Testimonials: Why and How

Testimonials have been an extremely important part of my business. I’m pretty sure, based on traffic analysis, that my testimonials drive more of my business than anything else.

Why are Testimonials so Important?

The obvious reason is that they’re a form of social proof. Other people running businesses have trusted their projects with you and had success so you’re probably a smart bet. You have obviously shown the ability to get stuff done in the past, so you’re likely to do so in the future.

How about another reason? For me, testimonials have been a life-saver when I’m working on a challenging project. Being able to look back and see the positive outcomes I’ve had on other projects and being reminded of how highly people regard my work gets me excited to do my best all over again. Here’s one of my favorite testimonials:

Nick was incredibly fast and efficient. He went above and beyond our expectations and was very pleasant to work with. We have yet to encounter a truer professional. We were also extremely impressed by his huge guns.

Aaron Gibraltar – Urtak, Inc.

How could I read that and not get pumped about my work?

How to Ask for a Testimonial

First, do your absolute best work at all times. Provide real value to your clients and they’ll be more willing to talk about your services.

Second, ask for a testimonial as soon as you finish a project. You want your client’s experience with you to be as fresh in their mind as possible. I try to ask for a testimonial in my final delivery message.

Next, make sure the client knows what you’re looking for. Specifically, ask for a sentence or two and nothing more. Writing a sentence takes so little effort that oftentimes people will just do it right away. Any larger commitment will cause your request to be put on the back burner.

You’ll probably need to follow up once or twice. If the client doesn’t get back to you immediately, send them a note via email in a week saying something like:

Joe, I really enjoyed working with you and I feel like we had a really successful project together. If you thought the same, I’d love to have a sentence or two from you about your experiences with me to post on my testimonials page.

As you can see, the request mentions your existing testimonials. There are two reasons for this:

  1. The client will see that you’re not asking for something out of the ordinary because others have already gone through the process of giving you a testimonial
  2. They will understand that you’re not looking for much more than a sentence or two and are more likely to follow through

Finally, move on quietly if the client can’t (because of corporate policy) or won’t write you a testimonial. It isn’t the end of the world as there will always be new clients you can try to impress.

Have you found that testimonials are an important part of your business? How do you go about getting them from clients?

One thought on “Testimonials: Why and How

  1. Connie

    I believe in testimonials. They are a great way to get feedback from your clients. I also believe that you do your absolute best work at all times. And when you are done and walk away: You Are Not Your Work. Sometimes easier said than done.


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