If you are a startup or trying to shed your startup status, you need to start selling more. You cannot practically sell more without attracting more clients. No matter how comfortable you are at selling yourself or how good your social media campaigns truly are, praise is more believable when it comes from those who have worked with you. This is why client testimonials become the lifeblood of most startups. While some business owners do not realize the importance of testimonials, most do not know how to get client testimonials.
This write-up is dedicated to those business owners struggling to find the recognition they deserve from their clients. My hope is that this will help you attract more clients, which will lead to more work and much success. I too was able to make a considerable leap with clients’ testimonials, and I am sharing what I learned over the years.
When I too started The Visual Cube back in 2014, I did not know how to approach my new clients to persuade them to giving me a testimonial. As time passed by I knew that it was more that they never really had the time to write one up than not wanting to write up. So the idea of writing my own testimonial and have my clients approve it came to my mind. I gave it a shot and the willingness of each and every one of them astounded me.
So I encourage you to do the same… That is if your clients loved working with you, and you exceeded their expectations and delivered beyond of the task that was assigned for you. So let us examine some ways of writing your own testimonials for your client to approve.
Decide What You Want Emphasized
Make a list of points you want to highlight about your business. If working with clients very closely is important to you, jot it down. I create videos, so when I try to get a testimonial from a client who is doing a video for the first time, I make an emphasis to highlight that. Then I will stress on how I made the procedure easy and delivered much more than the client expected. Now… make sure your work reflect what you write. If you did average work and expect clients to approve a rave review, that probably might not happen.
When creating your list make at least five different things you want to highlight on your testimonials.
Make It a Point to Mention Names
Nothing is more personal than clients referring to your name instead of your business. Suggesting names (even those of your staff) means that you go above and beyond on your business relationships. Most of the testimonials I have so far refer to me by name than my business name. This has a huge influence on those “would be clients” reading them. By the time they make their first phone call or send me the first email they already know who I am and what it would be like working with me.
Create Sample Testimonials
Using templates when you first start writing up your own testimonials helps a lot. It gives you a starting point. Make sure to fill the blanks and the capitol lettered tasks/projects you have done for your clients. For more inspiration take a look at my testimonials.
If you use these templates as a base for your first testimonials, make sure to replace “Blank” with your name and change the words around – everything in uppercase. You don’t want clients to find their testimonials written word-for-word in this article!
Creating Email Templates to Request a Testimonial
Once you’ve written your testimonials, you can create the template email you’ll use to request from clients. This you must be careful with. A lot of thought needs to go in to this depending on the client personalities.
Your email should do the following things:
Remind your client of the work you did together.
Thank them for the work.
Ask if they would be willing to give you a testimonial.
Offer a testimonial you’ve written yourself.
Ask them to either sign off on the testimonial you’ve written or use it as inspiration for one of their own.
Tell them where the testimonial will be used.
You want to accomplish all of these things in the briefest amount of time possible. Aim for no more than four 2-3 sentence paragraphs, including the testimonial you’re suggesting.
DO NOT BE AFRAID: Most clients will be happy to sign off on what you present to them. The best of your clients will expand even more and add more detail and color to the testimonial.
Most clients will be happy to sign off on whatever you’ve sent them. The best clients will expand on those testimonials, writing a detailed account of how you helped them. Either way, this email template is how to get client testimonials you can use in your marketing efforts.
Remember the testimonial templates I showed above works ONLY when you are getting started. DO NOT recycle the templates and make your testimonial page look like a repeat after repeat.
When to request a testimonial
The final piece of knowledge you need is to when to request a testimonial. There are two ideal times to request a testimonial:
- At The End of a Project
If you sense that the client is overly satisfied with the work you have provided then the best time to ask for a testimonial is at the end of the project. Also if you feel that the client came to you for a one off project (60% of the clients I work with often never continue towards a second video), the best time is after completing the project.
- After three months
If you think the client may likely come back for more projects to work with you, then it is best to wait. Also if a client has a promotion or a product launch immediately after finishing a project with you it is best to wait, so their stress levels will be much lower. Three months is a good time to also inquire from them how the work you have done for them is working out for them.
How to Use the Testimonials You Receive
Once you are equipped with a dozen or more testimonials, it is time to let the world know that you are a rock star (with fans eager to promote your work).
Make sure you have a dedicated page (easily found) on your website for testimonials. If you can feature a picture of those who have left you rave reviews. Try and build case studies and reference the testimonial as a testament for the work done. Include the testimonials on project proposals, post on social media as images or as quotes.
I hope this blog was helpful in educating you the value of client testimonials. The best way to promote yourself is to have others rave about you. Client testimonials have helped my business heaps and I hope it does the same to yours – Vijith