"Testimonial" requests

92 replies
For the new folks, a bit of information: Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.

It's also setting yourself up for legal problems. Ask your lawyer about that one.

Offering discounts on services to establish yourself is direct advertising, and is not allowed in this section.

Also, asking in public about a thread being deleted is a Bad Idea. We don't generally get into those conversations, since they almost always devolve into debates and stone throwing.

Re-posting deleted material without knowing why it was deleted and fixing it is always a No-No.


Paul
#requests #testimonial
  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Good rules Paul. Asking for a testimonial is not allowed and with the new rules from the FTC, it is a no-no.

    Tal
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
      Seems I am behind on this. What did the FTC say that makes asking for a testimonial wrong?
      Thanks.


      Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

      Asking for a testimonial ... with the new rules from the FTC, it is a no-no.

      Tal
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  • Profile picture of the author Forest_Parks
    Thanks Paul, Good to know this stuff.... And all seems fair to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Tal,

      "Paying" for a testimonial has been a big no-no for a long time. Reviews have to be marked differently than testimonials, which are assumed to come from paying customers.

      That's a whole other issue, but it's an important one.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Nick,

        Go into the review section and ask some of the tougher reviewers if they'd be willing to work the product over. Or drive traffic to a test page and get them that way. Or ask friends who can be trusted to tell you the hard truth.

        If it's software, finding beta-testers is usually fairly easy. People like to be part of the creation of a thing.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author nick1123
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Nick,

          Go into the review section and ask some of the tougher reviewers if they'd be willing to work the product over.
          Thanks Paul!
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Andy,

          For established members, a request for beta-testers (for software) well before the product is ready for sale might be treated differently. Depends on how it's worded. And no, I'm not going to provide the wording so the new folks can use it to try and get around the spirit of the rules.


          Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Nick,

          Go into the review section and ask some of the tougher reviewers if they'd be willing to work the product over. Or drive traffic to a test page and get them that way. Or ask friends who can be trusted to tell you the hard truth.

          If it's software, finding beta-testers is usually fairly easy. People like to be part of the creation of a thing.


          Paul
          When I was new to this forum I networked first, then offered up my product as a WSO. I then asked people (after they bought it) what they honestly thought of it. That's how I got my first set of testimonials. It took all of a week to put together.

          RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author Marekso
    This should raise the bar for WF... those testimonials were more often pokemon talk than actual reviews, thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author nick1123
    Good points Paul. What would you recommend for someone looking for people to legitimately test their IM product? Many of us cannot ask friends or family because they take us seriously.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by nick1123 View Post

      Good points Paul. What would you recommend for someone looking for people to legitimately test their IM product? Many of us cannot ask friends or family because they take us seriously.
      People start talking pretty fast after they get your product. If its good you will get more testimonials than you ever expected and quicker. around here, people arent shy about saying "wow I loved your product...", and they are not as likely as alot of crowds to publicly diss you if they didnt like it... It's a real positive vibe oriented place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    For the new folks, a bit of information: Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.

    It's also setting yourself up for legal problems. Ask your lawyer about that one.

    Offering discounts on servies to establish yourself is direct advertising, and is not allowed in this section.

    Also, asking in public about a thread being deleted is a Bad Idea. We don't generally get into those conversations, since they almost always devolve into debates and stone throwing.

    Re-posting deleted material without knowing why it was deleted and fixing it is always a No-No.


    Paul
    Thanks Paul,

    I was under the impression seeking testimonials for WSOs was against the rules but seeking reviews of non-WSO products was OK. If I thought that then I'm sure others did too so I appreciate the heads up.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts on one related topic which affects me directly. What's the policy on recruiting software beta testers? There have been a number of success stories of people recruiting beta testers in the main forum well in advance of any public (WSO or not) release. Does that fall into the same category since it also promotes the end result or is that still an acceptable practice?

    Apologies for playing "what if", which I know is one of the more annoying forum habits, but I genuinely think this one is worth addressing.

    Cheers,

    Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Pretty blunt post. I think we're entitled to more explanation rather than just a "do this/don't do this" post.

    You owe us.

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    (I kid, I KID!)

    Cheers,
    Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author DragonLee
    Thanks Paul, I almost committed that infraction in order to build up a reputation. But from another angle it is also a form of advertising. Glad I got to this before my thread became live.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Becky - I feared for your safety for a few seconds there

    Neil
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Neil,
      Becky - I feared for your safety for a few seconds there
      She'd have been safe until spring, anyway. She's in No-Sane-Man's Land at the moment...


