Guide: Asking for Testimonials from Your Clients

As a freelancer, building a robust portfolio is essential, but testimonials can often provide that extra layer of credibility that sets you apart in a competitive field. Testimonials serve as social proof of your skills, abilities, and work ethic, making them a vital tool in attracting new clients. This guide aims to provide you with practical tips and strategies on how to effectively ask for and utilize testimonials from your clients. Let’s dive into the dynamics of testimonials and how they can bolster your freelancing career.

The Importance of Testimonials in Freelancing

Imagine you’re a potential client, browsing through the profiles of various freelancers. Would you be more inclined to hire someone with a portfolio of work alone or someone with a portfolio accompanied by glowing testimonials from satisfied clients? The answer is likely the latter. This is the power of testimonials in freelancing.

Testimonials offer social proof, a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others, believing those actions to be reflective of correct behavior. When potential clients see others praising your work, they’re more likely to perceive you as reliable and competent, thereby increasing their likelihood of hiring you.

Moreover, testimonials help build your credibility. They show that you’ve not only completed projects but done so to the satisfaction of your clients. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re starting and don’t have a long track record to showcase your abilities.

Understanding the Right Time to Ask for a Testimonial

Knowing when to ask for a testimonial is just as important as knowing how to ask. The ideal time to request a testimonial is after you’ve successfully completed a project for a client. Why? Well, the positive experience is still fresh in their mind, and they’re likely to give a more detailed and enthusiastic testimonial.

However, don’t rush to ask for a testimonial immediately after sending the final invoice. Give your client some time to fully appreciate the work you’ve done. A week or two after project completion can be a good time to ask.

Remember, every client and project is different. Be sure to use your judgment and understanding of your client’s communication style to decide the best time to ask for a testimonial. It’s essential to strike a balance between being proactive and respectful of your client’s time.

Crafting Your Testimonial Request

Creating an effective testimonial request is an art. It involves clear communication, showing appreciation for the client’s time, and providing a compelling reason for them to provide a testimonial. You want to make your request professional and respectful, yet personal and sincere.

A well-crafted testimonial request can make it easier for your clients to say yes. It can also ensure that the testimonial you receive is beneficial for your freelance business. So, how do you craft such a request? Let’s explore.

Key Elements of a Testimonial Request

There are several key elements that make up a strong testimonial request. Let’s break them down:

  • Expressing Gratitude: Begin your request by thanking the client for their time and business. This shows them that you value their relationship and are not just asking for a favor.
  • Being Specific: Guide your client on what you’d like the testimonial to include. You might ask them to focus on a particular aspect of your work, such as your responsiveness or the quality of your deliverables. This helps ensure that the testimonial is relevant and valuable.
  • Making it Easy: Make it as easy as possible for the client to respond. This might mean providing a testimonial template or suggesting a brief phone call to gather their feedback. The easier it is for them to provide a testimonial, the more likely they are to do so.

By incorporating these elements into your testimonial request, you help ensure that it’s compelling, clear, and easy for your client to respond to.

Utilizing Different Channels for Your Request

Once you’ve crafted your testimonial request, the next step is to decide how to deliver it. The channel you choose can depend on your relationship with the client, their communication preferences, and the nature of your work together. Let’s consider a few options:

  • Email: Email is a common and convenient channel for testimonial requests. It gives the client time to consider your request and craft their response. It also provides a written record of their testimonial that you can refer to in the future.
  • Phone Call: A phone call can add a personal touch to your request. It allows for a two-way conversation and can help you gather more detailed feedback. However, be sure to follow up with an email to confirm their testimonial and thank them for their time.
  • In-person Meeting: If you regularly meet with your client in person, this can be an ideal opportunity to ask for a testimonial. You can discuss their feedback in detail and show your appreciation face-to-face.

Remember, the goal is to make it as easy and convenient as possible for your client to provide a testimonial. Choose the channel that best suits your client’s preferences and your professional relationship.

