We’ve talked before about how a portfolio is absolutely necessary to further your freelance career. Another necessary element that can help convince businesses to work with you—even before they talk with you? Testimonials from freelance clients!
Read on to find out why testimonials are such powerful proof, plus how to collect testimonials from your freelance clients to set you apart from your competition.
Why Testimonials From Freelance Clients Are Wildly Effective
We all take social proof into account when making personal and business decisions. For example, we read Amazon reviews. And we check for logos to see how many businesses trust or use a service provider. Even Facebook likes are a form of social proof.
Yes, your portfolio demonstrates your skills and proves how proficient you are in your career. But testimonials serve a different function. They provide insight into your soft skills and the intangibles, including your overall professionalism. They let your potential clients get a behind-the-scenes view of what it’s really like to work with you.
Testimonials from freelance clients can go a long way to convince a new client to work with you.
Your portfolio pieces show the amazing work you deliver. And testimonials will prove how you deliver it:
- You hit deadlines.
- You provide excellent customer service.
- You implement feedback skillfully.
- You pay attention to the details.
- You’re a pleasure to work with.
In short, testimonials reassure potential clients that you’re a great partner to have on their team.
Asking for Testimonials: The Process
Asking for favors in general can be uncomfortable, but the majority (if not all!) of your clients will be more than happy to provide a testimonial if you ask. But there are a few ways to make the process as painless as possible for you and your client.
It’s as simple as sending an email at the conclusion of the project. Here’s a template you can use—just be sure to change it up to sound like you, and ask questions that are most pertinent to your business.
Hi [client name],
It was a pleasure to work with you on [project]. As I continue to build my business, I’m wondering: are you willing to provide a testimonial?
I know you’re busy, and I’d like to make this as easy as possible. Could you write a short paragraph, responding to one or two of these questions?:
- What was your experience working with me?
- How did I meet the goals of our project?
- What aspect of working together did you find pleasantly surprising?
Thank you for your help!
It’s true that not all of your past clients or employers will jump on this task immediately, so it may require follow up. And, of course, you may find one or two simply are too busy to take the time.
You can also request your clients asking them to submit their testimonial on LinkedIn (initiate the request via LinkedIn to do this, but still send an email; many clients won’t be checking LinkedIn as frequently and it could easily get lost).
Then, ask your client if you can republish the testimonial on your site. This tactic exposes your social proof to even more people.
Still feeling hesitant? With great affection, I encourage you to get over it. The best way to overcome your fear is to just send that email!
This is your career. When you consider the fact that a couple of testimonials from freelance clients can encourage someone new to give you a chance, you’ll quickly realize: You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain.
Your turn! Who will you tap for testimonials? Let us know in the comments below!