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How to Use Great Testimonials, Once You Get Them

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we’re told to collect as many testimonials as possible — but what do we do with all those great descriptions of how amazing we are to work with?

There are some people who believe that testimonials should be plastered over everything, from business cards on. But there are a few uses for great testimonials that are particularly effective.

 

Your Website Needs Testimonials

Just where you put your testimonials on your website can differ, but you absolutely need them. It’s fairly rare these days for freelancers to hand out brochures — for most of us, our websites are the only piece of marketing collateral that a potential client will see. So that’s where the testimonials ‘proving’ our abilities need to be.

I want someone who is thinking about hiring to see those testimonials right away…

I have a personal preference for including short descriptions about how fantastic a freelancer I am right next to where I list out the services I offer.

I want someone who is thinking about hiring to see those testimonials right away and realize that plenty of other people have found working with me to be great. Other places where a testimonial can be effective include near your navigational elements (so that readers get a good look at them) and on the front page of your site.

Having a page devoted to testimonials is popular, especially with freelancers who have been in business for a while and have collected some really great statements from past clients. The only argument against such an approach is that many people will skip over such a page as they look for your prices and other pertinent information.

Integrating your testimonials into the rest of the site can be important to winning over new clients. It’s also worth noting that a testimonials page with only one or two positive comments is a very sad testimonials page, indeed. You need to have a few more testimonials than that to make it effective.

Adding Testimonials to Other Marketing Materials

Depending on what other marketing materials you’re using to promote your freelance services, it may be worth checking over your testimonials to see if you have something relevant.

A general testimonial just won’t do the trick.

Adding a statement from a past client just for the purpose of ‘proving’ that you’re a great freelancer isn’t always the best option — if you’re promoting something specific, like a package deal, you need to either include a testimonial that speaks specifically about the impact of that deal or leave it off entirely. A general testimonial just won’t do the trick.

But whether you’re creating a landing page or a post card, the right testimonial can really enhance your ability to convince new clients to sign on with you.

If you don’t have that ideal testimonial yet, it may be worth trying to get it. That could mean contacting clients who you’ve completed specific types of projects for and asking them for a testimonial about the results or even seeking out a few new clients who would be useful for getting testimonials from (that could mean giving them a discount or other incentive in order to be sure you land the gig).

Use Your Testimonials Carefully

I’ve received emails where the sender’s standard signature is a general testimonial about how absolutely fabulous she is — even when I’m not a potential client for what she’s selling. While it doesn’t bother me to see that sort of email signature, that may be a waste of a good testimonial.

It could have been put to more effective use on her website. After all, if you’re already communicating, you’ve gotten past the first obstacle. If you aren’t sending emails back and forth yet, you may need the help to get to that point.

Using the same testimonial in multiple places can also be problematic. It may be a great review of your work, but if a prospective client sees it pop up all over, he may wonder if you don’t have any other testimonials. Showing variety is crucial to showing potential clients that you’re a great freelancer to work with.

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