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    I received a PM from someone with two running WSO's asking me if I would review his/her products and this guy only joined the forum in decumber last year :S
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      I received a PM from someone with two running WSO's asking me if I would review his/her products and this guy only joined the forum in december last year :S
      This one depends on a few things. Mostly, whether you know the person from previous dealings.

      For the most part, this is a faster way to get banned than posting testimonial or review requests in the main forum. Abuse of the PM system is not viewed with anything resembling tolerance.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author eibhlin
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    For the new folks, a bit of information: Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.
    ...
    Paul
    Ah, that's good info. I didn't know.

    Does the review policy include asking for (or offering) non-IM reviews that will be posted off the WF site? That is, if fiction & nonfiction authors meet on a thread about writing books, can they provide (or exchange) review copies via PM?
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Does the review policy include asking for (or offering) non-IM reviews that will be posted off the WF site? That is, if fiction & nonfiction authors meet on a thread about writing books, can they provide (or exchange) review copies via PM?
      Now THAT is a perceptive question.

      Depends on the circumstances. Reviews (rather than testimonials) and as part of a more general discussion? I doubt that would be a problem. It's not usually going to be an attempt to get around the rules.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author digigo
    paying for testimonial is low... it is like paying newspaper editorial staff to write "news" about your company... it sounds like bribe to me.. soliciting testimonial from existing customers is ok.. even that customer relationship is from free products give-away...on the other hand.. payola is still alive and well in the music business
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    • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
      Originally Posted by digigo View Post

      paying for testimonial is low... it is like paying newspaper editorial staff to write "news" about your company... it sounds like bribe to me.. soliciting testimonial from existing customers is ok.. even that customer relationship is from free products give-away...on the other hand.. payola is still alive and well in the music business

      The newspaper kind of thing does exist it is just a paid sometimes a lot of money press release the president pays a press agent etc so i am not sure that is the same paying a person to write something nice is not what I would consider a review that is a bribe or something to that effect
      -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Hi Paul,

    I did that I asked for some newbies to test the site out and give me their honest opinion if it was useful if it provided what they would need or look for etc .
    Then the thread was deleted.
    Now I understand why. I made a video on the page and said I gave the memberships away and that is where the testimonials came from except troys he offered to do one for me but should I just remove them altogether I mean I always said I would never use them until many people said I would lose out if I did not and against my better judgment I listened.

    What to do?
    -Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Agreed, if your site is worth talking about then will people will do it without needing to ask. My advice is to work on content quality and providing a site that people want rather than asking for testimonials
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeyman120
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.
    Paul
    Hello Paul,
    Is there a certain section on this forum where we can ask for testimonials without getting into trouble?

    I remember once I asked for testimonials in the main section and the thread was deleted. Then I tried the joint ventures section and I put an ad for testimonial swaps wanted. I looked for others who wanted to swap testimonials with me and that thread wasn't deleted. I guess it was ok. Are there any other sections where you can ask for a testimonial, like the war room, etc.?

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author R.Rapp
    Thank you for the information. I am new here and I often see these requests and wonder if it is allowed.

    This may be somewhat off topic but, I would like to see what other people think about the requesting "testimonial" vs "review" vs "testing" thing...

    I have what is probably considered a weird view of testimonials. Testimonial by definition:

    1. a written declaration certifying to a person's character, conduct, or qualifications, or to the value, excellence, etc., of a thing; a letter or written statement of recommendation.
    2. something given or done as an expression of esteem, admiration, or gratitude

    I tend to look down on these "immediate" testimonials that people request and receive. Many (if not all) internet marketing products will require you to put the advice and steps within the material into action in order to see the results it provides you. Then, if the product did as it said and was valuable to you, and you come back and let the creator know, that is a true testimonial.

    On the other hand, people request you to give them a "testimonial" after reading the product. Of course if your knowledgeable in the IM industry your experience can tell you whether the advice presented in the product is good or not, but I don't believe it should be considered an actual testimonial unless the techniques in the material have been tried and tested according to how the author outlined them.

    I believe people often get mixed up with "Review" and "testimonial" I would consider a "review" to be more like "Yes, I have read the product it offers some great tips and advice" where as a testimonial is more along the lines of "These tips worked so well for me, I made an extra $3,000 in 2 weeks!"

    I may be wrong here, but I have always tried to be careful of how I label comments according to the above categories. What are others thoughts?


