porter

    Dear Emma-Louise,

    I can't tell you how much I enjoy getting your email updates and resources. You are tops and all of your suggestions have been tremendously helpful. I so look forward to receiving information from you with each email you send. I use your Coaching Tools suggestions all the time. Special thanks for all you do. Warm regards from Provincetown.

    Rev. Vernon Diannah Porter

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Rev. Vernon Diannah, (did I get that right?), first thank-you so much for taking the time to comment - and for your kind words. I am so glad you find our tools, suggestions and resources helpful. Keep up all YOUR good work. Warmly, Emma-Louise


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