How to Use Testimonials to Secure New ClientsBy Kiesha Easley June 19th, 2013
The “Hire Me” link on your website or blog is not enough to attract new clients and keep your writing business going. You might have a wonderful description of the services you offer along with your qualifications and why you’re perfect for the job, but that’s still not enough.
What’s missing? You need an online client testimonial portfolio.
A Client Testimonial page can make all the difference between a potential client who takes the time to email you for a quote and one who clicks away from your site. For clients, finding freelancers can be a daunting task – especially online.
They want to know that real people have worked with this freelancer and they want to see proof of it – that’s why it’s so important to provide as much information as possible about projects you’ve completed that are an accurate representation of your skill level.
People want to see real examples of your work. They want to know who you’ve worked with in the past and know what they thought about your services.
When I started offering my services on my blog, I knew people would be looking for this kind of information, so I started collecting testimonials early on. I wanted to be transparent and let people see that I’ve really done what I said I’ve done and that there are real people who can verify it, if needed.
After completing a project that I believed represented my best work, I would send an email to the client that went something like this:
It’s been a pleasure a pleasure working with you! When you get a moment, please complete this brief questionnaire:
- Would it be okay if I publish your name and include a screenshot and link to your blog on WeBlogBetter.com?
- What was your overall feeling of working with me?
- What was the most pleasant/memorable part of the experience? (Any feedback you can give will be greatly appreciated.)
- Was I able to meet your needs appropriately?
- Would you recommend my services to a friend?
Feel free to elaborate or add on as you see fit. Thanks again for allowing me to help you!
This is how I get clients to provide meaningful feedback that highlights my strengths. Afterwards, I’d collect their responses and publish them along with a screen shot of their blog (if applicable) to my very simple and straightforward Client Testimonials Page on my WeBlogBetter site.
Steps to Creating an Effective Client Testimonial Page
1. Provide High Quality Service First.
The key to creating an effective Client Testimonial Page is providing high quality service to your clients in the first place. Nothing can substitute for that. So make sure you deliver what you promise, adhere to deadlines and go out of your way to make sure the client is happy with the end product.
2. Ask for testimonials.
Getting negative feedback is easy – no one has to ask anyone to write about their negative experience. People go out of their way to express their dissatisfaction. But getting positive feedback from clients often requires prompting – so ask and don’t let too much time pass before you do.
Also, be sure to let them know that you intend to publish the information and get their permission before identifying their names publicly. They may not want their full names published, so be sure to clarify the details with them.
3. Provide a way to share feedback
Satisfied clients are usually happy to share feedback, but you’ll have to go out of your way to provide the means for sharing it. I find that emails are the quickest and easiest, but if you want them to recommend you on LinkedIn, you’ll need to provide a link to your profile and be willing to remind them if they don’t respond within a week.
4. Keep your client testimonial page updated
It’s easy to get busy and forget to publish the feedback you receive, so be sure to make an extra effort to update your page as soon as you get new information.
5. Make sure the page is well organized/easy to navigate
Make sure it’s easy to find and is in close proximity to the Hire Me page on your website/blog. No one is going to dig for this information.
A potential client can find my page one of two ways:
- hover over the Hire Me link, a link to Client Testimonials automatically appears in a drop down menu
- visit the Hire Me page, you’ll immediately see a block of text that directs readers to the link if they’d like to see examples of my work.
The great thing about having this page on my blog is that when I’m bidding on other projects or negotiating a contract, I can quickly send that link directly to new leads. It makes life so much easier.
If you’re just getting started
If you don’t have any examples of your work because you’re just getting started, no worries, there are still things you can do to gather some quick positive testimonials.
Offer your services at a discounted rate or for free for a limited number of clients in exchange for their testimonials. Let them know up front that you are building your portfolio and that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity for the both of you.
Even if you don’t get paid or get paid very little for those initial clients, it will be worth it in the long run when you have a strong portfolio to back you up.
These are just a few tips for getting your Client Testimonial page started. The more high quality work you have to showcase, the higher fees you can charge.
Image courtesy of shutterstock