    Additionally, I would like to know if there are any (and what are) appropriate steps for getting feedback on a product prior to launching it or offering it as a WSO. I for one, tend to completely overlook my typo's half the time because my brain just seems to scan right over them since I know what it should say in my head. Also getting feedback on how it is presented - is the material presented in a way that is easy to understand, etc. If you are not asking them to leave a public comment about their opinion, and just deal with you directly - is the "review" section you spoke of the most appropriate place for this?
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    While we're in the neighborhood of rules, what's up with the WSO of the day? Is this something endorsed by WF or is this an invention of members who just seem to decide that their offer is special? Thanks in advance.
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  • Profile picture of the author longdrv4u
    I would suggest anyone who has testimonials on their Sites read the new FTC view of testimonials it is only one page

    FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
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  • So we cant post a thread asking for testimonials, or use PM's to get testimonials? Since you have told us what not to do, could you tell us what to do to be in compliance with these rules?

    How do we get testimonials? Do we just run the WSO and wait for people to purchase? On my previous WSO's I did create a thread looking for testimonials, but I created the thread and asked BEFORE I made the WSO post. So, the testimonial thread was gone from the first page before I ever posted the WSO.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDawson
    Banned
    I don't really agree. Besides the things that can go wrong with giving out review copies, it can also increase sales if your product is really good by going viral.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Okay, keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer, but have been a professional copywriter in a previous "life"...

      Testimonials are from actual paid users of the product. NOT people you gave review copies to. The recent changes in the FTC's approach to them do not change the basic definition.

      You are NOT allowed to give out review copies in exchange for testimonials. Not anywhere on this board. If you saw it and it wasn't deleted, it's only because we missed it. We try, but we do not guarantee that we'll be perfect.

      If you want testimonials, sell the product and get them from your paying customers.

      If you want reviews, ask in the review section. And do NOT label any such comments as testimonials in your sales copy. Label them as comments from advance reviewers or the like.

      Yes, this stuff really is important, and yes, you can get in trouble screwing around with it.
      If I asked for a 'critique' of my own product would that be against the rules Paul?
      Generally speaking, that will be treated as a review request.
      Since you have told us what not to do, could you tell us what to do to be in compliance with these rules?
      See above. I'm not going to supply any specifics, as they'll just be used to try and get around the rules. No, Charles, not by you, but you're not the only one reading this.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Brenden Clerget
    Just create a good product and you shouldn't have to ask for reviews to begin with. Product quality itself will generate tons of reviews and testimonials for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaveHughes
    Paul,

    I assume this would also apply to offering a reduced price or free bonus in exchange for a testimonial, as I see done in the Classifieds and Warriors for Hire forums?
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Dave,
      I assume this would also apply to offering a reduced price or free bonus in exchange for a testimonial, as I see done in the Classifieds and Warriors for Hire forums?
      Depends on how it's done. A reduced price deal is irrelevant if the testimonial relates to specific results obtained from the same product, but those have other concerns. The recent FTC interpretations apply here.

      A bonus for a testimonial renders it NOT a testimonial you should use, unless you want to risk legal issues.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Thanks for this post, Paul.

    In the last few weeks my inbox has been stuffed with requests for reviews - and always from people I don't even know. My head turns if I get a friend request from someone I don't know. A review?

    Not only do I not GIVE reviews unless it's something that I really liked - but most of
    the products I am receiving requests to review don't even come close to being relevant to me in any way shape or form. Adsense? Where on ANYTHING I own does anyone even SEE any adsense? Why would people assume that others have time to endlessly review products that they would never find interest in or use for? It just seems rude to me. And then I have to wonder when people say "I saw some of your posts" where from anything I ever posted did they get the idea that I would do a review for a free copy of anything? I've actually gone back to look where I ever gave such an idea and I just don't see where I ever did. Yet I've had over 10 requests this week alone and have had to spend time explaining why I don't give reviews. The last couple I returned probably got raised eyebrows from the sender as my patience was about up and I found myself getting equally rude.

    Now that the word has been formally posted - anyone who wants a review and sends it to my pm - you'll get a review.........from Paul.....a review of the pm you sent me making the request.

    Whew. I'm glad this is over and done - I've been trying to concentrate on my OWN business. Now I'm free to do so.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      While we're at it, here's another one that will get you banned: Claiming in your profile that you live in the US, and posting from, say, Nigeria.

      Not much screams "SCAM!" more loudly...


