This time of year, April and May, is the optimal time for you to think about really targeting your testimonial strategy to the families that may be leaving and graduating out of your program soon. Some may have been with you for four or five years, and these are the really ‘juicy’ sources of testimonials. Rather than going willy-nilly into testimonial gathering, strategically target those ‘yummy’ families that have been with you for a long time. Longevity with your program makes this client an ideal choice for you to feature in your testimonials.
Knowing whom you want to attract for testimonials, it’s important to provide them a very easy format to give either a written or video testimonial when you approach them with your request. I am a huge fan of video testimonials, and I’d love to see two or three—or even ten—of those on your website. Video testimonials will do more for your enrollment building than almost any other single strategy that I can recommend.
Written ones are great too. Just make sure that you get a photo of the family, or at least of the parents, to accompany the written testimonial. The photo gives the testimonial validity so that people will know that it is real. Include the parents’ names, the town where they live, and, if they agree, the children’s names—all at the bottom of the testimonial. This also contributes to great credibility.
What exactly are you looking for in a testimonial? To make it easy for parents to provide the most useful information, give them a format of three or four key questions on a piece of paper. Or, in the case of a video, you can put the questions on a whiteboard.
Ask things like:
- Why did you choose our program?
- What is your favorite experience that you had in our program? (Or) What do you love best about our program?
- (If they’ve been with you for the past three to four years) Tell us about your experience of being here all this time, since your child began in the infant and toddler room until now, graduation time. Give us some story about what this time means to you.
- Who would you recommend to our program? (They’ll most likely give an answer such as, “Any family who wants awesome care and great, loving teachers,” or something similar.)
These elements are what you are looking for in a testimonial. Remember to be strategic about whom you ask at this time of year. Take action now to grab those ‘yummy’ families before they leave and graduate out of your program!
Once they are gathered, put the testimonials on your website, and use them anywhere and everywhere in your marketing materials. You cannot overuse testimonials. This is probably the number one thing that you can take action on to build your program.
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