Friday, July 4, 2014

The Power of A Testimonial (Part 2)

In the first part of this article series, I cited how a glowing testimonial from a satisfied client can boost your marketing strategy and get more potential clients to notice you.

In my 11-year stint as a freelancing professional, I have grown more and more convinced that a testimonial not only reduces a freelancer's marketing budget, it also works better in convincing potential clients to give you a try.

That's because testimonials, when written in a way that calls attention to you as a peak performer, only means that you've done the necessary work to build a solid reputation. 

Given the numerous benefits that a testimonial can give, it only makes sense to learn how to use it for maximum results.

The following is not an exhaustive list, but just a few general guidelines on soliciting testimonials:

Get in touch with three to five of your most recent clients and ask them to put in a good word for you.

You can do this by emailing or calling former clients or any repeat client of whose whereabouts you may be keeping tab. Since a testimonial would only need to highlight your competence and skills, it need not turn into a rambling of "how great you are," and surely the client need not rave over you.

Notice any recurring compliments or key phrases.

It's too generic when a client says that "Sally Kimbell is professional, resourceful, and easy to work with." If you possess a specific set of skills that you've utilized in a variety of projects, you want to make sure that these skills are highlighted in the best way possible.

Now, your "hard skills" are not more important than your "soft skills" (e.g. negotiating, being prompt when it comes to deadlines, etc.). Rather, your soft skills are what enable you to utilize your hard skills to the fullest, and this is what needs to be emphasized most to make a testimonial glowing.

Notice the impact when a testimonial is phrased this way:

"We were about to attempt an ambitious project that required a near overhaul of our company's website. We knew that in order to stand out, we needed a seasoned article writer who's also knowledgeable in SEO and is in tune with the interests and preferences of young adult, cosmopolitan women who frequent upscale places all over the metro. That's why, upon recommendation by one of her former clients, we decided that Sally Kimbell is the one most suited to do the job."

Here's another one:

"What made James Smith such a joy to work with is him being very systematic with the tasks we outsourced to him. All throughout the duration of his contract, he would make follow-up calls to our office to ensure that he was on the right track. Although it was apparent that he can work with minimum supervision, his desire to be accountable until the project was done was his most winning attitude."

See the difference? 

Come back next week for more on this article series.

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