There is no better social proof for a freelancer than a thumbs up from happy clients who vouch for your services. Strong testimonials can help you build trust with potential clients and show them that you can deliver stellar results.
Now, the only question is how the heck do you ask for a testimonial without sounding.... well, kinda lame? Lucky for you, we've put together everything you need.
After reading this article, you will know:
Let's start with the elements that make up a strong testimonial so you can know how to guide clients in your testimonial request.
Firstly, it needs to be authentic. You don't want a testimonial to sound like it was written by a robot. So, don't be afraid to ask clients to be authentic and use their own words.
Secondly, it should be results-driven. Instead of listing a bunch of skills and attributes, a testimonial should be focused on the specific solutions and results you provided during the project.
Something like "increased our blog traffic by 30%" or "grew our IG following by 5k..." You get the point..
And lastly, although detailed testimonials hold some weight, you still want them to be short and snappy. No one is going to stop and read an essay about how amazing your work is.
On the contrary, potential clients want quick feedback and social proof from your happy customers, just enough to be able to trust you.
#1 Timing is everything
Getting the timing right when asking for a positive testimonial from a client is crucial. You don't want to ask too soon before they've seen the results, but you also don't want to wait too long and risk them forgetting the details. So, when's the right time to shoot your shot?
A good strategy is to ask for feedback during the project to make sure everything's on track. Once the project's done and you're sure that the client is satisfied, follow up with a request for a written testimonial and ask them to share the positive experience.
#2 Make it easy
If you just ask a client for a testimonial and give them 0 guidance, 9 out of 10 times they will send you one or two surface-level sentences. That's obviously not up to the standard you should be aiming for.
So, what you want to do is make the testimonial delivery process as easy for them as possible and give them examples of your previous testimonials (the ones you'd like to have more of).
Pro tip: if you want to collect video testimonials and still keep it simple for clients, use a video testimonial tool like Trustmary.com.
#3 Refer to a recent success
While requesting a testimonial, you can always refer to a recent success within that project and give the client a better idea of what they should be writing or talking about.
For example, if you recently improved their SEO ranking with spectacular content and links, then refer to this as something that should be the core focus of the testimonial.
#4 Show what's in it for them
Last but not least, give clients some incentive to leave you a testimonial. It's common for high ticket freelancers to provide a bonus service in return for a testimonial, if you're asking for something that's a bit more time consuming for the client (like a 10 minute video).
If you're only asking for a short review, in most cases people won't have a reason to refuse. But, if you want to be sure that your request does not come off as a hassle, let clients know that there is a benefit for them too.
For example, you could leave a review for them too so they can display it on their website or their freelance marketplace profile.
Now, how you approach asking for a testimonial is going to depend on your relationship with the client and their communication style.
Some email requests are more laid back than others, while sometimes you have to keep things more professional to get the message across.
Either way, if you want to get a good testimonial out of this, you'll have to adapt your writing style to what your clients want to hear. Here are three examples:
So, are you ready to collect your success stories and impress prospective clients? Video testimonials are the most effective way to get this done. However, if you're not ready to ask for a video or if you feel like your clients won't bother to provide one, then try sending a couple email requests for written testimonials.
However, keep in mind that sometimes people won't even have a reason to say no. So, before you cross video testimonial requests off, give it a shot and see how things go.
Keep in mind that testimonials are a crucial element of growing your freelance business and attracting loyal customers through positive feedback. Without testimonials, it will be tough to get on a potential client's good side, regardless of how long you've been in business.
That's just the nature of us humans - we need proof. And luckily, it's very easy to build social proof these days through social media platforms and freelance marketplaces like Upwork. As long as you actually ask for the reviews!
So, if there are any past or existing customers who haven't given you a review yet, now is a great time to reach out to them and ask for a short testimonial. And who knows, you might even rekindle some business relationships and get more work along the way. Sounds like a good idea, right?