Most freelance writers know that it’s good to get testimonials.
Not hard to see why — when prospective freelance clients can read how effectively you helped other businesses or publications, they can envision how it’d be great if you helped them out, too.
If you’re really sharp, you may have learned (as I did a while back from Sean D’Souza) that your testimonials will be way more impactful if you can get mini-headshots to put with your testimonials.
That helps prospects relate even more to your past clients. I use headshots on my Freelance Writers Den testimonials, and it definitely makes them more eye-catching.
You can see there’s a real human being behind that recommendation, and it’s not made up.
But maybe you wonder if any prospects ever happen on to your site to see those testimonials you’ve so painstakingly acquired.
Recently, I learned there’s a more proactive way to get a lot more impact and mileage out of your testimonials, besides just slapping them up on a ‘testimonials’ page on your website, or getting LinkedIn recommendations.
“Pushing” your testimonials
I was chatting with freelance writer and former newspaper reporter Penny Taylor of Ghostwriting Connection, and she showed me what she does with her testimonials.
Instead of waiting for prospects to show up on her site and find her testimonials, she gives the testimonials to her prospects.
She’s created email stationery with her company logo as a top-bar letterhead, for responding to client nibbles. And she puts the testimonials into a right-hand sidebar.
As you see in this example Penny sent me:
As you can see, she sometimes also drops a photo of herself near her signature to humanize her message and show she’s a real person. Nice idea!
The form is set up for sending client proposals — love this way of differentiating yourself from any other bids that prospect might be getting.
She sometimes also includes logos of writer organizations she belongs to. I’m not sure how much prospects know those or care about them…but the testimonials sure do rock.
Only thing I’d do different is — you guessed it — include small photos of the clients with the testimonial sidebar.
Penny reports she keeps a variety of testimonials handy and changes those out, depending on the type of client she’s sending her email to. Clever!
Penny’s design tips:
“Play with the placement, color, fonts and font sizes. Don’t use too many different fonts. Don’t go crazy with colors. KISS – Keep it simple stupid.”
I’ve never done much with sending graphical emails to prospects, so I’m intrigued by this way of getting your testimonials out there.
Once you’ve created your email template with your testimonials, it’s the work of a moment to press “send,” and presto — your testimonials are right in front of your prospects. And more prospects seeing your testimonials means more gigs.
Consider this your reminder to be on the lookout for more testimonials you could request from clients! Now you’ve got another way to use them to land new clients.
How do you use testimonials? Leave a comment and tell us your approach.