Freckle Time Tracking

Freelancember 2012

Getting Good Client Testimonials

Steps to the Testimonial Promiseland

Today's lesson is by guest teacher Brennan Dunn! Brennan's the author of a mind-blowing book called Double Your Freelancing Rate, and he got a few tricks up his sleeve.

The key to getting into Client Testimonial Heaven is knowing what you want your client to say about you. Think that sounds like putting words in someone's mouth? Fear not! You won't be telling them what to say; you'll be using questions to draw out their experiences, in their own words.

This skill is called client coaching. And the best part about this coaching gig is that you're already an expert in it!

Here are 5 steps to perfect your client coaching skills and get those jaw-droppin' testimonials:

Step 1: Talk the talk.

Refer back to those preliminary conversations with your client. The base of a great testimonial comes straight from the horse's mouth. That is to say, when you started this gig, you found out what your client hopes to achieve by hiring you. Now you want to remind yourself (and them) what their goals were.

Discussing the results of the project in light of your client's goals will help them accurately describe how much value you've brought to the table.

Step 2: Find the right time.

Figuring out when to ask for a testimonial will depend on what type of value you're delivering. If your client can see immediate results from your work, you'll want to get a testimonial while the relief of having found you is still fresh in your client's mind. (Example: they're stuck in the middle of a badly developed project, and you swoop in to rescue them.) But... if the results of your work will naturally take some time, it's best to wait for measurable data. (Example: you've written new copy for their advertisements and it'll take a while to see the conversion increase.)

Step 3: Create a follow-up queue.

It's super helpful to put your former clients into a follow-up queue. Once a project is completed, keep contacting your clients to see how their business is doing. Not only will this make them feel special, this ongoing contact will also help you stay in front of them for referrals, and hear about the positive results you crave for a top-dollar testimonial.

Step 4: Write the testimonial for them.

Doing all the work for your client makes it very easy for them to say yes! And if you do it right, your client will be delighted (instead of skeeved out).

First, ask your client some questions about before, during, and after the project (their goals, experience working with you, and results). Then turn their words into a 2 — 3 sentence testimonial, saving them the trouble. (Hint: start with the problem or goals, and describe how those were achieved.) Then ask your client for changes and approval.

Et voila: you get the testimonial you want, your client is spared the annoyance of writing it, and it still meets their approval!

Step 5: Getting the gold!

The most important thing to figure out is, how you've improved your client's biz. Clients don't throw thousands of dollars at you for funsies — but they do they happily pay for your expertise, and the results you deliver. Your next client will want to know how you've helped other businesses make more money, or grow, or rescue a doomed project. A great testimonial will show prospective clients why they can't live without you!

Download the testimonial cheat sheet!

The Bottom Line

Consulting & freelancing is all about trust. What's one way to help a potential client trust you? Show them how other folks like them have trusted you (and why, and what they got out of it!). Getting great testimonials will absolutely grow your business, and you already have all the tools in your freelancer belt to get them! All you need to do is be the expert and guide your client conversations.

At Freckle Time Tracking, we believe that everyone wins when freelancers are aware of their work rhythms (and take vacations!). So for Freelancember, we've lined up lots of great gifts to help you do it! Keep checking back.
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