Get your clients to work for you by asking them to sing your praises
Your clients are your most valuable asset – so make the most of them by getting them to sing your praises. One of the most important lessons to learn about being freelance is that you’re in the business of making money. And you make money by attracting clients, producing high quality work for them and getting paid for it, which you need to keep doing over and over again.
Luckily this isn’t quite as scary as some think, and one excellent way to create a buzz around you and your work is by asking clients for testimonials. Testimonials are a powerful way to attract new clients because they prove that not only can you live up to your promises – but that people who’ve paid you good money to work for them think so too.
The best time to ask for a testimonial is right after you’ve bought a client project to a satisfactory conclusion – preferably at a wrap-up meeting or with a follow-up phone call or email afterwards.
Do it while the project is fresh in your clients’ mind and they’re more likely to respond and be enthusiastic about it. Sometimes though clients might not feel comfortable writing a testimonial for you – so your best bet, if that happens, is either to get a quote from them that you can write up, or to offer to write one on their behalf. In both cases make sure they sign it off and are happy to have the testimonial, their name, job title and company name published on your site and any other promotional material.
The secret to getting great testimonials is to be very specific about what you want your client to say about you: you want them to give examples of specific areas where your skills, knowledge and experience have helped them: “John’s in-depth knowledge of logo design clearly showed in the work he did for us,” rather than: “John did great.” Getting specific quotes lets you place the testimonial right alongside your own bits of marketing spiel, helping to back up with real-world evidence that you’re more than up to the task.