How to Secure Raving Endorsements for Your Product or Service

Endorsements are used extensively in all forms of marketing. And for good reason. They provide third-party validation and social authority. They make it easier for potential gate-keepers and customers to say “yes.”

A Page of Endorsements from Creating Your Personal Life Plan

For example, I never order a book without reading the endorsements and some of the reviews. Gail and I never go to a movie without checking out its score on Rotten Tomatoes. We rarely try a new restaurant without a recommendation or two from someone we trust.

This has become common-place in almost every area of life. Why? Because with so many options, few of us have time to do the evaluation ourselves. Instead, we rely on the opinions of people we trust. This reduces the risk and helps us make a decision faster.

This is why if you are going to succeed as a creative, you can’t afford to ignore endorsements. You must try to get them for every product you create. While the process is sometimes difficult and time-consuming, it is absolutely crucial to getting the visibility and credibility you need.

Endorsements fall into two types:

  • Celebrity Endorsements—These don’t have to be movie or television personalities. They may simply be the well-known experts in a narrow field. For example, if I wanted to buy a new pair of running shoes, and saw an endorsement from Christopher McDougall, that would mean something to me. Why? Because he is a leading authority on barefoot running.
  • User Reviews—These are important, too. I want to know what kind of experience mere mortals have had with the product or service. The celebrity endorser may have all kinds of motives for endorsing a product or service, but individuals are more likely to be candid.

By the way, some negative reviews from ordinary users can be helpful. If all the user reviews are positive, I get suspicious. When a few are negative, I assume they are all honest and put greater stock in the positive ones.

So how do you get endorsements? Here are the fives steps I recommend:

  1. Create a great product. This is essential. People who matter are not going to endorse a mediocre product. They can’t afford to. Why? Because their brand will be hurt by the negative association. So you must be committed to excellence. (Note: I did not say perfection. You do the best you can, then launch.)
  2. Make a prospect list. In an ideal world, who would you like as endorsers? Think big. (When I wrote my e-book, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, I started with a list of forty people. I ended up getting twenty-five.) Ask yourself, “Who are the recognized authorities in my field?” Don’t be too quick to rule out someone because you don’t think you have access. You may not know the prospective endorser, but you may know someone who does.
  3. Leverage one endorsement for more. It’s always difficult to go first. Sometimes prospective endorsers need an endorsement themselves in order to get comfortable with your product. With my e-book, I looked over the list and said, “Who is the most likely to say, “yes,” because of my relationship with them?” I then asked this person for an endorsement. Sure enough, he gave it to me. I then included his endorsement in all my other requests. (It also gave me the courage to ask the others.) This made it easier for everyone else, because someone else had already gone first.
  4. Ask for the endorsement. Don’t beat around the bush. Busy people—like the ones you want endorsements from—don’t have time to read long emails. Get to the point. Also, try to ask them when they most be the most receptive. For example, I always ask for speaking endorsements (and I always ask for them) right after the engagement, while it is fresh on their mind and before they get too distracted with everything else.
  5. Provide guidance, samples, and a deadline. Include a brief description of your product and perhaps a sample. Then offer to send them the entire product. Tell them the kind of endorsement you are looking for. The more specific the better. I always tell them that I am just looking for 2–3 sentences. They might write more, but this sounds doable. I then provide a real endorsement or two and a deadline. I ask for it within a week. In my experience you are more likely to get an endorsement with a short deadline rather than a longer one.

When you get the endorsement, thank the endorser and then display the endorsements prominently on your product and in your marketing. (Here’s an example.) I have also started distilling the endorsements into soundbites, similar to what studios do with movies. Seth Godin did this on the back of his book, Poke the Box (see an example here).

For example, after I spoke at The Gathering, Ted Dekker, bestselling author and sponsor of the event said,

Younger crowds in their twenties and thirties are inundated with messages and entertainment, making them a hard crowd to please. Michael’s keynote at the 2009 Gathering cut through the clutter and beautifully illustrated the power of a superb storyteller. It was the kind of speech audiences hope for but rarely get.”

I included the full quote in the sidebar of my Speaking page. However, I used an excerpt in the body copy itself: “The kind of speech audiences hope for but rarely get.” If you string several of these together, you create the same effect movie studio create in their marketing. (See here for an example.)

Bottom line: endorsements can make a huge difference in whether or not your product gets noticed by the gate-keepers, trend-setters, and your target market. Take the time to get them. It is worth it.

Question: What impact do endorsement have on your willingness to try a product? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Paul Coughlin

    Great topic Michael..