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author ormes21
        Hi paul,

        Thank you for the advice, if I had not come across this thread I might have found myself banned in a few weeks time. So I would like to take the time to ask you a question if I may .

        I was actually thinking of posting a thread earlier today, asking the ethical way to leverage giving away a service for free and using the comments to help sell a WSO for that service further in the future.

        I am still quite new to the forum and yet to launch a product of any sort. I recently had an idea of a service for IM. However I never wanted to dive right in and start a service so I thought about giving away my content/service for free in the private forum to first see the response. Then depending on the response, if it was good I wanted to launch a WSO for the service a while after.
        After thinking about this the past couple of days I have a question I wanted to ask the forum and this thread seems to be the place.

        1. Could I use comments I received from the private forum in the sales pitch of the WSO? - The subject of the WSO would be the same subject of the free content which means comment of my work would be relative. However it seems like I would be using people in the private forum, since it is mainly used for giving back to the forum. So doing that does seem wrong but i'm sure I have seen people do something similar :confused:

        From reading the guidelines I have a feeling the best way to go would be to test what people think of the service and give away great content. Then start fresh with the WSO and let the comments build from the paid service.

        Thanks for the great post and would like to go off top and say that your newsletter is great. "100% of the shots you don't take don't go in"

        Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Paul, your post wasn't just for new folks. I didn't know asking for reviews was looked on with suspicion. I could have easily ran afoul of that without meaning to, so thanks for the heads up. Not that I would have done it for my websites, but for a WSO.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Dennis,

      Asking for reviews of a WSO from within a WSO thread is perfectly legit. The thing that's really frowned on is using the forum outside the paid sections for what looks like advertising, including what could be seen as pre-launch buzz creation.

      You can include a review copy offer in your sig file, or ask in the reviews section, or post a WSO. I would set conditions, though, to keep the copies from being grabbed by people who are on a permanent hunt for "FREE!" Make sure you're giving them to people who are serious enough to do a proper critique.

      Andy,

      If you mean giving out copies to War Room members, and then asking for comments afterward, I don't see that as inherently a problem, but it depends on how you go about it.

      If you mean a private forum of your own, that's an easy thing to do right. Give those people something that doesn't come with the final product, and let them know up front what you're doing.

      Also, always make sure you have permission before using anyone's comments.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Paul, may I humbly ask why this thread isn't a STICKY?
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        • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
          An idea that may or may not be worth trying but perhaps someone could use all these stickies (as well as maybe others like this one that are valuable but not stickied) and create a Warrior Forum-specific FAQ?

          Then there would be one link that can easily be given to newbies whenever questions come up. This could also include possible reasons for deleted threads, bans, etc.

          It would be a lot easier to have all the info in one section because we all know that 99% of the people aren't reading all the stickies anyway.

          Just a thought,
          Tina
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        • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
          Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

          Paul, may I humbly ask why this thread isn't a STICKY?
          No need for a sticky.

          I've summed up all the rules in this thread and
          put them in an ebook

          Can anyone give me a testimonial ?

          I'll pay you.

          Harvey


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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Originally Posted by Harvey.Segal View Post

            Can anyone give me a testimonial?
            "Mr Segal has created an ebook that is filled with outstanding white space, and many instances of well-mixed vowels and consonants. This boldness is wisely tempered with a standard margin width, which reassures the reader and lends credibility to his otherwise startling use of commas, parentheses and, dare I say it, the odd semi-colon. All in all, an absolute must-own for collectors of alphabetics."
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            • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              "Mr Segal has created an ebook that is filled with outstanding white space, and many instances of well-mixed vowels and consonants. This boldness is wisely tempered with a standard margin width, which reassures the reader and lends credibility to his otherwise startling use of commas, parentheses and, dare I say it, the odd semi-colon. All in all, an absolute must-own for collectors of alphabetics."
              I really enjoy a morning bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal and the occasional bowl of alphabet soup. What can I get out of Harvey's book that I can't get from gazing into my bowls?

              Respectfully,
              Becky
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Becky,
                I really enjoy a morning bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal and the occasional bowl of alphabet soup. What can I get out of Harvey's book that I can't get from gazing into my bowls?
                The cereal certainly has sufficient white space, but the margins are, to put it mildly, chaotic and ill-considered. The near total lack of punctuation makes for a confusing and artistically unsatisfying presentation.

                Mr Segal's typing has neither the intellectual nor the nutritional substance of a bowl of Alpha-Bits, but as a collectible, there is no comparison.

