How to ask for a testimonial from a client

Robert Williams

Somebody told me once that the right time to ask for a testimonial from a client is when they are at an emotional high point of a project. The rationale? Simply asking for a testimonial when a client is happy increases the chances you get one. I agree.

While the exact moment will vary from client to client, for most clients it’s a fairly safe bet to assume the end of a project (aka when you deliver what they paid for) is a good time to ask. (Alternatively, another great time to ask for a testimonial might be whenever they express satisfaction about your work. So if a client gives you a compliment, that’s probably a good time to ask too.)

If you’ve decided you want to ask a client for a testimonial, here’s a word-for-word script you can use to improve the chances of getting a great one:

Tell the client why a testimonial is important

Here’s a template a friend of mine shared with me for asking clients to send him a testimonial. See if you can spot what makes it unique:

[NAME]

Trust is vital to my business but new clients who don’t know me have to take a risk at first. Testimonials from past clients can help remove that risk.

Would you mind writing (or recording) a short testimonial about [the project or one aspect on the project you need a testimonial about]. Even something short and simple is useful.

Thanks.

See it? He makes the client feel important. He (truthfully) starts the email by talking about how important testimonials are for his business. This makes the client feel important. Everyone wants to feel like their opinion matters. By making a case for why leaving you a testimonial is important, you make your client feel important too.

If you want to go one step further, you can increase the chances you get a testimonial further by actually writing the testimonial for them.

Write the testimonial for them

Below is a template you can use to include an “example” testimonial in your email that will give clients an idea of what to write:

Something like this would be perfect:

“Buying [Your name]’s services to create a website that is measurably adept at getting more customers is a guaranteed investment. – [Client Name]”

In fact, if you’re busy at the moment, I can even use that quote for now. Thanks.

This works because all a busy client has to say is “yea sure” and the work is done. (This is the same way I approach all email to clients. I try to make every email as simple to reply to as possible.)

After all, my job is to do this project FOR my client – and to lay everything out for them perfectly in order to minimize their time commitment. NOT give them more work by having to manage me.

Don’t forget to ask for a referral too

Lastly, once I get a testimonial (which is basically a referral to the whole world) – I’ll follow that up by asking for a direct referral to someone they know:

[Name]

Thanks for the testimonial this was an awesome project.

I’d like to continue working with you – I have a few ideas for what we can do in the next few weeks to add to this project and make it even more successful. I’ll send those over soon, but for now if you know of anyone who would benefit from a similar service, I would love it if you could send me their email so I can let them know that you thought I might be a fit for their company, and answer any questions they have about how your project worked out (I’ll CC you on the email)!

Do you know of a couple people that might be a fit?

Thanks, really appreciate it as my business runs on referrals.

I try to ask every client for a testimonial and a referral using these email templates at the end of each project. This is probably one of the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to increasing your revenue as a freelancer.

If you’re looking for ways to add more leads to your business too, that’s exactly what I cover in my new course: Endless Clients (get a sneak peek here). You’ll learn how to build a system that will not only get you testimonials but turn leads into clients using a few simple tools.

Or if you’re looking for high-value web design and development leads, did you know I publish a weekly Referral Newsletter with curated opportunities? Happy to send you a free lead sample so you can increase the number of proposals you send this week in minutes.

Note: The course is currently closed and it only opens a couple times a year, however, if you sign up below you’ll get notified about the next available spot.

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