    I always check reviews if there are any – and usually incorporate them in my decision. Third party testimonials certainly gives me more certainty.. 

    The place where popularity and consensus isn’t so valuable – is in innovation and early stage creativity – where uniqueness is the value, new and different..

    Endorsements for me are rooted in that third-party trusted advisor dynamic.. We trust that apparently objective third party – especially if we already hold that third party in high regard..

    What I’ve noticed, is that this has become a powerful part of social media.

    Following someone on twitter is a kind of third party recommendation.
    Retweeting is an agreement with and an endorsement of what someone has said.
    Sharing and liking someone’s post is a kind of endorsement.

    I think because so much of social media is about establishing reputation – connections, third party endorsements, any demonstration by others of respect/admiration/agreement is something which visibly builds our reputation.

    Google even use linking as part of the search formula for ‘valuing’ results – the more links, the higher you are placed in the results. Another form of third party based reputation..

    I like it – it’s a great way to use technology to create ‘people connections’..


    • Robert Ewoldt

      Paul, I agree about Twitter–retweeting something is really an endorsement of what they’re saying or linking to.

  • Philipp Knoll

    The product must be worth the endorsement you are asking for. The crucial point is that you have to deliver that quality every time – always and under all circumstances. There are no instances that allow you to let go of that standard you set for your work.

    Michael put it like this: You must try to get them (endorsements) for every product you create.

    The 20 perfectly crafted projects are worthless when you let go only once. Well, they might not be worthless but by lowering your standards only once you sabotage your success and progress.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Yes, I agree with Michael’s first point… in order to get endorsements, you have to build a great product in the first place.

  • Timothy Fish

    I rarely pay attention to endorsements. I usually only read the endorsements after I buy the book. The thing is, unless the endorsement comes from someone I know and trust, it tells me nothing. I’ve read books with endorsements that other people thought were from important people, but I had problems with the book. Later, I found out that the people who endorsed it were as off the wall doctrinally as the author. So I just ignore endorsements and let the book stand on its own.

    • Brad Bridges

      I’ve wondered how effective endorsements were in the past as well (Yes, I’m guilty of often judging a book by its cover and title). What do you think would be a more effective way to utilize endorsements for bloggers, writers, etc? Thanks ahead of time for the ideas.

  • Benjamin Lichtenwalner

    Mere Mortals – I like this point most, because in most cases, I prefer reviews by “amateurs”. As you pointed out, professionals have plenty of alterior motives, but amateurs are in it for serving others. The exception is professionals I follow. For example, an endorsement from Michael Hyatt would be extremely influential for me.

    Great post, Mike. This is a topic I had not thought much about, but now have a great framework from which to start. Thanks for sharing!

    • Robert Ewoldt

      I think the reason why an endorsement from Michael rates so highly for me is that I’ve tried things before that he’s suggested, with great results.  Evernote, for example, has had a good impact on the way that I live my life.  So, if Michael were to endorse something else, I’d be more likely to try it.

  • Chris Jeub

    Great minds think alike! I applied many of these same principles and just launched a blog post just a few minutes before your post. This was not planned, honest! ;)

    The post announces three of several endorsements to a flagship publication that just came out: This is a niche market, but if your readers can glean from the example, have at.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Cool! Great example.

  • Onecentatatime

    I am a small time blogger, and I did publish my honest review of credit sesame and that brough the attention of a lot of people. even credit sesame representative commented to my post on how some of my assumptions were incorrect. 

    As you have said negative reviews of ordinary people helps a lot, I see every day tons of hit on that review piece as it appears on first google search page for a query credit sesame review. Here is the link, if you can critique …

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. The hardest part I have is to ASK, and I know that is the part that makes all other parts of my business grow. 

    The product is right, on time, and the client is happy – ask, Ask, ASK! That is how you get the next chance to show that the product is right, on time, and make a client happy.

  • Tony Elam

    I would love for Dave Ramsey to endorse my book when it comes out in the new year (self published)  I just don’t see it happening.  I am fairly new in the blogging/ book writing world, and I am still establishing relationships.  I know you just said not to think that way.  I would guess that he gets them all of the time.

    • Michael Hyatt

      He probably does get them all the time. But you might ask yourself, “What would have to be true for him to endorse my book?” Then seek to create that reality. Don’t say “no” for him!

      • Chris MacKinnon

        “Don’t say NO for him” is a great lesson (for me, too). If I am confident that my message is true or helpful, why wouldn’t the person I’m after appreciate it?

