No Testimonials? No Problem! 12 Genius Methods to Amp-up Your Credibility without Testimonials

We all know how persuasive Sandy looks on your sales page; gushing over your product or service.

We all know that Sandy sells because Sandy is real and people love seeing her tell them (promise them) how their lives will change if only they did what she did (buy your latest offering, coaching or an enormous gold-plated elephant that sings positive affirmations when you pull at its trunk)


What if you don’t have a Sandy of your own or your Sandy does not want to give you a testimonial or she gives you a lukewarm, almost half-hearted testimonial that seems like it is written or shot at gunpoint.

What then? How do you get people to see you as a legit business? How do you get them to witness your awesome gold-plated elephant and its magical powers?

Here is what you can do to amp up your persuasion power, and inspire confidence even when you do not have a Sandy of your own.

Leverage the Crowd Craze Affect or what people like to call social proof.

Because at the heart of it, the testimonial itself or Sandy (with her shiny blonde hair and dazzling smile) aren’t the things getting people to think you are cool….it’s the social proof…it’s reactions like these….

Others have used it so it has to be good

Others are happy so it has to be good

So many people bought it so it has to be good

Look she is just like me and she’s happy with it…it has to be good


But keep in mind that the decision to buy has happened much before the potential buyer looks to Sandy for validation…. In short…

You can’t sell them through the testimonials, you can only make them feel at peace with their decision.

And here are 12 ways to do that, when you don’t have testimonials..

Indirect Authority:

You can give logos of businesses using your products or services. You can list the states or countries in which you do business, the industries you serve, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies you work with, the different type of people who work with you etc.

The Facebook Grab Method: 

Has someone ever said anything nice about you or your wisdom on Facebook or Twitter? Grab a screenshot of the post and use it on your sales page (with or without the name blanked out depending on the permission from the poster)

Visual Credibility:

Show pictures of people using your product or service. Sometimes people are too busy for testimonials but no one is too busy to snap a selfie next to your book, e-course or painting. And it makes you stand out among all the other text-heavy testimonials.

Case studies:

Case studies of actual people described in detail with or without the identity disclosed can be much more effective than random claims. I have used mini persuasion makeovers and mini cases of client work on social media and in email marketing to show-case my expertise and establish authority.  Show how someone solved a problem with your solution or derived a big benefit using your program. Before/afters are particularly effective when using this method.

Credibility By Volume:

I have had sales pages with nothing but the below graphic. It showcases expertise and establishes authority by the sheer volume of sales (1,000+ people can’t possibly be wrong!)

1000 images

The Speed of Sales Method:

This method combines popularity with urgency. If you sold 200 programs in 3 days, say it and give proof if possible. It’s the whole idea of “selling out fast” that makes people see you as popular and massively desirable (not THAT way gutterbrain!)

Authority By Association:

In social psychology there is a concept called the “halo” affect which means that when people see popular people use, do or say something, they perceive it as good. Maybe spend some of the marketing budget on getting celebrity endorsements (you don’t need to get Beyonce to tout your gold-plated elephant…any known person in your industry would work great)

Media Mentions:

Got some more marketing budget? Send out a few press releases or have a PR person pitch your story to a few magazines. Broke like a china vase caught in toddler tantrum? Do guest posts and use that to get featured into big publications. Here’s a handy little script to help you get to that!

Personal Referrals:

Can you ask your ex-boss or a past client etc. to give you a personal referral? It doesn’t have to be related to your field but should talk about you as a knowledgeable, dependable and likeable person.

Borrowed Authority:

Consider a joint venture with someone who is in a related field and has a strong following similar to your target market. Why would that person listen to you? Because you will use a tested script and a proven process to approach them. You can find that in The PH Lab.

Test Run Quotes:

Consider doing a test run of your offering or give out free review copies (works best for books and lower ticket items) or maybe even a limited time entry into the program in exchange for some nice quotes. Now I don’t recommend making this a habit and it’s not the same thing as beta-testing (the purpose of beta testing is to refine & optimize your offering based on the feedback from beta testers) The idea here is allow a test-run with the SOLE purpose of getting some nice words about your work.

 Authority By Association:

When nothing else works (which could also mean that you are either a loner or a lazy-ass but I digress..) try finding famous quotes from famous people that either support your approach, your unique style of work or the outcome you are promising. Use these quotes with the reference to the person who said that and even though it won’t establish you as the authority, the subconscious brain of the person reading this will consider your authoritative by association. Just for kicks, I used this quote in my non-icky persuasion toolkit when I didn’t have ANY and I mean not even a sliver of authority in the area.

“Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces”

Henry David Thoreau


  1. Maria Bayer on June 5, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Love this, Bushra! You’re spot on, and thank you for sharing! Another trick that I saw a lot when I was selling in the corporate world (especially from newer companies) is that they would quote people/studies that support the benefits of their ‘type’ of service. So for a small business owner, if they were a massage therapist for example, they could find a quote that supports the benefits of massage, or even quote people who have had massages (not from them). It helps to boost the credibility of the type of service they’re offering. And it works like a charm.

  2. Carla Holden on August 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Very nicely put, Bushra! Testimonials are indeed very powerful tools and it is nice to learn more about how to inspire confidence and persuasion other than from a testimonial.

  3. Carmen on April 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks for the article! This part made me laugh out loud: “What if you don’t have a Sandy of your own or your Sandy does not want to give you a testimonial or she gives you a lukewarm, almost half-hearted testimonial that seems like it is written or shot at gunpoint.”

    Seriously, people mean well, and they say they want to help, but who hasn’t experienced a lackluster response? The only thing to do is laugh about it and create something good out of it.

  4. […] Take action: Pull out one or two really powerful and relevant testimonials from happy clients or customers and include them in your press kit. No testimonials yet? Here are some handy ways to still leverage your expertise. […]

  5. Keri Vandongen on November 25, 2016 at 4:01 am

    OMG -Your website copy and blogs are OUTSTANDING, Bushra!
    I’ll be following your stalker footsteps.

    Seriously, THANK YOU! –for everything you’ve shared here. (No idea how much you’ve helped.)

    One more testimonial tip to try: Email a choice of 3 and ask which one they’re comfortable putting their name under.
    Off to breathe life into my guest blog pitches… (Of course I’m stealing your swipe script!:)

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