Your clients love you. You solve their problems. You make a difference. But does the world know that?
You know that testimonials make a difference. But if you’re like a lot of people, you hate asking for them. So you don’t. Let’s change that shall we? Let’s make it easy for you to ask for client testimonials and for your thrilled clients to sing your praises.
The Best Way to Get Amazing Client Testimonials
It would be lovely if every client simply sent you perfect words and a head-shot at the end of a project, but it doesn’t work that way. You need to ask for testimonials, and the best way to get client testimonials is to ask for them — regularly.
You need a system
Build asking for a testimonial into every project you work on. Send a request with the final invoice or when you turn over the last deliverable. Request a testimonial with a thank you note to the client for trusting you with their project. Do it every time.
Make it easy on yourself — and on your clients. Set up a questionnaire. This gives you an easy way to ask questions and it provides a framework for your clients. You can send your form out through email or a Google form or something similar — or you can create a page on your site to direct clients to.
This survey actually serves a few purposes. It helps me gather information about what my clients need to overcome to work with me, which helps me target my marketing to potential clients. It helps me understand what I can do better. And it asks about results and benefits of working with me. Those are the questions that will blossom into testimonials.
Other questions you might want to ask:
- What were you struggling with or where were you getting stuck before we started working together?
- What surprised you most about working with me?
- Tell me about 3 changes or shifts you noticed during our work together.
- Describe one lasting change that came out of our work together.
- What would you tell somebody who was thinking about working with me?
You may choose to ask directly for testimonials, or you may gather feedback and then shape a testimonial that you share with a client and ask for approval to use. The latter approach gives you more space to choose the details that really speak to particular aspects of your service.
When to Ask for Client Testimonials
The best time to ask for client testimonials is after a big win. Ask right after you wrap up a big project—or better yet as you are finishing up. Request a client testimonial right after you solve a tricky problem. Ask when a client is already praising you.
If a client sends you email praising your work or telling you how much they love working with you, save it. I love looking back on comments like that on days when nothing seems to be going right and I’m wondering if it’s time to quit. But don’t just tuck it in a drawer. You want those words out in the open.
If the praise is perfect as is, simply ask if you can share it on your website. If it could use a little tweaking or you hope the client will say more, follow up with a targeted question.
Making Your Client Testimonial a Win-Win
As you saw on my client questionnaire, I tell clients I want to feature them on my website — and I do. Many clients are featured in my web portfolio. In addition, I frequently do client profiles where I explore a project in more depth. This allows me to showcase the different kinds of solutions I provide — and showcase my client at the same time.
What does this have to do with testimonials? The information I use is from the same client experience form that my testimonials come from. If you dread asking for testimonials, ask questions that give you additional information you can use in ways that serve you both.
Wrap Up Your Client Testimonial Ask
What’s the final part of your testimonial request? Say thank you.
Thank your clients for trusting you with their project. Thank them for taking the time to answer your questions and giving you permission to use their words.
And don’t forget to tell them that you’d like to work with them again or would appreciate referrals.
Does that feel strange? Start making it part of your process. Set up a template email you can personalize. Pretty soon, you won’t think twice about asking for testimonials or referrals, and if you do it right, you make it so easy your clients don’t have to think twice about giving them.
You do great work. Let your clients tell the world about it.
So once you have great testimonials, what do you do with them? Tune in next time for client testimonials, part 2—How to Make Client Testimonials Pop on Your Website.