      • Leah Adams

        Oh my goodness….”don’t say ‘no’ for him’. Does that ever hit me squarely between the eyes. I’d love for Beth Moore, Jennifer Rothschild, Kelly Minter or Priscilla Shirer to endorse my Bible study, but I have already said “no” for them. My bad!! What WILL have to be true for them to consider endorsing my Bible study??? That is what I will be pondering on. Flitter, I’d love for Michael Hyatt to endorse my Bible study!!!! 

      • Robert Ewoldt

        I think a lot of people fail for not trying, and this area is no exception.  People say, “I can’t get that job,” so they don’t apply.  Or, they say, “That person will never help me,” so they don’t ask.  Or, “I’ll never get that person to donate to my cause,” and again, they don’t ask.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Tony, I think you’d be amazed at what kind of endorsements you can get from well known authors. I think one way to do it is to join the communities that relate to Dave Ramsey or the person you want to get the endorsement from. Make yourself known around them and then ask. The worst that they can say is no.

  • Leah Adams

    Mr. Hyatt, thank you for this post. After I published my Bible study in 2010, I began getting endorsements from people who have done the study. I use them on my Bible study page on my website ( ) . What I have not done, however, is take the bold step of asking those whose names are more familiar to the Bible study world to give the study an endorsement. Perhaps this post has given me the encouragement I need to do just that.

  • Chris MacKinnon

    I do not look at endorsements because I sometimes feel that the list of endorsers is made up of several of the same high profiles each time. Reviews are more important to me, which is why I write them, too.

    Another commenter kind of eluded to this, but here’s a point-blank question: Is relationship a non-factor when it comes to endorsements? The genuinely humble part of us assumes that if a high profile person in our field receives a letter from us, they will just toss it because they have never heard of us. (Your point about sharing a sample is a good step for this, I think.) Is this an unnecessary fear?

    • Michael Hyatt

      What is the worst that can happen? They say “no” or ignore you. The better question to ask is, What would have to be true for them to say “yes”? Maybe they would need a referral from someone they know and trust. Who do you know that they know? This is the kind of thinking you have to do. Thanks.

  • Brett

    I like when they are unexpected. Sometimes, when it seems that a circle of authors/speakers endorse each others’ work, then it feels like it’s a bunch of people in some little mutual agreement to help each other sell books or whatever. But… at the same time, I still probably look for one or two of the ‘big names’ to see if I’m comfortable with the particular circle (i.e. if it’s a Christian Living book and it’s endorsed by Stanley or Giglio, then I normally can feel comfortable about the theology inside). 

  • John Richardson

    When we drove up to Portland and Seattle a few months back, having TripAdvisor and Yelp on the iPad was very helpful for finding restaurants and motels. When you see multiple reviews saying the same thing, you have a pretty good idea of the quality and experience of the place. I usually throw out the errant reviews and concentrate on the majority. Overall this led us to some amazing places we would never have found on our own. 

    For example we found an amazing tri-tip sandwich at a little restaurant called Cafe Dejeuner in Medford Oregon. It was so good we stopped at the same place on the way back down. The restaurant is housed in a restored craftsman bungalow on Main street and provided a wonderful dining experience.When you see the word “best” used over multiple reviews, you know you have found a great place. 

    If you are a speaker, one place to get a lot of written reviews is Toastmasters. In most groups, audience members are encouraged to write down comments and pass them to the speakers. After you are done with your speech, you are given a spoken review and you also have numerous written testimonies. I save many of these and I encourage audience members to put their names on them so I can contact them later if needed. Not only do these comments help you become a better speaker, they also provide a myriad of quotes about your performance.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestions, John, especially with regard to Toastmasters.

  • Lara Krupicka

    I like you’re points about asking for a specific length (2-3 sentences) and giving a short window for response. I usually request an endorsement after a speaking engagement, especially when it has been obvious that the event planner and audience appreciated it. However, I’ve gotten minimal responses back to my request. I’m interested to see how the response improves as I follow your advice, especially when I include a sample endorsement as you suggested.

    Thanks, as always, for the practical, helpful advice. If you ever need an endorsement for this blog, I’ll gladly rave about you.

  • Cheri Gregory

    I know some authors live in fear of “negative endorsements” — poor reader reviews. But when I’m considering a book, I go straight to the 1-star and 2-star ratings on Amazon. These typically reveal far more about the rating writer than the book itself. More often then not, I can safely assume, “If this kind of person disliked the book, I will probably enjoy it!” 

