How to Ask for a Testimonial: A Freelancer’s Guide 🙋💬

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
Contra Tips
· 7 min read

Discover how to ask for a testimonial with our expert guide. Don’t miss these tips and techniques to confidently request reviews and boost your reputation.

An Independent’s reputation is their currency, and client testimonials are the gold standard. These personal endorsements are crucial to success. They establish your expertise and unlock a whole new world of opportunities.

It's normal to feel hesitant about asking for feedback, often due to concerns about potential rejection or negative responses. This guide is designed to help overcome those anxieties by delving into the significance of customer reviews and sharing valuable tips on how to ask for a testimonial. You’ll be piling up the rave reviews in no time.

Why should you ask for a testimonial? 🤔

A testimonial is an endorsement from a satisfied client, telling other potential clients that you’re the real deal. These don’t just materialize out of thin air; you often have to ask for them, but the payoff is enormous!

A glowing review highlights the quality of your work and the value you bring to the table. By asking for testimonials, you’re harnessing the power of happy customers for word-of-mouth advertising, one of the most effective marketing tools.

Personal recommendations provide concrete evidence of your expertise — boosting trust, credibility, and confidence in your ability to deliver results. As an Independent, this social proof is crucial for distinguishing yourself from competitors and landing more work.

Testimonials also have personal benefits. They’re a great way to build your confidence as a freelancer so you can keep rocking those project deliverables.

What makes a good testimonial? 🙌

A good testimonial praises your work, grabs attention, and resonates with potential clients. It’s a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal that shouldn’t be overlooked. An impactful and memorable testimonial includes the following key elements:

  • Specifics. A strong testimonial contains details about your services that provide context and illustrate how you met or exceeded client expectations. These details paint a vivid picture of the results you can deliver.
  • Brevity and clarity. A compelling testimonial is concise and to the point. Straightforward reviews are more likely to leave a lasting impression, whereas lengthy testimonials can overwhelm readers.
  • Authenticity. A genuine, natural tone makes the review relatable and believable, allowing potential clients to connect with the experience shared by your satisfied customer.

3 ways to request a testimonial ✅

It’s tough to know the best channel for communicating with clients. There are several methods for requesting testimonials, each with distinct advantages. Here are three of the most popular ways to ask for reviews, along with an example for each: 

Via email 📬

Email is a convenient, straightforward way to ask for a positive testimonial. Communicating electronically is comfortable for many people, and you don’t need to be an email marketing expert to succeed at this method. 

If you’re wondering how to ask for a testimonial via email, try a simple message like “Hi [Client Name], I’m glad we successfully completed [project] together. Would you mind providing a short testimonial about our collaboration? Your feedback would mean a lot to me!”

You can research testimonial email examples online if you prefer to use a template or employ email automation to send every client a link to a simple feedback form.

In-person 👥

You can also request a testimonial in person. This is useful if you’re starting out and don’t have a long list of email addresses to work with. This approach is ideal for Independents who prioritize building face-to-face relationships, as it adds a more personal touch to the customer experience. 

Here’s how to word a request for a testimonial in person: “Our collaboration was a great experience, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Would you be open to providing a brief testimonial about our work together?”

This opens the door for them to get back to you with a testimonial, or you can conduct a short in-person interview full of open-ended questions.

Online 🌐

Another way to request a testimonial is through an online platform. Websites like Contra — a commission-free network for freelancers and clients — make it easy to ask for reviews. Simply send a request through the platform, and the testimonial will appear on your “Recommendations” page once the client has completed it.

Many of Contra’s skilled Independents, such as Charlie Osbourne and Amy Suto, effectively showcase testimonials, as well as case studies, services, and more, on their personal websites. These recommendations demonstrate the value of their work and increase their credibility with clients looking to hire. 

How to ask for a testimonial from a client: 6 tips 🙏

Testimonials are a convincing way to promote your small business. Asking for them can be challenging, but the right approach increases the likelihood of positive responses from your clients. These tips will help you ask for testimonials effectively:

Get permission 🫶

Ensure you have your client’s permission to post their testimonial publicly on your website or social media. This confirmation respects their privacy, demonstrates professionalism, and boosts trust.

Time it correctly ⏰

Examine your customer base to pinpoint when to request a testimonial. The optimal time is usually after the customer has achieved success; they’ll be more inclined to provide positive feedback when they’re satisfied with the results.

For example, if you work for a SaaS company, request a testimonial 30 days after your customer begins using your product. If you’re part of a marketing agency, ask for a testimonial immediately after smashing a client’s weekly, monthly, or annual goals. To inform your timing, collaborate with your team to identify the milestones that signify success.

Include a deadline 🏇

Create urgency when requesting a testimonial to motivate a timely response from your client. Asking them to provide feedback within a specific timeframe encourages them to act promptly and helps prevent your request from being forgotten or indefinitely postponed.

To achieve this, mention a reasonable deadline in your initial request. Give your client enough time to reflect on their experience and craft a thoughtful review. Afterward, express your appreciation for their time and effort. 

Offer an incentive 🎁

An incentive gives clients a good reason to say yes. Material incentives, such as gift cards, company merch, and company discounts, are typically welcome (but not always necessary) for testimonials. If you don’t want to offer a tangible reward, try offering a non-monetary incentive, such as a backlink to their website to boost their search engine optimization.

Provide options 🎥

Help your client help you by giving them testimonial ideas. Ask them to film a video testimonial, write a couple of paragraphs, do a live interview, or do a social media takeover. Giving them ideas reduces the time and stress associated with providing a testimonial, making it more likely they’ll follow up. 

Remember that personal preferences may impact a client’s drive or ability to create certain kinds of testimonials, so provide multiple options. 

Build a testimonial page on your portfolio 💻

If you haven’t done so already, create a dedicated space on your portfolio website to showcase customer testimonials. To showcase the versatility of your products and services, highlight a unique aspect with each positive review.

Use Contra’s Portfolio tool to quickly and easily build a personal website that showcases your glowing reviews. You might include a comprehensive list of testimonials or link out to reviews.

Secure freelance success with Contra 🤩

Join Contra to streamline your freelance journey. Our all-in-one platform is explicitly designed for Independents — we’ll help you find clients, get hired, manage your business efficiently, and showcase your client reviews. And it’s entirely commission-free! 

Don’t miss out on the chance to attract valuable opportunities and grow your freelance career. Sign up today and experience the difference our tools and network can make.

A Game Plan for Getting Clients 🔥

Working independently doesn’t mean searching endlessly for clients. Building a successful independent career requires a foundation of good clients, and marketing yourself online is the most effective way to do it.
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