In the world of online business and freelancing, testimonials are gold. They’re the ultimate social currency and without them, you’ll be bankrupt.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic.
But your praise page is essential. It’s like the exact opposite of The Burn Book because it reveals the secrets of how awesome you are and makes everyone want to hang out with you.
Still too dramatic?
The point is: your praise page is the social proof that strangers need to trust you and your work. They want to know that you’re going to deliver on what you say you’re going to do. They want to know that when they invest in you, you get results for them or their business.
The best way to show how freaking awesome you are is to let your past clients and customers tell the world for you!
For the first year of my business, I was WAY too shy to ask for testimonials. I thought it was awkward to ask people to give you compliments. It seemed weird and unprofessional and like something I’d just rather avoid.
Boy was I wrong!
I missed out on an opportunity to collect praise from a tonne of clients because I ‘felt icky about it’. The problem isn’t that collecting testimonials is awkward. It’s that I was awkward because I didn’t have a system in place to do it.
Once I nailed down a system to collect testimonials it didn’t feel awkward or icky or weird. It became part of the process of working with clients that felt totally natural and not invasive at all.
This is my easy-peasy process for getting testimonials from freelance clients
Step 1: Create a Feedback Form
Asking for feedback at the end of a project is a natural step. You want to know what your clients thought of the whole experience of working with you, right? Because if you don’t ask, how will you know?
Questions to ask in your feedback form:
- what part of the process did they enjoy most?
- what part of the process could have been improved?
- have they seen any changes since they started working with you?
- did they have any hesitations about hiring you?
Asking these questions will help you to improve your business while creating the opportunity to get praise for your work. Be sure to ask in your form if you can use any of the feedback as a testimonial on your website.
Typeform is a great tool to use to create great looking forms that can stand alone or be embedded on your site.
Step 2: Send a Thank-You Email
Now that you’ve got your form all ready, send an email to your client thanking them again for choosing to work with you. Make it personal and sincere.
Ask your client if they can take 5 minutes to fill out your feedback form, and explain how much their feedback means to you and your business.
Step 3: Get That Testimonial
Once you get the feedback form back, check to see if the client was ok with you using their words for a testimonial (in my experience, pretty much everyone is ok with it). Now you want to take their feedback and write it into a pretty testimonial that sings your praises.
It sounds weird to write it for them, but most people are kind of lazy and want the easiest option. It’s much easier to get an email that says “does this sound ok with you?” rather than “thanks, can you write more and be sure to mention x, y, and z in there.” So write something up using their words and get their ok before posting it. You can also ask for a picture that you can use to make the testimonial even more human.
Step 4: Plaster Them Everywhere
Now put your beautiful testimonials everywhere. Your praise page, your sales pages, your newsletter sign up page… everywhere!
What if you have ongoing clients, not project work?
If you work with clients on an ongoing basis rather than on a project with a clear start and end date, it can be a little more challenging to get those testimonials. You can’t send the feedback form as part of your project wrap-up process, because there is no wrap-up!
Not to worry though. The 4 step process outlined above still works. Instead of sending the feedback form at the end of project, you can simply send a feedback form at any point in your relationship. I recommend sending one after the first or second month to check in on how things are going. Word your email like this:
“Now that we’ve been working together on such-and-such for a couple of months, I would love to hear how you are feeling about the project. Can you take a few minutes to fill out this feedback form?”
In your feedback form (you’ll want to create a different one for ongoing relationships), ask similar questions but in the present tense:
- what part of the process are you enjoying most?
- is there any part of the process I could improve to make it easier on you?
- is our current structure/communication process/etc working for you?
- what changes have you noticed in your business since we started working together?
The rest of the steps are the exact same! Just change your feedback forms to fit your needs. And obviously, use the feedback to improve your client relationships and processes.
See how easy it is to get testimonials when you have a process in place! Once you have your feedback form created, it’s as easy as sending an email.
No more awkward feelings! Not about this at least.
I set up my testimonial collecting process while taking the fantastic course Stress Less & Impress. If you are interested in streamlining processes just like this, I highly recommend checking out the course. I am a proud affiliate because this course helped me to systematize my business in a way that saved me hours and hours of time on tasks I hate and allowed me to spend more time focusing on creating and working with my great clients.