                While the mixture of colors and textures in alphabet soup creates a more pleasing aesthetic experience, the issue of shelf-life narrowly, but solidly, settles the question in favor of Harvey's work.
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                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                  Dennis,

                  For that sort of thing, you want to check out the copywriting section and see how they handle such requests. Be aware that some of the better players in that section will expect to be paid for their efforts, and that you'll get some bad advice along with the good.

                  Also, put on your Kevlar Underoos before entering. Copywriters are a notoriously cranky and eccentric bunch.


                  Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
                Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

                I really enjoy a morning bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal
                I suppose if you didn't enjoy it you'd be a cereal refunder


                Harvey




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                • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
                  Paul -- thanks, that really clears things up. What a stunning endorsement from such a well-respected member of the forum. Everybody better snag their copy of Harvey's book ASAP.

                  Harvey,

                  Originally Posted by Harvey.Segal View Post

                  I suppose if you didn't enjoy it you'd be a cereal refunder
                  If we're lucky. I could turn out to be a cereal killer.

                  Cheers,
                  Becky
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                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                    Becky,
                    Paul -- thanks, that really clears things up. What a stunning endorsement from such a well-respected member of the forum. Everybody better snag their copy of Harvey's book ASAP.
                    Tankeweverrymutch! And it's just about as sensible as most of the "testimonials" you'll see in a lot of sales copy.
                    If we're lucky. I could turn out to be a cereal killer.The end of Life as we know it...


                    Paul
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                    • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
                      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

                      If we're lucky. I could turn out to be a cereal killer.
                      Well if you did and were caught and sentenced
                      I'd campaign for your release and when asked

                      ==> "Y save R Hagel ?"

                      I would answer

                      ==> because it's an anagram of my name.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                        Originally Posted by Harvey.Segal View Post

                        Well if you did and were caught and sentenced
                        I'd campaign for your release and when asked

                        ==> "Y save R Hagel ?"

                        I would answer

                        ==> because it's an anagram of my name.
                        Er...Harvey, I think you have way too much time on your hands today!
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            • Profile picture of the author Bryan Kumar
              Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

              Ethical bump -- I'm seeing folks giving away free copies of their products in exchange for reviews here on the main forum.
              Please report such threads if you see 'em, folks. (Not threads like Becky's but those that are asking for reviews.)

              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              "Mr Segal has created an ebook that is filled with outstanding white space, and many instances of well-mixed vowels and consonants. This boldness is wisely tempered with a standard margin width, which reassures the reader and lends credibility to his otherwise startling use of commas, parentheses and, dare I say it, the odd semi-colon. All in all, an absolute must-own for collectors of alphabetics."
              After reading the testimonial, I'm sure I don't need this ebook. Yet, for some reason, I feel like I must own it!

              Bryan
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              • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
                The end of Life as we know it...
                Honey Bunches, what can I say? I have no defense. I do it just for Kix.

                Cheers,
                Becky
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                • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
                  Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

                  Honey Bunches, what can I say? I have no defense. I do it just for Kix.

                  Cheers,
                  Becky
                  Becky, are you guys just milking these cereal puns, or this a new way of thinking outside the box... :rolleyes:

                  KJ
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Bob,
                a tongue lashing of epic proportions
                One might suggest "epic duration" as a more suitable and consistently accurate description.

                For the folks who weren't around back then, this might be a useful story.

                Bob Puddy was one of the many people who didn't quite agree with the moderation style, back in the day. He was not at all shy about expressing his dissatisfaction. (Is that a nice way to say that, Bob?)

                He didn't let that (or his ego, which rivals my own) stop him from considering specific feedback, or making adjustments based on it. To me, that's the difference between an adult learner and a schlepp who's just playing at the game.

                He has one other quality that might be useful for some folks here to cultivate: He understands that, when a thing is over, it's over. He could be having a running gun battle with you in one thread and, ten minutes later, be joking with you in another.

                That's how he went from being one of the biggest pains in my posterior (oof... nasty acronym there) to being a moderator here for several years.

                Handy lessons abound, if you look for them.


                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                  Bryan,
                  Yet, for some reason, I feel like I must own it!
                  Take careful note that I never said anything about actually reading it...

                  Becky,
                  Honey Bunches
                  Oooo... That'll put a snap, crackle and pop in your step!


                  Paul
                  Signature
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                  Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
    This would be a great sticky post or addition to the rules.
    Signature
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    Tom Peters

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    • Profile picture of the author Vince Courtney
      WOW .... I just ran afoul of this yesterday without knowing the rules.

