Social proof is the most capable salesman out there.
But how to let others speak for you?
What is a testimonial?
Usually, we talk about one paragraph of flattering text your client writes about your work.
The goal is to grasp the strengths of the professional, type, and scope of work done.
The client signs it with his name, position contact, and photo.
What defines a good testimonial?
It' neither too long nor too short.
It's concrete. The type and scope of work should be recognizable from it.
It's written in simple English without complicated/niche-specific words.
When to ask for a testimonial?
Ask for the testimonial once the work is done and your client is happy or even thrilled.
Call him to say thanks, or write a short email, and ask if (s)he
wouldn't write a short testimonial, that you could use as a reference.
Hack #1: Offer something in return.
Writing a testimonial takes time. And the person bets his name on you.
It's a big thing.
So if you can
- Offer short consultation
- Provide a short free maintenance checklist
- Send a small gift or bottle of wine
Hack #2: Edit it
Your clients are hearty, honest people but usually they aren't copywriters.
Don't be afraid to rewrite the testimonial.
Don't add there anything.
Just make it simpler, cleaner, and straight.
Ofc ask for the client's approval.
Hack #3: Use the 3 step Testimonial Formula
If you ask your client to give you a testimonial ask them to answer these three questions:1. How was it before your collaboration? 2. How it is after your collaboration? 3. What would (s)he tell to your future possible client?
By doing this you will get an extremely powerful reference.
You will probably have to edit it, but the power is immense. @Backlinko taught me this and I use it ever since with great results.
Hack #4: Don't force it
You won't get the reference from EVERY project.
And it's ok.
- you don't deliver the best result imaginable.
- the client HATES giving testimonials.
- the assignment is wrong and the client then doesn't love the result.
Ask, don't force.
Hack #6: If you work with colleagues ask them for the recommendation as well
If you're a freelancer you probably work with other pros as well.
If you liked the collaboration give them a testimonial after the work is done.
They will reciprocate quite often.
And if not, just ask them if they could give you feedback.
If the feedback is negative you can use it to get better.
If the feedback is positive you can ask them to use it as a testimonial.
You win both ways.
Bonus tip: Use your testimonials
Most people but the testimonial on their website and that's it.
But you can use it in your:
- offers to clients
- as a post on social sites
- as a part of your newsletter
Once you have the testimonial, make sure you get the best out of it.
What have you learned about testimonials that you haven't known before?