Gaining Testimonials for Freelance Work

We can be reluctant to promote ourselves, an aversion to ‘blowing our own trumpet’ so to speak. However, in the realms of business, it is essential to provide our current and potential clients with evidence of our expertise and work ethic. Using another adage (sorry, two in one article!) ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ – so how do you ask?

Obviously, the first option is to approach your client and actually ask the question. Most clients will not spontaneously offer to write a testimonial. It is up to you to approach them. There are a few options:

a. The direct approach- a phone call or email requesting a testimonial.

b. Creating an email request form once the project has been completed to accompany your invoice or follow up.

c. A general request on your website.

With any of these options you need to be specific on what you want. Just saying “give me a testimonial” leaves the request too open to a) interpretation b) may sound unprofessional c) inexplicit direction. You need to be specific on what you need that will show potential clients what it is like to work with you. Think about what you want them to emphasize. So before you ask for a testimonial, work out what you’d like them to say and pose simple questions that will yield nice customer quotes.

Use these questions as a guideline.
  1. Did you deliver the project on time and on budget to a high standard?

2. Did you develop a project brief with clear project outcomes and deliverables?

3. Were you punctual and responsive to edits and changes?

4. Did you communicate easily and promptly?

3. How have your skills impacted their business or readers?

4. What was their experience of working with you?

There are of course variations to these, dependent on the type of project you are working on. Look at other freelancer testimonials and see how they are structured. This will give you an idea of the questions asked.

Do you have any tips on gaining testimonials? Care to share?