Whether you’re looking for gigs or an in-house position, knowing how to ask for and get the right testimonials about your work will be a game changer for your career.
Does your website have glowing referrals, case studies, and testimonials from people you’ve worked with?
Even if you’re not in sales, having references like these can help you network into the full-time job or freelance gigs you’re chasing.
The trick is learning how to snag blurbs for your website or social media promotion at the right time — and from the right people.
Why Testimonials and Reviews Matter So Much
Could you land the job of your dreams without client testimonials on your site and an outstanding design portfolio alone?
But endorsements and case studies will help you:
Establish your niche market. When visitors of your site see what you’ve done for businesses with similar problems, they’ll know you have the expertise to handle their specific issues too.
Highlight your diverse range of skills. You flex different muscles tackling every project you take on; let visitors see what an awesome job you did via the words of your happy customers. This will definitely help you stand out in a crowded design market.
Establish trust with future clients. A testimonial from a customer shows you deliver what you promise and says you’re trustworthy.
These case studies and testimonials will become your ultimate sales machine, selling your skills and convincing visitors of your site to contact you with work opportunities.
Where Should Your Testimonials Come From?
You should ask for a review or recommendation from anyone who can sing your praises relative to the type of job you want.
Asking for this is hard, and even those in sales get this step wrong. In one survey, only 11% of salespeople asked for a referral when 91% of customers said they would have given one[*].
Chances are you’ve worked with all types of people, paying or not, who can vouch for your professionalism and creativity while you’ve been leveling up your marketing skills to this point.
So try starting with your:
- Friends and family members
- Former and present coworkers
- Past and current clients
- Social media followers and people within your network or industry
Create a list of contacts and follow this plan to get the website blurbs you need without the stress.
How to Ask for Testimonials (and Actually Get Them)
Asking for references doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these tips and you’ll have a foolproof follow-up plan:
Create a Testimonial Template
Make your life easier by automating the testimonial process with a template. This productivity hack will streamline the process and help you get more accomplished.
Whenever you’re considering asking for a case study or review:
- Time your ask right
- Keep in touch until you receive your testimonial
- Thank your contact
- Fine-tune the process and repeat for the next client
Email is often the most preferred way to ask for a reference.
It’s unobtrusive, gives you the time to write a personalized message, and lets your contact reply on their time.
Here’s a general gist of what to include in your ask email:
- First, thank your contact for the chance to work together.
- Then, lead with the positives of your collaboration and highlight key goals you accomplished together as a team to jog their happy memories.
- Ask for the reference and mention how you appreciate testimonials because they’re how you’re able to grow your business and help people like them.
- End with a strong call to action so your contact feels compelled to write something back ASAP.
Craft a few versions of an email containing all this information and save it as a template. Then you can quickly send a personalized message to each client every time you want a referral.
When should you ask for a reference?
Timing is Everything
Experts say the best time to ask for a testimonial from a client happens during what’s known as the “honeymoon phase.”
In this glorious time after a big project wraps or a deal is made, your client will be most pleased with your work and you’ll feel super confident with your accomplishment.
So stick to this schedule to time your ask right:
- When the project ends, send a thank-you email to your client praising the positive collaboration and what you were able to accomplish together. Let them know how appreciative you’d be of a testimonial for your website.
- One week later, send a follow-up email to either thank your client for their review or gently nudge them to make one with a testimonial cheat sheet (more on this next).
- Continue to stay in touch with your client to remain top-of-mind when upcoming projects or potential leads for you cross their path. Ask if you can add them to your email list.
If your contacts don’t immediately jump on board with a testimonial in the first phase, you may want to give them a cheatsheet to speed up the process.
Give Out Testimonial Cheat Sheets
Besides not having the time, many people simply don’t think they have the right words to leave a testimonial on your website for all your visitors to read forever.
So create a few sample reviews, blurbs, testimonials, or case study outlines to send to your contacts for inspiration. You can even attach actual screenshots as examples.
When you give your clients exactly what you’re looking for using these templates, they’ll be less overwhelmed by your ask and more likely to do it.
Properly Thank All Who Follow Through
You should always go the extra mile to thank someone who takes the time to write something wonderful about you. This means sending a handwritten note, or a small gift, to show your appreciation.
To sweeten the pot and encourage more repeat business, you can also offer a piece of free, exclusive content or a discount for their next project with you.
Now Get Ready for All Your New Job Offers
Having a website that converts visitors into paying gigs is just as important for your career as knowing how to use your social media to land jobs.
So check out the skills hiring managers are looking for by browsing job postings on Fresh Gigs, Canada’s top destination for design, marketing, and tech jobs. Then make sure all your testimonials hit those keywords and demonstrate those abilities.
Keep applying for positions and when decision makers check out your site, they’ll see all your glowing endorsements and move your resume to the top of the pile.