  • Lori Tracy Boruff

    Endorsements are valuable to me as a radio host. Authors and speakers who wish to be interviewed but are not well known and no endorsements cause me to think twice. Mostly because I don’t have time to do a lot of research. On the other hand, with a name on their book or webpage that I trust sends a message to me to move forward.

    Funny though, I have not asked author Emilie Barnes, Cecil Murphey, singer Cheri Keaggy or a host of experts to endorse my radio show. Like my grandson would say “Wake Up Time!”  Thanks Michael, I needed that message today.

  • Phyllis Dolislager

    No. 5 is so true. We assume that people will know what to do. But providing guidelines and some samples really speeds up the process. This is just great advice–as usual.

  • Cynthia Herron

    I do pay attention to endorsements if it’s someone who has vast knowledge/success within that product’s field. I wouldn’t be as easily influenced or impressed, however, if a self-help book was written by a six-time felon or if a Christian fiction novel was being promoted by someone who was an avowed atheist.

  • John Nemo

    Michael I’d love to hear/see a post with your thoughts and tips on securing endorsements for your “Personal Brand” via LinkedIn and other platforms. I’ve put a lot of time into securing Endorsements on LinkedIn, and those have been a real difference-maker for me in terms of securing work as a result. LinkedIn recommendations carry a weight all their own depending on who is doing the endorsing. A great and often missed opportunity I think for many of us!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, I don’t use Linked in much, so I don’t really have any experience with this. Sorry.

      • Brad Bridges

        I’d be interested in what concerns you have with LinkedIn. As someone still learning how to use it and other social media, your input on this one would be appreciated.

        • Michael Hyatt

          I don’t have any concerns. It just never clicked with me. I’m sure it is a fine service. Many people I know seem to enjoy it.

    • Joe Lalonde

      John, I think it is one of those things you have to ask for. It can be tough with LinkedIn as it’s not as big or social as other sites. Just keep plugging away and asking. It’ll slowly build.

  • Gina Burgess

    Seriously, I rarely take into consideration any endorsements by “famous” people. Those people who endorse/review books are all from the same publishing house so what good is that, really. Celebrities who advertise products are getting paid to do that, so what good is that?

    I pay much more attention to reviews by regular people because we buy from people we trust; and we quit listening to those people who’ve betrayed our trust. reviews are helpful, Dell electronics reviews are helpful, Office Depot reviews are helpful because those people have usually put their money down and will be straight with you. Vine Voices at Amazon may or may not be helpful because those people have gotten a product specifically for the purpose of review. (I’m one and I try to be completely honest, but how do you know others will be the same?)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’d love to see an example where the endorsers are all from the same publishing house. I haven’t see that at all. As a publisher myself and someone who has sought endorsements for my authors from other authors, they are tough to get—precisely because we don’t pay them or compensate them. Most well-known authors are not going to attach their name to something unless they really believe in it. The risk is just too high. It dilutes their brand.

      • Gina Burgess

        I figured you would call me on that, Mike. I was speaking of a few from another publishing house. You are absolutely correct, it is very risky.

        When I first began reviewing, I would contact the author, ask questions, get to know them… and then read the book. Oh, how often I agonized over the review because my opinion of the work, and my opinion of the author were poles apart.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Gina, I agree with you about endorsements from famous people. However, it is for a different reason. For me, it’s the fact that celebrities seem to endorse almost anything that comes their way. Things like Hulk Hogan doing ads/endorsing Rent A Center, Michael Jordan endorsing Hanes, etc… If it seems authentic, I’m more apt to listen but those seem few and far between.

      • Gina Burgess

        Yes, I agree with you, Joe. Authenticity makes me sit up and take notice.

  • TNeal

    Endorsements make a huge difference for me. Researching cars, I go to Consumer Reports. Movies–like you, Rotten Tomatoes. Books–Amazon’s customer reviews. When people talk a lot about a movie (“The Help”) or a book (“Heaven Is For Real”), I listen. And act.

    This post has a number of reasons that its message will stick. You start with illustrations where I’m already living (Rotten Tomatoes) then launch into territory I’ve not considered–securing endorsements. The post itself links to so many additional examples that I come away with solid information to guide me in the endorsement process.

    You give the reasons to go there then you hold out the map to get there. I’ll take that map, thank you, sir.