      I created a resource training site for newbies and, in a post yesterday, offered free memberships in exchange for testimonials.

      I must appologize for that and need to ask for help then.

      I really want to invite people who can use the site to join free so that I can help them and give the site a real workout at the same time.

      Where (if any) on the forum can I do that and how would I approach it to stay within guidelines.

      Can I post it in the free ebook forum?

      Is it OK to just post an offer for the free memberships without asking for the testimonial?

      Please help and thanks in advance.

      Vince
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
    So let me make sure I understand this correctly.

    This only applies to forums outside of the WSO board, right?

    Let's just say theoretically, I created a WSO that was something along the lines of 'Need reviewers for new SEO product', would that be considered against the rules?

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Vince,
      I really want to invite people who can use the site to join free so that I can help them and give the site a real workout at the same time.

      Where (if any) on the forum can I do that and how would I approach it to stay within guidelines.
      I answered that previously in this thread. Basically, your signature file, the review section, and a paid WSO or classified ad.

      Daniel,
      Let's just say theoretically, I created a WSO that was something along the lines of 'Need reviewers for new SEO product', would that be considered against the rules?
      Nope. That's fine. It might also be appropriate for the SEO section. That one is up to whoever moderates that section specifically.

      WSOs get more leeway, for obvious reasons. You pay for advertising, you get it, as long as it's within the rules of that section. You still can't offer something for free or at a discount in exchange for a testimonial, ask for reviews of products that violate the terms of another site, etc.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
        Paul,

        Thanks for clearing that up for me

        There definitely needs to be a sticky of this thread because I noticed that A LOT of people make this mistake...and it continues to happen. Especially with those review my product requests on the main board.
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        • Profile picture of the author Vince Courtney
          Thanks Paul for your answer - much appreciated.

          Vince
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        • Profile picture of the author garyfromdurham
          Paul

          I wish that this was a sticky!

          Thank you very much for posting this.

          I just unintentially created a social faux pas by asking for reviews and I was mortified when I realised how bad this was (apologies to all that I contacted. I really am very embarrassed).

          Some people were so kind when they politely explained their position but others who I really respected reacted to me as if I commited the worst crime in history.

          I have learnt a very important lesson but would ask that if anybody else genuinely makes this mistake try and be a bit kinder in explaining the position.

          I felt about 2" high and really humiliated by the time somebody had dealt with me. I admit I made a mistake but it didn't warrant the kind of response I got.

          Hope others learn from my mistake.

          Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Ethical bump -- I'm seeing folks giving away free copies of their products in exchange for reviews here on the main forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Paul - as long as you're still checking in on this thread I have another question for you on a slightly different topic. What about these threads that ask for feedback about the sales copy or design of a web page or website? I've seen plenty of threads like this, but couldn't they also be considered as a way to get around the no advertising rule?

    The reason I ask is because I was thinking of asking for a critique of some sales copy I wrote. The product isn't finished yet so there's nothing to buy, there isn't even a sign up for a mailing list, and there are no other pages on the site yet. It will be the most expensive product I've ever tried selling, so I thought I'd do things a little differently and see what people thought of the sales copy before I go live with it in a few months. Just thought I'd ask before trying it, in case it's frowned on.

    By the way, your review of Harvey's ebook was very helpful. I wasn't going to buy it, but with the odd semi-colon included I can't pass it up now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    For the new folks, a bit of information: Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.

    It's also setting yourself up for legal problems. Ask your lawyer about that one.

    Offering discounts on services to establish yourself is direct advertising, and is not allowed in this section.

    Also, asking in public about a thread being deleted is a Bad Idea. We don't generally get into those conversations, since they almost always devolve into debates and stone throwing.

    Re-posting deleted material without knowing why it was deleted and fixing it is always a No-No.


    Paul
    Back in the good old days when everyone had to pay to be a member of the warrior forum, i made this very basic (and very lucky for me) mistake

    The then one and only moderator (who has a tongue sharper than a katana blade) who was soley responsible for posts even being seen, (every post had to be moderated before it saw the light of day) took it upon himself to tear me a new one by actually doing a review of my site... he tore it to pieces (rightly so)

    From that experience though we connected and i can attribute several places in my online career where that connection helped me up a notch.

    No longer the moderator he still keeps those in need of it, in check with either well thought out posts, or as the situation demands it a tongue lashing of epic proportions

    Way to go Paul...

