5 Tips for Getting Client Testimonials

If you've been on other copywriters’ websites, you might have noticed their glowing testimonials and wondered:

How can I get client testimonials like that?

Well, let’s talk about it.

I sure remember the first time I got a testimonial. It was from my very first client, a company named Triangle Marketing Group.

Out of the blue, after doing a couple of projects for them, I received a letter in the mail from the VP of Marketing with a glowing testimonial.

What a fantastic surprise!

Of course, I immediately incorporated his testimonial into my marketing materials.

But I remember distinctly asking myself how I could get more client testimonials like that one. I knew it would help me grow my business if I could get more clients to act.

I realized for every testimonial that comes in without my asking, there are probably three or four clients who would be willing to write one, but perhaps don’t get around to it. Or maybe they love my services and would be happy to give me a testimonial but they never thought about it.

Now, I don’t have to tell you how valuable a client testimonial is.

I think a testimonial is far more valuable to a potential client in assessing whether or not to work with you than a great portfolio sample because a client testimonial is telling a potential client, "Hey, here is someone else, a colleague of mine at another company who worked with this copywriter and loved their work."

Testimonials make a potential client feel comfortable giving you a try. In fact, you’re kind of conspicuous if you don’t have any client testimonials. A client who comes to your website and sees that you don’t have any testimonials might wonder if you’re able to do a good job for them.

So, let me give you five tips on how to get more client testimonials.

#1. Do Your Best for Every Client

This may seem like a no-brainer — do a great job for your clients. Give them a positive experience working with you. Put your heart and soul into every project.

I learned that technique from Bob Bly, who insists his business growth strategy is to do a fantastic job on each and every project he handles. Isn't that a wonderful attitude? And look how successful Bob is!

I recommend you do the same thing. Every time you have a chance to work with a client, do your best and give the client a positive experience working with you.

If the client has a great experience working with you, they won’t ever think of working with any other copywriter, they’ll give you more business, and they’ll refer you to other businesses.

#2. Listen for Testimonials

Recently, I was working on a direct-mail campaign for a new client. I had finished up the copy and the designer was also wrapping up her part of the project.

The client sent me an email saying, "Steve, I really loved the work you did on this project. Thank you so much. The direct-mail piece looks great. I'm really excited to find out what kind of results we get."

Now, he's just given me in a sense a de facto testimonial even though he doesn’t realize it. He's telling me how happy he is with my services. If you listen carefully to what clients are saying, sometimes they'll give you this de facto testimonial.

So what do you do?

Well, you send them an email back and you say, "Mr. Client, thank you so much for those comments on my services. I'm so glad you're happy with the project. Listen, would it be okay if I use what you just said as a testimonial?"

I’ve gotten two types of responses to my request. The client will either say, "Sure, go ahead," or sometimes they'll say, "Let me give you a better testimonial now. Let me word it better for you." Not once has a client ever said, “No, I'm not comfortable with that.”

So, if you listen to positive comments and positive feedback from clients and you simply ask them if you can use what they said as a testimonial, they’ll likely say yes.

Keep the testimonials as close as you can to what your client said. Sometimes you’ll need to change a few words to make your client sound better.

And always, always send the final version of the testimonial to your client for their approval. Just send them an email and say, "Here's the testimonial I'm going to use. Are you okay with it?" Again, almost all clients will say, "Yes, that's fine."

So listen for feedback from your clients. When they say positive things, see if you can turn their quote into a testimonial.

#3. Use LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn has a mechanism where you can ask a client to recommend you. They can put their recommendation right on your LinkedIn profile.

If you go to my LinkedIn account, you'll see I have a number of recommendations from clients and colleagues.

There are a couple of ways you can do this.

First, if your client has a LinkedIn account, you can send them a request for a recommendation through LinkedIn. There is default wording, which you can customize if you want. If they're active on LinkedIn, they’ll know the value of a recommendation and will happily give you one.

You can also give them a recommendation. They’ll almost always repay the favor by giving you one too.

Another technique is to follow-up with anyone who endorses you on LinkedIn. An endorsement is nice, but a testimonial is much better.

If they like your work so much that they're going to endorse you, send them an email and say, "Thank you very much for that endorsement on LinkedIn. I really appreciate it. Would you be willing to give me a testimonial that I can use on LinkedIn or my website as well?"

Chances are if they endorsed you, they'll be willing to give you a testimonial as well.

And by the way, it’s perfectly okay to take testimonials you have on LinkedIn and put them on your website. They are public testimonials of people saying great things about you so don’t hesitate to put them on your website too.

#4. Ask for Feedback

Let's say you complete a project for a client. You send them an email and you say, "Mr. Client, thank you very much for the work we did on your project. I really enjoyed working with you. Can we get some feedback on how we did for you? Please let me know what you liked about my services. And also, tell me things where I can improve my services as well because I'm always looking for ways to serve my clients better."

When a client gets an email with that kind of tone and style to it, they’ll usually reply with something positive about you and your services.

Sometimes they may give you one or two things for improvement. They might say, "You know there were a couple of times during the project when I emailed you and it took a bit longer than I expected to get a reply back."

That's good information for you. There may be something you didn’t realize you can improve on and give clients a better experience. So don’t be afraid to get those emails.

But more often than not, you'll get positive feedback from clients. Then, you can go back to the client and say, "Thank you very much for saying such nice things about my services. I'm glad you're satisfied with the work I did for you. May I use what you said as a testimonial?"

#5. Just Ask

If you're working with a client who knows you well and you know they love your work, why not just ask them for a testimonial directly?

"Mr. Client, can I get a testimonial from you for my website?" And if you know them well and you have that very positive relationship with them, most often they'll say, "Sure, I’d be glad to."

I recommend you offer to ghostwrite it for them saying, "Would you like me to write something up that you can approve or change however you like?" Make it easy for the client to give you a testimonial.

The great thing about testimonials once you get them is they can last your entire career. They're evergreen, unless the client comes back and says, "I don’t want you using that testimonial from me anymore."

You could use that testimonial presumably for the rest of your career. It’s probably the best marketing and self-promotion asset you could ever get.

So even though it may take some time to get a testimonial, be proactive at getting client testimonials. It will help build your business like nothing else.

This article, 5 Tips for Getting Client Testimonials was originally published by B2B Writing Success.

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Published: September 7, 2017

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