  • Jody Urquhart

    I love reading reviews. I do this now for hotels, even transportation. Sometimes it hard to Suss out The negative nellies who complain on every chance and the valid review. I also think if I have made up my mind I tend to favor the positive reviews

  • Erica McNeal

    I LOVE this Mike! Also, wanted to say that what I find crazy is that YOU sought out 40 endorsements and only got 25. I think your humility in sharing this speaks volumes for us “mere mortals” that don’t have the platform you have. I also love how you said to think big, even if you do not know a celebrity endorser, you may know someone who does. I have a lot of catalyzer in me and so I’m not too afraid of rejection in going big, for some reason with people I don’t know. I guess I figure, it’s worth the shot, if they say no – I’ve not lost much – if anything. If I know them, I am a lot more hesitant.. Great post!

    • Brad Bridges

      If you use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn you can often find someone you know who is connected to the person you are trying to get a review from. However it takes some time to build your network in each of these platforms but in the long run proves to be very valuable. People appreciate it when you return the favor as well I’ve found.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Erica. Go for it!

  • Chrisjohnstoncoaching

    No one can argue with:

    Bottom line: endorsements can make a huge difference in whether
    or not your product gets noticed by the gate-keepers, trend-setters,
    and your target market. Take the time to get them. It is worth it.

    Great advice

  • Brad Bridges

    You advice about using an “early adopter” endorsement to get others to buy-in is fantastic. It solves the problem of how do you get endorsements if you don’t already have them (ie getting access). Thanks for the tips.

  • Theresa Ip Froehlich

    I always check customer reviews when I buy on Amazon and check Yelp when I pick a restaurant.

    Since I have just signed a contract with my literary agent to rep my book (“Raising Resilient Parents: 5 Keys to Regaining Power and Freedom When Your Adult Children Mess Up”), I’ve been thinking about endorsements. I talked to 2 psychologists who are authority in parenting. Timing seems to be important for getting endorsements. They are open to the idea but will not act until there is a publication date.

    Michael, this is a very helpful post.

  • Kay Wilson

    What a great idea, Michael, I will ask my current clients to endorse some of my products, nothing like glowing testimonials from their friends to bring them to the point of purchasing.

  • Travis Dommert

    Nothing beats testimonials! (ok, perhaps referrals…)

    Another idea, ask your customers and fans to show you some love by nominating you for an award or media recognition.

    At irunurun, we had one of our users nominate us for Intuit’s national Love a Local Business campaign (each month a company is picked to receive a $25k or $50k payroll credit).  We then shared the news with the rest of our users and ended up ranked as one of the “most loved” small businesses in the country.  

    Over 200 people shared their endorsements…it was awesome and gave us a wonderful demonstration of customer loyalty to share with potential clients and investors!

    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s awesome that your fans nominated you for an award/recognition.

      Another thing that you could do to gain endorsements is to offer your product/service to several potential customers. Let them use it and get their raving reviews!

  • kimanzi constable

    How do I get you do endorse my book? LOL

  • Jazzypromomodel

    http://WWW.TWISTERWIRE.COM Social Media Networking to track all Media Endorsements and. Reputations of your Company.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    I know many of my friends who purchase a book based on the endorsements they read before buying it. 

    In my personal opinion, endorsements play a greater role in influencing the propective buyers to making a decision to buy the product. (especially for books)

  • John Lambert

    I think you are right when you say that people don’t have as much time but also simultaneously have more options available.  I admit to scanning endorsements to see if I should even take a deeper look into the product.  On the other hand, some endorsements could work against opening you up to a greater audience who may not like the endorser, especially if you are writing for the Christian market.

  • Jeff Randleman

    I always read the reviews of book and movies before I check them out, and consumer products before I purchase.  That’s a given for me.  But I am ready to jump in and try a new resaurant any time.  It may be great.  It might not.  But I’m willing to try it. 

  • Joe Lalonde

    It depends on the product. There are some items that an endorsement definitely helps. Take a book review, a CD from a new band, or a new local restaurant. If they come from someone I know and trust, they hold a lot of value. If it comes from just a random celebrity, I could care less.

  • Robert Ewoldt

    Personal endorsements have a HUGE effect on my willingness to try a product.  If a friend recommends something to me, I’m much more likely to try it.  Reviews also have a large effect.  I agree with you… if I see a couple of bad reviews in amongst a bunch of good reviews, it gives the good reviews more weight.

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  • Kay Wilson

    So, Michael, 
    I am distributor, I have a product,  nutrition supplement, I place a picture on my wordpress or facebook page, prefernce?  
    Then I contact clients (users) and ask for them to comment on one of the pages?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I think you are looking for endorsements of the actual product.

      • Kay Wilson

        My product would be like your ebook or a novelist, his book….so am i missing the point?

        • Michael Hyatt

          I’m sorry, but I don’t think I understand your question. Could you rephrase it?

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