    PS: I dont recommend making that same mistake now though... with the way the forum is now it will just get you in the mire (myer). Paul was an exceptional moderator with the patience of a saint... Unless you did something stupid of course

    How are you old man?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    All these cereal puns . . . what a bunch of Froot Loops you people are. Good thing I'm protected by my Lucky Charms or I might get caught up in it too.

    Well, back to my farming chores. I'm Raisin Bran.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Thomas,I'll be sure to give myself a stern reprimand.


    Paul
    I'd pay to see that!

    RoD
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    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Rod,
      I'd pay to see that!
      You'll have to wait for the WSO.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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      • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Rod,You'll have to wait for the WSO.
        And now I've just reported you for pre-selling your WSO here in the main forum.

        Cheers,
        Becky
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      • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Rod,You'll have to wait for the WSO.


        Paul
        Want a testimonial?

        RoD
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        "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
        - Jim Rohn
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Having been an insurance restoration contractor for many years I have been asked by many home owners for a referral list.

    To which my prompt and direct reply was...

    I don't have a referral list and I won't provide you any if you ask.

    Usually I received the half cocked head to the side look immediately after saying that.

    (I know this seems off topic but I'll bring it around just give me a moment!)

    So once they looked at my like I was crazy I would tell them, listen why on earth would you ask any contractor for a referral list? You realize that all the contractor is going to do is hand pick is most outstanding jobs and give them to you, right?

    How is that a true measure of his character? Its not, whats a true measure of his character is how did he handle the job that had problems? How did he handle the job where the roof leaked and the ceiling caved in?

    Did he come right out and take care of it? Isn't that the kind of contractor you really want to hire in the end?

    From the same perspective in this medium to me its the same principle. A little different but basically the same.

    My policy is to never solicited testimonies or referrals. I feel its classless and if you have to ask for them, then you should examine how your doing business in the first place!

    Your product
    Your service
    Should speak for themselves and motivate your clients to offer testimonies without being bribed or paid in any way.

    Just my two cents worth
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Having been an insurance restoration contractor for many years I have been asked by many home owners for a referral list.

      To which my prompt and direct reply was...

      I don't have a referral list and I won't provide you any if you ask.

      Usually I received the half cocked head to the side look immediately after saying that.

      (I know this seems off topic but I'll bring it around just give me a moment!)

      So once they looked at my like I was crazy I would tell them, listen why on earth would you ask any contractor for a referral list? You realize that all the contractor is going to do is hand pick is most outstanding jobs and give them to you, right?

      How is that a true measure of his character? Its not, whats a true measure of his character is how did he handle the job that had problems? How did he handle the job where the roof leaked and the ceiling caved in?

      Did he come right out and take care of it? Isn't that the kind of contractor you really want to hire in the end?

      From the same perspective in this medium to me its the same principle. A little different but basically the same.

      My policy is to never solicited testimonies or referrals. I feel its classless and if you have to ask for them, then you should examine how your doing business in the first place!

      Your product
      Your service
      Should speak for themselves and motivate your clients to offer testimonies without being bribed or paid in any way.

      Just my two cents worth
      I agree to a point, but some people just need a nudge because they honestly don't think about giving a testimonial if you don't give them the hint.

      Sylvia
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

        I agree to a point, but some people just need a nudge because they honestly don't think about giving a testimonial if you don't give them the hint.

        Sylvia
        My policy is to never solicited testimonies or referrals. I feel its classless and if you have to ask for them, then you should examine how your doing business in the first place!
        I believe one possible point is if the person needs a nudge then perhaps your product is lacking something.

        If I give something away and have not inspired the person who received it enough to give me some feedback (of their own free will) then perhaps I need to try a bit harder. Or I could just be approaching the wrong crowd in general.
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

          I believe one possible point is if the person needs a nudge then perhaps your product is lacking something.

          If I give something away and have not inspired the person who received it enough to give me some feedback (of their own free will) then perhaps I need to try a bit harder. Or I could just be approaching the wrong crowd in general.
          Well, there really are people who "just don't think about it." They are too busy taking and care little about giving back. Some of them have even said that they don't think it's necessary to give a testimonial. That's just how they think. In those cases, it has very little if anything to do with the quality of the service/product provided. Now, I'm talking about paid services, not handouts and giveaways.

          Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author Kory Pearman
    Wait...

    Why can't you ask for a testimonial?

    Not just here at WF, but you said "legal problems"... How is it legal?

    I don't get what's bad about having someone review your product and getting opinion on it..

    Am I missing something?

