Uncovering the Testimonials
You Already Have
Suffering from testimonial phobia where you feel too shy or humble to ask clients for testimonials for your website, info kit, or case studies?
Take heart. Here’s a secret tip to build an impressive showcase of positive comments about you and your work.
You may already have the testimonials you need. There could be a gold mine of positive comments hiding in your inbox or social media accounts. All you need to do is dig and find them.
Like many of you, I shied away from collecting testimonials for my website, information kit, and case studies. But then I remembered emails I had received from people over the years thanking me for my help.
I took a deep dive into years of emails and found many thank you messages from those I helped in some way.
Analyzing my email inbox, I saw nuggets ranging from a phrase, to a sentence, to an entire paragraph thanking me for something I did or my qualities they appreciated.
I also looked at positive comments from people on my LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.
I copied and pasted the comments into a Word document. Within a few hours, I had 17 pages of positive comments!
Next, I sorted them into categories:
- Writing work
- Other work-related
- Volunteer related
- Helping people with a problem outside of work
- General appreciation for anything else
If you don’t have specific comments about copywriting jobs, no need to worry. Potential clients are looking not only for your writing abilities but specific qualities relating to your work ethic and personality.
In the feedback from my clients, writing skill was only one piece of the puzzle. My clients also complimented my traits such as:
- meeting deadlines
- being flexible
- easy and pleasant to work with
- fun to work with
- positive outlook
This same strategy will work for your clients if they don’t have a collection of testimonials.
Here are steps to follow to find testimonials in your inbox or social media accounts:
Step 1: Start a Word file doc called Testimonials. Divide it into pages for: Writing testimonials, Non-writing work testimonials; Volunteer work testimonials; Helping people with problems testimonials; Miscellaneous (or categorize them in a meaningful way if you find similar types).
Step 2: Collect positive phrases, sentences, and paragraphs from your past emails. Copy and paste them into your category pages in your testimonials doc. Make sure to put the person’s name, byline about them, and date so you can find it again if needed.
Step 3: Do the same for comments people wrote back to you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
Step 4: If you have thank you cards, or a snail mail file of people who sent you letters over the years, look there also for positive comments.
Step 5: Select those that will resonate with potential clients. If you don’t have anything related to copywriting work yet, use those that deal with other work you have done.
You’ll also want to include comments about your punctuality, meeting deadlines, work ethic, being easy and fun to work with, and other qualities.
If you’re not sure, think about what qualities you would look for besides writing ability if you were going to hire someone to work for you. Clients are looking for similar traits, so use those types of testimonials.
Step 6: Keep your ears open for statements of appreciation you get from people verbally. Ask them if they would be okay with you writing that down to use as a testimonial for your work.
If you feel it is an imposition to ask them to write it for you, offer to write down what they said and email it back to them to check it over for approval.
Also, when using a comment from your inbox or a social media account, it’s a good idea to check back with the person for permission to use it.
Always ask if they approve of having their name, initials, or company name used so you do not violate their privacy.
Step 7: Sort out your testimonials, earmarking them for the appropriate place to post them.
By mining your inbox for gold nuggets of testimonials, you will have enough to post on your website, put into your information kit, or use as case studies.
It only takes a few to provide enough social proof that you’re a great find for any potential client to hire. It’s an easy way to overcome testimonial phobia and get the positive comments you need from the security of your own inbox.
Ricki Linksman is an AWAI-trained freelance copywriter www.healthandtravelcopywriting.com and also has a blog site www.healthandtravelguide.com. She is a member of PWA, ITWPA, and AWAI’s Circle of Success.
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