6 Creative Ways to Get Client Testimonials that Build Your Brand

By MBO Partners | June 14, 2024

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Key Points

Client referrals and recommendations can be extremely beneficial in terms of establishing company credibility and trust.

While a good marketing strategy can help attract prospective clients, these prospects will most likely look for customer reviews next.

Testimonials are essential because they are first-hand accounts of a customer's experience with your company.

Client referrals and recommendations can be invaluable in building business credibility and trust. While a good marketing strategy can help draw in potential clients, prospects will likely look for customer reviews next. Testimonials are important because they are first-hand accounts of an experience with your business.

Testimonials can help you build a strong brand and confirm that you truly do what you say you can do. Whether you’re a seasoned independent professional or have just a few projects under your belt, it’s never too late to start collecting feedback. Here are six creative ways to get client testimonials.

1. Make it Easy for Clients to Write a Review

A well-organized testimonials page on your personal website that features interesting projects, detailed feedback, and links to client websites may incentivize clients to leave a review of their own. To further encourage clients to write reviews, create a testimonial form on your site. Include a few questions specific to your services as well as a blank section where clients can write in their own feedback. Providing a link to your form on the testimonials page makes it easy for clients to write a review.  If you speak with a client who is willing to write a testimonial, providing a link to your form can make it easy for them to follow through. Rather than having to continuously follow up with a client, direct them to the form where they can quickly and easily leave their feedback.

A “ready-made” place for client reviews is your LinkedIn profile. Ask clients to provide recommendations and use their words in your marketing.

2. Put Compliments to Good Use

If a client compliments your services in an email, over the phone, or even during an in-person conversation, write down the review and ask them if it would be okay to feature it on your website. Even small bits of praise that describe your services such as, “Thank you so much for the great editing job. I didn’t have to change a single thing!” can be a useful review to capture and feature.

3. Think Before You Ask

If you want to ask a client for a testimonial but aren’t sure how to begin the conversation, try starting with a compliment. Let the client know why a testimonial from them would be particularly valuable. You may say something like, “Your opinion really means a lot to me. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about the recent work I did for you?” Or, “I’m so happy to hear the new software system I installed has been helping to improve productivity and efficiency for your business! Would you be willing to share your experience working with me through a LinkedIn recommendation?”

Be open with your client about how you plan on using the testimonial—perhaps you’re working on building out that section of your website or you’re competing for a new project. If you can give a client a specific reason for why their testimonial would be useful, they may be more willing to help out.

4. Get Feedback When a Project is Complete

An end-of-project survey can be a great way to quickly gather feedback that you can craft into a testimonial. A client will likely be most excited and willing to talk about your work when you deliver the final product, so use this time to your advantage. Set up a simple survey—Google Forms or Survey Monkey are two easy-to-use tools—and ask your client if they’d be willing to take a few minutes to provide feedback.

5. Feature Successful Projects

Showcasing a client you enjoy working with is an engaging way to bring positive attention both to them and to your business. Choose one of your favorite projects and ask your client if they would be on board with you creating a mini case study, perhaps as a blog or social media post. If they like the idea, ask if they’d be willing to contribute a testimonial about the process. By showcasing a project, you can provide prospective clients with valuable insight into your working process as well as a first-hand account of how a past project turned out.

6. Highlight Short Testimonials on Social Media

Social media testimonials are short, easy to read, and can help boost brand credibility by spreading the word about your business throughout a client’s social network. Keep an eye out for posts from blog readers, clients, or industry professionals that mention your business, skills, expertise, or services. If you see a positive post, embed it on the testimonials page of your personal website—just be sure to ask permission first.

If you have an active following on a social media platform, you may also consider creating a call-to-action hashtag to encourage your followers or clients to talk about their experiences with your business. For example, you could say something like: “Share your experience with @JoeSmithConsulting using the hashtag #ThanksJoeSmith”

A powerful testimonial can help prospective clients feel more comfortable doing business with you. If you receive a review that you think would be a good testimonial, reach out and thank your client and then ask them if you can feature their comment. It’s okay to edit a testimonial for grammar and clarity, but be sure to stick to the client’s exact language as much as possible and let the client approve your edits before posting it online.

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