Handling Objections and Hesitations

There might be instances when your clients show hesitation or raise objections to providing a testimonial. This is a common occurrence and it’s important to handle these situations with professionalism and respect. Remember, they are not obligated to provide a testimonial, and their willingness to do so is a favor they’re extending to you.

One potential objection could be that the client doesn’t have the time. In such cases, reassure the client that you understand their busy schedule and that writing a testimonial need not be a time-consuming task. Offer to provide a structured format or key points they can refer to while writing the testimonial. This could make the task less daunting and more manageable for them.

A client might also be hesitant because they are unsure about what to write. In this scenario, it can be helpful to provide them with some guiding questions or a simple template to follow. This can help them articulate their thoughts and ensure that the testimonial is valuable to you.

Another common objection is the client’s discomfort with putting their thoughts into writing. If this happens, propose an alternative method such as a video testimonial or a brief interview over the phone that can be transcribed. This way, you’re respecting their comfort zone while still obtaining a valuable testimonial.

Following Up on Your Request

Following up on your testimonial request is a delicate balance. You want to remind your client without appearing pushy or desperate. One way to approach this is by sending a friendly, non-intrusive reminder after a reasonable amount of time has passed since your initial request.

Remember to express your appreciation for their time and consideration, regardless of whether they’ve agreed to provide the testimonial or not. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in maintaining good relations and leaves the door open for future collaborations.

If a client still hasn’t responded after a couple of reminders, it’s best to let it go. It’s possible that they’re too busy, or they may not feel comfortable providing a testimonial. It’s important to respect their decision and move on.

Lastly, once you receive the testimonial, make sure to thank your client. Show your gratitude for their time and effort in helping you build credibility for your freelancing business. This not only strengthens your professional relationship but also sets a positive precedent for future interactions.

Showcasing Your Testimonials

Once you’ve received your testimonials, it’s time to put them to work. The most effective way of showcasing your testimonials is by making them easily accessible to potential clients. This can be achieved by strategically placing them on your website or social media profiles.

Consider creating a dedicated ‘Testimonials’ page on your website where you can compile all your reviews. This not only provides social proof but also builds credibility for your freelance business. You can also include testimonials in your portfolio or case studies to show how you’ve provided value to your clients.

Remember, the goal is not just to display the testimonials but to do so in a way that they enhance your personal brand and convey the value you bring to your clients. So, make sure they are readable, visually appealing, and strategically placed.

Another effective way of showcasing your testimonials is through your social media platforms. Sharing testimonials on your LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook page can increase your reach and visibility. It not only validates your work but also helps in building a strong online presence.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Testimonials

Asking for testimonials can be a tricky process. It’s important to approach it with care and respect for your clients’ time and willingness to help. To summarize, let’s look at the key do’s and don’ts when asking for testimonials:

  • Do express your gratitude and appreciation for their willingness to help.
  • Do be clear and specific about what you’d like the testimonial to include.
  • Do make it as easy as possible for the client to respond.
  • Don’t be pushy or desperate in your follow-ups.
  • Don’t be discouraged if a client declines; respect their decision.
  • Don’t forget to showcase your testimonials effectively once you receive them.


Testimonials play a pivotal role in building a successful freelance business. They provide social proof, build credibility, and help attract new clients. Approaching your clients for testimonials requires a strategic and respectful approach. From understanding the right time to ask to effectively showcasing the testimonials, every step should be carefully planned and executed.

Remember, your clients are busy individuals, so make the process as easy as possible for them. Show appreciation for their time, and respect their decision if they choose not to provide a testimonial. And once you have those testimonials, make sure they’re working for you by displaying them where potential clients can easily see them.

Good Practices Bad Practices
Expressing gratitude Being pushy or desperate
Being clear and specific Being vague and unclear
Making it easy for the client Making it a cumbersome process
Respecting the client’s decision Getting discouraged by rejection
Effective showcasing of testimonials Not utilizing testimonials effectively

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