    No I didn't read the thread, just the OP.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by korypearman View Post

      Why can't you ask for a testimonial?

      Not just here at WF, but you said "legal problems"... How is it legal?

      I don't get what's bad about having someone review your product and getting opinion on it..

      Am I missing something?
      There are very different legal requirements between solicited and unsolicited testimonials, and even more between compensated and uncompensated.

      If you buy my product and then tell me what you think all on your own, that's fine.

      But if I asked you what you think, I have to disclose that you didn't volunteer it.

      Similarly, if I give you a copy of my product to review without charging you for it, I've basically just paid you the price of the product. That also needs to be disclosed.

      And in any case, posting requests for such things in the main forum is also saying "I have this thing you can buy."
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  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    I agree. For those who did get their threads/posts deleted, mentioning it just brings attention to the rest of us who are bound to be suspicious as to why they were deleted. Otherwise, we would have no knowledge about the incident.

    A perfect case where lack of knowledge/awareness can be a very good thing.

    Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Sylvia,

    I see your point but I would still rather do such an outstanding job and or respond promptly and professionally to a bad situation that it makes my client HAVE to want to leave a testimony.

    Its a goal we should aspire to in our level of conducting business. I am far from it but I am getting there!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    Hi Paul,
    I believe this is the second time I've read one of your posts and it reminded me of a
    project I was going work on a few years back.

    I purchased the domain WarriorsHandBook.com and had planned on compiling threads like this one
    so that Warriors could locate important info such as this all in one place.

    What would be a good use for the domain in your opinion?
    If you look at the site you'll see by the book image the direction I was going with it back then.

    Of course the eBook would be free for warriors.

    Oh, Thanks for the thread, It was much needed.

    Have a Great Day!
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamian
    I like the new rules, It will be helpful not only to the newbie, but for the longtime members of WF.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    For the new folks, a bit of information: Posting requests for testimonials is not allowed. Asking for reviews is looked on suspiciously, as it's often used as a way to get around the "no advertising in this section" rule.

    It's also setting yourself up for legal problems. Ask your lawyer about that one.

    Offering discounts on services to establish yourself is direct advertising, and is not allowed in this section.

    Also, asking in public about a thread being deleted is a Bad Idea. We don't generally get into those conversations, since they almost always devolve into debates and stone throwing.

    Re-posting deleted material without knowing why it was deleted and fixing it is always a No-No.


    Paul
    I think for the people who have asked what's wrong with asking for testimonials in this part of the forum, the answer is simple. If it's allowed then everyone will start doing it and useful posts will be much harder to find. The main forum is where we talk about making money, not a place to advertise or solicit. Use your signature file for that. You'd be amazed at how many folks will read your sig file if you provide useful information or insight (me, I'm just trying to get y'all to donate more blood!).

    There's classified ad space you can buy or you can set up a Warrior Special Offer (WSO) and obtain genuine testimonials that way. Getting testimonials is actually very easy if you do two things:

    1. Provide value.

    2. Ask for them in your autoresponder follow up series.

    Regarding deleted threads or posts. I've been a member of this forum for 6 years and I'd like to think I've contributed here. Even so, I've had some of my posts and threads deleted over the years. I learned very quickly not ask why in the public forum. Actually, I've learned not ask privately either. Usually if I take the time to think about what I wrote I can usually figure it out. When I first joined this forum I would re-read the rules to help gain clarity. The mods have their hands full, no sense in boggin them down with something you can figure out on your own.

    My posts were deleted because they were either too promotional in nature or they didn't provide any value (in some cases I made a post in poor taste - remember, do not post while drinking powerful martinis).

    Now mods, please don't delete this post.

    RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author Shawn Gourley
    So what if I really want a review? I have 2 products one has been out for 6 months and I am getting ready to release the next. I am pretty new to IM and I would like people to review them so I can make them better. That is what I did with my first product and I believe that is the reason I have a zero refund rate. So where do I go for reviews?
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Shawn,

      Read post #9 in this thread and it answers your question.

      Tina
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Getting more of these lately, so it seems like time to bump it again.
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  • Profile picture of the author designerjack
    These are a good set of rules and guidelines to follow.

    Just follow what Paul has stated and you won't have any issues here...
    I would like to add that not only it's a rule that is not allowed here.

    I don't think anyone who has something to offer such as product or services,
    would need to beg or bribe for testimonials because if they do a good enough job
    with the value of the product or service, people are prone to making a review or testimonial.

    Thanks Paul.
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