How to get the most powerful client testimonials

David Head
min read

Social proof is like a multiplier on your business’s growth. The more of it you have, easier you’ll close deals, and the more valuable deals you’ll get. Testimonials are a key piece of social proof every professional should strive to cultivate.

Here’s a framework to not only get them, but get the perfect ones.

How to ask for testimonials

I’ll use a web design project as the example.

When you’re on your last planned phone call with the client, say:

“I’d love to use the website we built in my portfolio. Would you be open to giving me a quote about your experience for it?”

Then follow up via email a few hours later thanking them in advance for providing the testimonial. Include a line like:

“To make things easier for you, anything along the lines of [Insert paragraph here] would be great.” [1]

When crafting the example testimonial, use the structure: “[Sentence on the job to be done.][Sentence about the result.][Sentence about the clients opinion of you.]”

This testimonial framework is applicable for almost any profession. An example testimonial for my company, Sixty, would be:

“Within a minute of using Sixty, I had a list of 5 perfect Squarespace designers to build my website. Every designer got back to me within a day, had the skills I needed, and could hit my deadline. I’ve hired dozens of freelancers over the years and it’s never been this easy.”

Why this works

I learned this pre-written testimonial tactic from Jake Jorgovan. It’s consistently gotten me dozens of testimonials over the years.

It works because often times, clients procrastinate over writing the right thing. It takes a decent amount of mental energy to write a good testimonial. Your prompt helps with that. Surprisingly, most people reply and say “Yeah you can use that testimonial!”. That said, don’t be afraid to spend 15 minutes crafting the ideal testimonial to use as the example you send clients.

Good luck cultivating your social proof and growing your business! If you want further clarity on anything I wrote here, feel free to drop your question in the comments below!

[1] You can tell how happy you made the client by 1) how open they are to the idea of giving you the testimonial and 2) how quickly they get back to you with it. If you find it’s hard to get testimonials, consider doubling down on your efforts to make your clients happy.

David Head

David Head is a cofounder of Sixty. He started his career as an ecommerce business owner. After experiencing the difficulties of building a quality website, he started freelance web designing, which turned into founding a web agency. Sixty is a product of being in the client, freelancer, and agency's shoes. Sixty's purpose is to make freelance careers more stable and prosperous and client projects more efficient and successful.

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