You’re doing it.
You’re running a business.
My guess is you’re damn good at it, too.
You have a stellar company, great clients, a few (or many!) success stories, and might have even made some money, too. You’re a shiny entrepreneur, new biz-owner or both. Now, it’s time to shout your successes from the rooftops, reel in new clients looking for ya, and legitimize your stellar work.
I’m talking about gathering client testimonials.
Testimonials are key, vital pieces to any successful business. They operate as credibility for you and your work. They’re social proof of your previous clients’ results. They pad you with status and expertise. They also tell potential clients why you and your business are/is the right one for them, specifically. They’re powerful sales tools and, frankly, you need them. Trust me.
There are a few key pieces you’re looking for in a testimonial that will make it strong. Ideally, it will include insight on what brought your clients to you, what they loved most about your work, and the tangible results or payoffs they got out of it.
Be direct in what you’re looking for. If you simply ask them for feedback they will never get around to it and/or provide you with generic comments that aren’t really useful.
Also, be sure to ask for a photo! Anyone scrolling through your site will resonate with the images of other happy clients and see themselves working with you, too. A photo also adds weight and validity to their feedback, essentially saying, “I’m a real person who actually benefited. Here’s my face to prove it.” Additionally, if your client’s businesses benefited from your work, ask them to provide relevant links to where you and your followers can find them! This way, you walk away with an awesome shout out and they get your clients’ eyes on their work, too! It’s a win-win.
If you’re feeling any weirdness about reaching out for praise, first of all — don’t. You earned it. Try putting yourself in your client’s shoes. If someone did the impeccable work for you that you did for them, wouldn’t you be happy to give them a thumbs up? I know you would.
Second: You can totally just swipe this email. (It worked great for me!)
Have at it!
Hi So and So!
I hope this email finds you well! I’m writing because I’d like to add testimonials to my website for [insert your business] and loved working with you in the past. Your feedback is particularly special to me because my goal is to attract more awesome clients that are just like you! (<— feel free to add details here about your specific work together!)
If you have a few moments to answer these questions below regarding [insert your business], I would really appreciate it! Your answers can be as simple or as detailed as you like. This won’t require more than five minutes.
- Why did you decide to work with me?
- What was the immediate outcome for you?
- What have been the longer-term results? (if applicable)
- I’d love to hear anything that stood out for you about our work together, and/or anything you think I did particularly well.
Additionally, please attach a photo if possible and include any relevant links where my followers and I can find you! [<– if this last piece makes sense for your clientele!]
I will be editing any responses down to a few sentences. If you would like me to run your testimonial by you before it goes live, just let me know.
Thank you for your time! (Add one more personalized sentence about working together.)
Once you have the goods, edit down their responses to the most juicy pieces. Keep it to five sentences or less (since most people scrolling will move on after the first few words anyway). Hot tip: Bold the bits you want to stand out, or even make them the headline!
Here’s an example of one of my personal favorite testimonials from a previous client I worked with named Kate, who completed my Build Your Client Base program. She is an online business manager for creative entrepreneurs who wrote:
“I joined Build Your Client Base because I knew that the next step in building my business was learning how to incorporate a solid, sustainable marketing plan. I now have a regular, growing newsletter campaign (plus other fun ways I can regularly get my name out there), a regular roster of clients, and the confidence to know that I’m finally at the place where I can quit my day job! I’ve loved working not only with Michelle, but also with a supportive, honest group of like-minded women. It has been a tremendous benefit to the growth of my business.”
See what I’m sayin’? It mentions the specifics about why she chose me as her business coach and how she and her business benefited from working with me. Heart. (Super fun fact — After launching her incredible business, The Efficient Creative, Kate signed on to project manage When I Grow Up Coach!)
Now that you have an idea what you’re looking for, rock that ctrl+c and ctrl+p on the email above and watch the love pour in!
It’s the best, you guys. Really.
If you’re looking for more ways to build your client base, I’ve got just the thing.