Client Testimonials: Why They’re Important and Tips for Collecting Them
Use past clients to testify to your results and professionalism.
You read Amazon reviews before making a purchase. Yelp ratings help you choose a restaurant. You may ask your friends and family which mechanic they use.
People look to other people’s experiences before making a decision. Similarly, client testimonials tell prospective clients what it’s like working with you. Business owners and editors look to what others have to say before deciding on a freelance writer.
This article offers a deep dive into client testimonials: what are they, why they’re important and how to collect them.
- What Is a Client Testimonial?
- Why Are Client Testimonials Important for Freelance Writers?
- Tips for Collecting Client Testimonials
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Client Testimonial?
A testimonial is a statement made, on the record, by a client about working with you. It can be either written or video. For freelance writers, it’s typically written.
Why Are Client Testimonials Important for Freelance Writers?
Client testimonials offer valuable social proof of (a) what it’s like to work with you and/or (b) the results you’ve delivered. They also carry more weight than self-directed assertions.
Which sounds more convincing?
A freelance writer who calls themselves “the best writer in the industry”? Or the director of content marketing telling you “this writer understands our brand voice, delivers on-the-mark content and always meets deadlines”?
If you’re off-put by self-promotion, then testimonials are a happy compromise. Testimonials let your clients confirm your work ethic and results for you!
Bonus: As you build more experience and compile more social proof, you can eventually raise your freelance writing rates.
Tips for Collecting Client Testimonials
Ready to sprinkle your freelance writer website and portfolio with compelling testimonials? Here are a few tips:
Ask for it.
Unless you ask, the answer is always no. In the beginning, I often let shyness or embarrassment stop me from asking — what if they didn’t like me, but they’re just being nice? Stop giving yourself an automatic no. Let your client decide.
If you’ve worked with a past client and it was a success, send them an email. Explain you’re trying to boost your marketing efforts and you’d like a testimonial testifying your work. Here is a real email I used to ask a ghostwriting client:
If you’re willing, may I request a recommendation/testimonial via Linkedin? I would also post that testimonial on my website.
I know that my articles are ghostwritten, so I understand if you can’t accommodate this request. Feel free to get back to me when you can and whether you can (or won’t be able to) help me with this.
Use LinkedIn Recommendations.
Did you know LinkedIn has a built-in feature for testimonials? It’s called LinkedIn recommendations:
If you’re asking for a testimonial, consider sending a request through LinkedIn. Many decision-makers are already on LinkedIn and will likely check out your profile. Also, recommendations can double as a testimonial on LinkedIn and your website. (Two birds, one stone!)
Be specific in your request.
Not all clients know what to put in a testimonial. Even if you send a client testimonial template, you wouldn’t want all of your testimonials to sound the same, right?
Sometimes, you’ll need to be a little more specific than, “Can you write a testimonial for me?” When requesting a testimonial from a client, give them suggestions on what to mention, such as:
- The experience of working with you (timeliness, communication, funny)
- Your writing skills (comprehensive, minimal revisions needed, understands their brand voice)
- Results you helped them achieve (increased traffic and engagement, email signups)
- How your services helped them personally (save time, ease of mind, confidence)
- How your writing resonated with their niche audience (e.g., business owners, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, cat ladies)
Also, remind your client to keep it brief — usually two to four sentences. Compelling snippets often work better than long-winded paragraphs.
Need inspiration? Go to other freelance writers’ websites to check out some client testimonial examples.
Don’t put it off.
Ideally, you’ll want to request a testimonial a few days to a week after completing a project. That way, the project, your work and the experience of working with you are still fresh within the client’s memory. I recommend setting a calendar reminder so you don’t forget.
Send a feedback survey.
If you want to go beyond a simple reminder, create a client “offboarding process” that includes a feedback survey. It could be a simple Google Doc document or you can use a service, like Typeform. Some questions you might want the client to respond can include:
- Did I meet the expectations of the project?
- What did you enjoy about working with me?
- Was there anything you wished I did differently?
- Would you be open to writing a testimonial for me about my services? If so, please write it in your response.
Having an exit process ensures that every project is an opportunity to obtain a testimonial.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be included in a testimonial?
When displaying a testimonial, it should include the person’s name, title, company and picture. In some cases, you might want to include their job title. The content of the testimonial should revolve around the experience of working with you or the results you’ve produced.
How do you ask for a testimonial from a client?
Asking for a testimonial can be as simple as sending an email or sending a LinkedIn recommendation request. After completing freelance writing jobs, some writers have an “offboarding process” that includes a feedback survey that also asks for a testimonial.
Dan is a freelance writer specializing in small business and personal finance. He works with FinTech and B2B companies and has written extensively about small business, from startup guides to payment processor reviews. Hire him to write for YOU at danmarticio.com.