Persuasion. That’s what testimonials and case studies are for clients. They are a signal that tells them they can trust and buy your product or services.
But it’s also way too common to skip asking for a testimonial. The testimonial questions on this page (and also look out for my word-for-word script on how to ask for a testimonial in the first place) will make it mind-numbingly simple to ask your clients for a great testimonial that will attract more business.
This question is designed to paint a “before” state. Ideally, this is the same state your prospective clients are currently in, so reading it will resonate.
This is a follow-up question to #1. It will hopefully provide some vivid details that make prospective clients identify with your testimonial further. It will also help prospective clients overcome their objections by seeing others talk about theirs. By asking this directly, you bake objection-busting into your testimonial automatically.
All prospective clients have other options. By getting the answer to why you’re a better investment than those options – in a client’s own words – you help your prospective clients see why they should choose you too.
This is beginning to paint the “after” state. Up until now you’ve setup the challenges, and now it’s time to to bring it home with the results. It will also provide some vivid details about what changed in the clients day-to-day life. This is powerful because often the effect of your work is more emotional and personal than you think.
By asking the client to describe why their investment in you was a good one – you start to put your testimonial in terms of ROI (return on investment). This is ultimately the purpose of a testimonial.
This helps you (and prospective clients) know exactly what the most important benefit is to your work. This is not only great for your prospective clients, but also for you to know when marketing your services. If all your client’s consistently say that X is the most important benefit – you know to lead with that.
Asking a client to expand and name some different benefits is a good way to find surprising secondary benefits of your work.
This question is essentially a blanket referral. If a client says yes, you know they truly believe your service was a success. Don’t forget to ask for an actual referral at this point.
It’s always a good idea to leave room for a client to share more and give you feedback.
Note: some of these testimonial questions are from Meg Cumby who adapted them from Sean D’Souza’s awesome The Brain Audit. I’m a big fan of TBA. Not only are they essentially having your best clients to write case studies for you, they’re helping you research and learn about the projects you worked on.
That’s why NOT baking them into your business (with things like automatic client follow-ups and testimonial questions) is a failure!
It’s way too common for freelancers to have nothing to show for projects they put weeks of work into.
Some freelance designers even have dozens of happy clients that no one would ever know about because they’ve failed to showcase them properly. This is a travesty. You shouldn’t feel disorganized, inefficient, and wasteful because you aren’t highlighting your work properly.
Instead you can create awesome testimonials and case studies with just a few simple systems. Let’s dive into that next.
Now that you have your testimonial questions – the next step is to actually ask a client for one.
Ideally, you want to do this at the high-point of a project. That’s usually at the end, when you’re giving a client the awesome deliverables they paid for, but it can happen at any point of the project.
One tip is to ask when a client has expressed satisfaction about the project or a result. If they comment about your work being awesome unprovoked, it’s probably a good time to ask.
So how do you ask? The best way to get a testimonial is to make it extremely easy for the client. We recommend something like this:
Hi Client name,
I’m thinking of featuring a case study on my website about my work with [company name] – with your permission.
I’d love to include a testimonial quote from you. Something sorta like this would be perfect:
“Using [Your name]’s design services to create a website that measurably attracts more customers is a guaranteed investment.”
In fact, if you’re busy at the moment, I can even use that quote for now. Does that sound good?
A busy client just has to say “yeah, sure” and their work is done.
After that, it makes sense to ask for a full testimonial.
In combination with the testimonial question we just walked through above, I recorded a short interview with Meg Cumby, who specializes in creating case studies and testimonials.
Interview with Meg Cumby who specializes in creating amazing case studies and testimonials.
Instead of asking a client to answer 9+ long questions via email, make it easy on both you and your client by creating a form with your testimonial questions inside.
My favorite tool for this is Google Forms because it’s free and works great.
This both increases the chances a client follows through and keeps things tidy for you.
Using a form also lets you re-use the same survey instantly, and you have all of the data collected neatly in one place. Here’s how we recommend asking your client to fill out the form you create:
Thank you for letting me use that quote!
I’m always happy to hear when a client is happy with my work.
It would mean a lot if you could please fill out this 5-minute questionnaire, also: https://your-testimonial-link.com
My business’ lifeblood is case studies and referrals so I really appreciate you taking the time.
This email will hopefully persuade your client to take some time out of their schedule by highlighting the importance of it.
Just remember, if they don’t respond right away: keep following up!
One alternative that can make even better testimonials is asking clients to jump on a recorded call instead.
This can be an easier sell (especially if they’re already used to jumping on calls with you) and has some added upside: video / audio case studies, which are more entertaining for prospective clients.
With a recording of the client answering your testimonial questions you can create super persuasive video or audio case studies that connects on a deeper level. For this I love to recommend Zoom.
Simply schedule a call, open up Zoom and hit record. Zoom backs up your files on the cloud and before you know it you have everything you need for an awesome case study.
What I like to do is open up the Typeform survey with my testimonial questions in it and fill it out while I’m on the call with the client. Presto!
The last thing I’d like to mention is how to turn testimonials into repeat work and referral work.
I find referrals to be an easy and natural upsell from testimonials because when you get a testimonial you’re basically getting an open endorsement to the entire world. Therefore a direct introduction to someone the client knows makes a ton of sense.
Here’s how to do that in a simple and effective request:
Hi Client Name,
Thanks again for the testimonial.
This was an awesome project and I’m already brainstorming some ideas for how we can continue to work together in the future –
I’ll send those over soon, but for now, if you know of anyone who would benefit from working with me, I would love it if you could send me their email.
That way I can introduce myself and let them know that you think I might be right for them, and answer any questions they have about how your project worked out (I’ll also cc you on the email)!
Again, the focus in this email is taking work away from the client. As with all of these templates, make sure you put it into your own words and make it sound right for your situation.
By adding these emails to the end of all of your engagements, you should see an explosion of testimonials and referrals in your business.
The goal is to help you stand out to clients on your website and portfolio. That’s exactly what my new course: Endless Clients helps you do too.
If you’d like to build a system that makes getting clients (and testimonials) easier, you should sign up today.
I include dozens of templates, and scripts inside the course and a ton more. 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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