Client Testimonials: Why You Need Them & How to Get Them

5 minute read

Finding new clients can be challenging, especially when you’re a new copywriter. Fortunately, there are proven methods for attracting your target audience and growing your business.

One leading strategy is to build a library of testimonials from happy clients. Testimonials are critical to your marketing strategy, because they improve your credibility and build trust with future clients.

A client testimonial is a statement from a client praising your business or service. Testimonials can convince others that your service works and is worth the investment.

Prospective clients rely on testimonials to help them make buying decisions. In fact, 72% of people say testimonials and online reviews build their trust in a business. And 88% of consumers say they trust testimonials as much as they do personal referrals. In B2B circles, testimonials are considered one of the most effective marketing assets by 89% of B2B marketers.

Bottom line – testimonials help prospective clients feel confident about working with you. That confidence makes their decision-making process easier.

How to Get Testimonials From Your Clients

No matter how happy they are with your service, it’s rare that a client will spontaneously write a testimonial for you.

You’ll need to ask for it.

But, have no fear. As fellow business owners, clients understand how important social proof is for a business. If they’re satisfied with your services, clients are almost always happy to help.

Here’s how to ask for testimonials from your clients.

Send your client an email.

Sending out an email is a quick and easy method for getting clients’ feedback.

After you’ve finished your client’s project, send a follow-up email asking if they’d be willing to give you a testimonial. Tell them how much you’d appreciate it and remind them how influential testimonials can be to your business’ success.

Keep your request super simple. “Would you be willing to write a testimonial about working with me? I would like to use it in my marketing materials.”

Don’t ask for too much.

Tell your client that a two- or three-sentence testimonial is sufficient. You don’t want them to think they must write a lengthy statement about your awesomeness. If they do, they might get overwhelmed and be reluctant to follow through.

Use social media.

While email is the best approach, if you use social media for your business, you could create a post asking clients for testimonials. If your clients are already on social media, it’s an easy way for them to leave feedback. And, you can screenshot the testimonial to use on your website or in other marketing materials.

Client Testimonial Best Practices

Testimonials are a powerful tool that shows your credibility. That’s why it’s so important to ask for them. When you receive a testimonial from a client, there are some best practices regarding how to use it that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Ask permission.

If a client spontaneously sends you an email with positive feedback, ask permission before using it. They probably wrote it assuming the email would remain confidential. Getting permission to use their thoughts about your service avoids an uncomfortable conversation when they discover their words on your marketing materials.

Suppose a client leaves a testimonial on a public channel like Facebook, Yelp, or your Google Business profile. While the client shouldn’t expect privacy with a public post, it’s still good manners to ask if you can use their words.

Rule of thumb:  Ask permission before you use a spontaneous testimonial, even if a client posted it in a public place.

Give your client format options.

While video testimonials are more influential, not all your clients will be comfortable recording a video.

Most clients will prefer to give you a written testimonial. It’s faster and easier.  

Rule of thumb:  When asking for a testimonial, give your client the option of video, but don’t insist on it and risk losing the testimonial altogether.

Offer a template or testimonial draft.

While many clients will be willing to provide a testimonial, writing one might intimidate them. They may have questions about what they should say.

Make it easier for them by providing sample language they can use. For example:

“Before I started working with Joe, I was so frustrated with my landing pages. They weren’t converting at all. But, after Joe worked on the messaging and improved my copy, my landing pages are converting at an all-time high.”

Rule of thumb:  Offer to give your client a sample testimonial they can use as a starting point.

Ask for what you want.

If there’s a specific skill set you used while working with a client, ask them to use it in their testimonial. When I did some SEO work for a client, I specifically asked her to mention SEO in her testimonial. I knew it was a focus I wanted for my copywriting business, and I wanted testimonials reflecting that skill. She was happy to oblige.

Rule of thumb:  Speak up about your specific needs when requesting a testimonial.

Ask for numbers.

Specific numbers are always nice to have, because they show measurable results you get for your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for them.

For instance, maybe your client tells you the click-through rates on their emails increased by 47% after you started writing for them. Ask them if they’d be willing to include those numbers in their testimonial.

Just be aware that your client may want to keep specific numbers private. Be respectful of that.

Rule of thumb:  It’s okay to ask a client if they’re willing to share results in a testimonial, but don’t insist if they decline.

Give them time.

When asking for a testimonial, give your client time to write it. Wait a week or two, and if they haven’t responded, it’s okay to follow up. While the testimonial is significant to you, your client has other priorities.

Rule of thumb:  Follow up politely and professionally with a client who has agreed to write a testimonial but hasn’t sent it to you after a week or two.

What If You Still Need to Get Your First Clients?

If you’ve just begun your writing career, you’re probably worried about your lack of testimonials… and you’re probably wondering how to get that first client without them.

The testimonials you use in your marketing materials can be about something other than your writing. Ask a former (or current) employer or co-worker to write a testimonial. They could highlight how much they enjoy working with you because of your warm personality. Or mention how you’re always willing to lend a helping hand.

Do you have a good relationship with a neighbor? Maybe they could write a testimonial about how you helped with a difficult situation. They don’t have to give specific information. It’s enough for them to talk about your reliability or your helpfulness.

Have you done any volunteer work? Ask your supervisor or the volunteer coordinator if they would write a testimonial about your stellar work ethic.

Have you taken any courses where you had personal interaction with the instructor? Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to write a testimonial about your skills (if those skills apply to your writing business).

Do you have an accountability partner with whom you’ve been working? Ask if they would write a testimonial about your efforts, collaboration skills, or willingness to tackle new things.

Final Thoughts on Client Testimonials

Testimonials from satisfied clients can make finding new clients much easier. Testimonials offer proof you get results. And potential clients will be more comfortable when they see evidence that you’ve successfully completed work for someone else.

If you still need client testimonials, make a list of everyone you know who might be willing to write one. Then reach out to them today and ask for your first one.