Positive client testimonials are the bread and butter of companies in any industry, so you’re missing a trick if you’re not using freelancer reviews to boost your career. In the right place at the right time, even the simplest recommendation can win you new clients and land you new jobs.
A freelancer review or testimonial is really any story from a client about your work or your working relationship. They can be as short as one sentence or pages long, all that really matters is it showcases your best talents. Here are a few ways to build your freelancer review portfolio, plus some tips on how to use them.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Most customers will not be forthcoming with testimonials. This might be nothing to do with your performance, but rather they’re busy thinking about other things. That’s why the first thing to do in building a portfolio of testimonials is just to ask for them.
Tip: Never forget your clients are human beings, just like you. You’d be surprised how far a friendly email can get you.
Make a list of clients who you’ve done a lot of work for, those who you have a good working relationship with and you think would be willing to provide a glowing freelancer review. You might have some trepidation, but you’d be surprised how many clients will be willing, even excited to write you a good review if they’ve had a positive experience with you.
(MORE: Tips to grow your freelance business)
Make it easy for them
You also want to make sure it’s not a chore for clients to give testimonials. When asking, tell them that a few sentences would be enough — short reviews are best for advertising anyway — so they don’t need to spend long on them.
To ensure you end up with the kind of freelancer review you’re after, you could suggest a framework to guide clients in their writing, including key buzz terms like attention to detail and timely delivery. For particularly busy clients you might even write a statement for them and ask them to sign off on it.
Another slightly more technical way to simplify the testimonial process is by creating a customer feedback form. Use any online survey service to generate a short form with standard questions, such as “Was I able to fulfill your requirements?” or “Would you hire me to do this work again, if so, why?”
Have it in writing
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but written freelancer reviews are worth their weight in gold.
The testimonial game is all about proof, which means verbal praise, as appreciated as it might be, isn’t worth much going forward. Whenever you do particularly well on a job, or a client is extra pleased with an element of your work, get them to put it in writing. This could be something as simple as a line in an email that you can quote on your website. That being said, always ask for permission to use private correspondence in a public setting.
Start small, but keep building
To begin with, five strong freelancer reviews is enough to prove the quality of your work to potential future clients. Starting with a handful will make sure each is a strong representation of your talents, rather than settling for 20 lukewarm reviews.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, definitely expand. Include new statements from recent clients, ask previous clients for updates, or request more long-form recommendations from clients you’ve been with for a long time. You don’t need to publish them all on your website, but keeping a variety of detailed testimonials means you can pick and choose when attracting specific new clients.
Once you start collecting, you’ll find that gathering client testimonials is actually a lot easier than getting good use out of them. Posting them up on your site’s About page is a good start, but there are lots of ways to actively promote yourself with client testimonials. Drop a freelancer review at the end of regular emails, on work proposals or on social media posts. You worked hard for these, be proud of them and show them off!
Bea Potter is an accomplished productivity expert, working at a UK Essay writing service. Beatrix has been successfully working from home for a number of years and she regularly writes articles on ways to improve productivity and output when working remotely. She is also an online proofreader. Find her on Twitter – https://twitter.com/BeatrixJPotter