Hey web designer! Have you ever had a client who is absolutely obsessed with their website, raves about your customer service and can’t stop gushing about what an amazing designer and person you are…
But then when you reach out to ask for a quick testimonial to use in your portfolio, suddenly it’s crickets on their end?
In this video, I’m sharing two simple email scripts for collecting the exact type of client-winning testimonials you wish your clients would write.
But it’s not just about pressing send on some email…there are a few other best practices you’ll want to keep in mind to make the most out of your request!
So if you are currently struggling to get a peep out of your clients, even though they claim to be wildly happy with their website, then this video is for you!
P.S. If you’re reading/watching this and you have a hunch your lack of portfolio-ready testimonials has to do more with the type of projects and clients you are attracting in the first place, then it’s definitely worth it for you to hit pause and get yourself access to a free training I recently recorded called ‘Finding Clients As A New Web Designer.’
We’ll take a look at the 7 most common marketing mistakes new designers make when trying to find paying clients, and how to avoid falling into those same frustrating patterns yourself!
When I first got started as a web designer, every time I would wrap up a project, I’d send that happy client straight over to my Facebook Business page.
My thinking was, if I had people post their review publicly using accounts they had to personally log into, then future clients would never question the legit-ness of those reviews.
They’d know that “Sarah S.” was indeed a real person and I wasn’t just making up bogus reviews to pad my testimonials section.
Now, there’s no doubt that having some solid, organic-feeling social proof can be crazy-effective when marketing your business…
So if your client does happen to send you some praise on Social Media, or in a DM or email…100% you should be screenshotting that, and asking their permission to share it in your marketing.
But, here’s why I eventually steered away from this being my only strategy:
“Paige is so great to work with.”
“I’d recommend Paige to anyone and everyone.”
“Paige is really knowledgeable about Squarespace.”
Now obviously, as a designer, it never gets old hearing someone was happy with your work, but for the potential client out there currently researching their options, 50 generic and very similar sounding reviews wasn’t going to do anything to set me apart from other designers.
I needed a way to get my past clients to touch on topics they wouldn’t necessarily think to mention in 3 sentence Facebook review.
And if Facebook up and disappeared tomorrow, or my Business Page was somehow hacked or randomly suspended as Facebook has been known to do, I didn’t want to lose all those testimonials I had worked so hard to earn.
Plus, by sending them over to a platform I don’t own and control, the potential for them getting distracted by something—or someone—else was very high.
So I decided to move my review collecting process over to a platform I do own: my website!
With this one simple tweak to my process, suddenly my testimonials went from:
“Paige is so awesome. I love my website.”
To reviews like:
“Before working with Paige, I felt frustrated with spending years on do-it-yourself websites like WordPress and Wix. It never came out the way I really wanted it to.
I was exhausted and feeling defeated with spinning my wheels and I needed a better solution. Yes, the investment is not something that suits everyone, but I knew that if I wanted it done right and on time, I would need to do this.
I am super confident to direct people to my website now because it’s professional, creative, functional and is a perfect reflection of me. I am not afraid to display my prices and get people to book directly through the site anymore, because my website shows that I take my craft seriously.
I’m just so happy to have completed this huge piece of my business plan in 2 weeks!
Paige’s skills are unbelievable!! Her creativity and her knowledge of Squarespace is like no other. I was drawn to her website and her business success as a solopreneur and I already felt that she is part of the women’s business community that I want to support.”
I mean…literally night and day, right?
Ok, so now let’s look at HOW to make this happen for your business by moving on to tip #2.
It really can’t get any more convenient than sending them the link to your Facebook business page or Google listing, right?
But if they aren’t tech savvy, or they get there and can’t find the actual ‘leave a review’ button, or if they haven’t logged into their account for a while and Facebook is giving them the runaround, then that excitement could quickly turn into them wanting to pull out their hair and abandon their mission altogether.
But a link to a form? EVERYONE knows how to fill out a form.
You might also be thinking…
“But Paige, I’m already struggling to get clients to leave a simple 2 sentence review…how do you expect me to get them to fill out an entire form??
Here’s the thing…
If you are sending your client somewhere to leave a totally open-ended, zero-guidance review…8/10 people are not going to know what to say.
Using your form to ask very specific questions and provide helpful examples makes it extremely easy for your clients to know how to respond.
So what do you ask in your feedback form?
How they felt before working together. What was their issue, and how was it negatively affecting their business? How did this issue make them feel?
What hesitations or fears did they have before deciding to work with you? What was holding them back from taking the leap?
How do they expect their new website will affect their business? What results are they most excited to see? (And if their website has been live for a while now) How has their new site benefitted their business? Did they experience increased income, confidence, compliments, etc?
Bonus points if you can have them respond to some questions using actual values or numbers so you have some solid stats to toss in with all those #relatable feelings and emotions.
Maybe you hold a call right before launch day to walk them through their new website…no doubt your client is going to be gushing like mad throughout that whole call!
So while the compliments are flowing, why not try saying something like:
“Oh I’m so happy to hear that! Would you mind if after we hop off the call, I send you a quick follow up email with a link to where you can leave a bit of feedback? I’d love to be able to share your kind words with future clients!”
Sending it now, not next week or next month means they are least likely to get distracted by other things. This is the biggest thing they have going on in their life and business right now, but by next week, that could change, and they’ll already be onto the next thing.
So, best case scenario is that your client leaves you feedback right away, but if they don’t, it’s a great idea to pop back in and say something like “Hey So-And-So, I can’t tell you how much it made my day when you said blah, blah, blah (specific compliment they gave you)…
I’d really love to be able to share some of your kind words in my portfolio. Would you still be open to leaving me some feedback like we chatted about on our last call?”
And then linking your form again right there in the email.
If they did already leave review, now is a fabulous time to be requesting a referral and reminding them of any sweet referral incentives you offer!
Just wanted to pop in and thank you again for trusting me with your *___________* (website, site redesign, sales page design etc.)!
I really enjoyed working with you on it and I’m so excited to see *_________________* (how your new scheduling system works for you, how much having a website that matches your brand perfectly will impact your business, all those new inquiries start to flood in, etc.)
I was so happy to hear you say *__________________________* (specific compliment they mentioned when you showed them the finished project) and I’d love to be able to feature your awesome business and your kind words in my portfolio!
It would mean so much to me if you would take a moment and answer a few questions here *LINK* about how you feel about your new website and what it was like to work with me!
If you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Just popping back in to check on how everything is going with your new *_________________* (website, site redesign, sales page design etc.)!
I’d love to know how things have been going since launch day! And if you’ve noticed any change in *________________* (how many inquiries you receive, the number of sales, site traffic, etc.) or any other exciting analytics or performance metrics you’d care to share!
I put together a few quick check-in questions here, if you’re down to help me out by sharing! *LINK*
Hope to hear back from you soon!