Client testimonials are important for any freelancer, especially if you primarily operate online. Testimonials give freelancers authenticity and allow potential customers to see the experience others have had with them.
What are client testimonials?
Testimonials are statements that highlight the experience a satisfied customer has had with a business, including freelancers. Testimonials can be used as a marketing tool on your website or corresponding social media platforms.
Why are testimonials important in winning work?
Testimonials give you credibility, show real examples of your expertise and reassure customers that you can provide what you are offering. Testimonials can also strengthen your personal brand as they are a portfolio of experiences from satisfied customers.
Word Steam references how testimonials are a way for potential customers to relate to you through a customer similar to them. They see experiences from an actual customer, not a paid sponsorship or a paid influencer. Ultimately, testimonials are a way for you to build trust between yourself and potential clients.
Once you have built a foundation of trust between yourself and your clients, the likelihood of them wanting to work with you will increase. Due to advancements in technology, the number of touchpoints involved in a customer’s journey has increased. Websites are an example of this. When a client is researching you, it will improve the credibility of what you are offering if you have testimonials on your website.
How to get testimonials from past and current clients
Asking for a testimonial can seem awkward, but only if you do not know the process. You can’t just expect clients to come to you with their testimonials; you have to be proactive in asking.
When do you ask for a testimonial?
The worst thing you could do when asking for a testimonial is to ask before you have started any work. You should ask your customers to provide a testimonial after the work has been done. If the work is ongoing, you can ask for a testimonial once the customer has started getting value from working with you.
Asking for a testimonial
There are several ways you can ask for a testimonial. You can ask for a testimonial during a client meeting if you have an established relationship with the client. You should not make the entire meeting about the testimonial it should be brought up naturally when your client shows they are pleased with your work.
The best way to ask for a testimonial is through an email. If you have a face-to-face dialogue with your customers, you can mention that you would like them to provide a testimonial.
What to include in the email
When requesting a testimonial through an email, remember to include the following elements:
Be polite and make it personal
Proof of experience – Get them to write their experience
Provide a deadline
Examples of previous testimonials
Ask to use their first and last name. If privacy is an issue ask to use their first name and the initial of last name
Photo of the client, while this is not mandatory, it adds to the authenticity of the post
Don’t keep asking. Your client might be reluctant to ask if you are pestering them for a testimonial. Once you have asked for a testimonial, leave it up to the customer to respond. Do not risk turning positive customer experience into a negative one.
There is nothing worse than receiving an email with a greeting such as ‘hello customer’. Incorporate a personal yet formal approach to your email. Do not beat around the bush; share with them the purpose of the email.
For example, ‘Can you write a testimonial about the experience you have had while you were working with me, that I can add to my testimonial page please?’
Forbes highlights how it might be hard for customers to write a testimonial; therefore, by providing examples you take the stress away. Customers will also be less likely to procrastinate if examples are given. To prevent further procrastination also give some form of a deadline for the testimonial. For example, ‘Preferable, I would love to have the testimonial before the end of the work week, thank you’.
When you receive the testimonial, make sure you thank them for their time and for writing the testimonial.
What an ideal testimonial should include
Short, Direct, Authentic.
No one wants to read through a wall of text. Therefore, short testimonials will be more effective as they are more likely to be read. If your client gives you a long testimonial, you can take sentences out for your website or social media platforms. Just make sure your client is aware of any changes you make to their testimonial.
Forms of testimonials
Many definitions of testimonials refer to it as a written statement; however, video testimonials are just as effective, if not more. Video testimonials are especially effective if you have social media platforms connected to your business. According to CompuKol Communications, a video testimonial can ‘touch people emotionally and visually’; which means customers will connect with the brand on a personal level.
On social media platforms, videos are also more likely to be shared, which means your business will reach a wider audience.
The most beneficial aspect about testimonials is that, once you have permission off of the client, you can use them as much or as little as you want.
Many businesses have testimonial pages on their website. While this is a good idea to have all your testimonials in one place, it might not be the best way to use them. Testimonials that discuss certain products or services can be placed next to the product or service it references.
Testimonials can be used on social media, for example, on Twitter you can share the testimonial with the hashtag #testimonialtuesday. This will improve your credibility and show your expertise in your sector.
Along with your website and social media platforms you can put testimonials on your blog, brochures, press releases, email campaigns and more.
Every freelancer should have a collection of testimonials to show the experience others have had with them. Using the tips mentioned, at the end of your next project, ask your client for a testimonial.