How To Find Testimonials You Didn’t Know You Had
Who’s going to vouch for your services if you haven’t worked for anyone yet?
Starting out in freelancing can be difficult, especially as a writer. It’s sort of like the chicken and the egg concept, or the cart and the horse. You need accolades and testimonials to get a leg up, but how are you going to get endorsements if you’re just getting started?
The idea behind this article came to me the other day while I began revamping my old website. Sure I’m a writer, but I have no actual customers yet because I’ve never had a product or offering before.
Now I do have something to offer, but exactly where am I going to get the testimonials I need to appear legit in the eyes of potential customers?
Enter: An old blog.
I’m willing to bet that many of us writers have blogs. It’s what we do. And our blogs are full of testimonials we may not be aware of. I didn’t think of it this way until I referred back to my old, retired blog.
Wordpress blogs, in particular, are a very useful tool when trying to dig up endorsements. Inside the dashboard, we can navigate specifically to all our blog comments, where we’ll find a wealth of reader feedback we’ve acquired over time.
These are your testimonials, whether they were paying customers or not. They are your readers, the people who visit your site and find something worthy enough to comment on.
Using Positive Comments as Testimonials
Nothing strokes our egos like some good old-fashioned feedback from strangers and virtual friends. These ego strokes fulfill two different needs for us as writers. The first need is validation. We love to know that our words are resonating the way they were intended to.
Second, all positive feedback can serve as testimonials for future business clients and customers.
When I sat back and tried to figure out where to find writing accolades relevant to my new service offerings, I only had to look as far as my blog. I remembered I had created a testimonials page over there, full of the best comments I’ve ever received about my travel writing.
Talk about an ego boost and the ability to turn blog comments into authentic endorsements for my writing. When I revisited comments such as these, it was all I needed.
“We love you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. When we’re feeling homesick your writing brings us back, even if only for a moment. xoxoxo Looking forward to what this power house of a woman will do in the future!”
“I love your blog! I just spent the better half of the afternoon reading *almost* all of your posts because I couldn’t get enough!”
“You’ve provided your readers with a wealth of useful information. Those who are new to Jamaica have learned a lot of things that no travel agent could ever tell them, and the “old heads” like me have enjoyed living vicariously through your adventures. I think your blog is just scratching the surface of what will soon come to fruition!”
Wow, right? Look at the kind of appreciation you can find simply by reading through and paying attention to your best comments. Your readers aren’t only there to improve your stats. They’re actually your ‘customers’ in this business of writing, even if you don’t run a business yet.
Using LinkedIn Recommendations
As if those positive comments weren’t enough, we also have another way to extract kudos we can turn into testimonials. Not everyone may have these, but I’m willing to bet that plenty of us do.
If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, look no further than that. There’s a section on your profile called Recommendations where anyone who follows you can write an endorsement that will show on your profile. If you have yet to receive unsolicited recommendations, LinkedIn allows you to ask for them.
When someone leaves you a LinkedIn recommendation, they tend to write it in a more professional manner because it’s visible on both your profile and theirs, and it could lead to more connections for them as well.
I have omitted identities from the above screenshot for this article, but LinkedIn recommendations identify the person writing it along with a link to their professional profile. It’s a win-win for both parties.
Asking for Testimonials From Loyal Readers
And finally, one last way to garner endorsements for use as testimonials on your website is to simply ask for them. If you’ve got steadfast readers who follow your writing closely, give them a call to action by asking for recommendations.
This could come in the form of sending an email to your subscribers, requesting a short testimonial you can use on your new website. In most cases, readers will be happy to write up a small blurb authenticating your skills and strengths as a writer.
This article was originally published by Kristi keller on medium.