How to get great client testimonials

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Testimonial Template: How to Get GREAT Client Testimonials

You know you need testimonials for your work, but do you actually know how to get great client testimonials?

If you’re just starting out, don’t have enough clients, or want clients to pay you more, there’s one thing you need: testimonials.

You may be wondering why this matters. Your work is great and should speak for itself, right?

The truth is, testimonials are the fastest way to get the credibility you need and to assert your expertise. And that expertise is what helps you win new business.

Now, if you’re a designer or a writer, you may have a portfolio or work samples, but for most services, it’s hard to show your work. To get people to trust you and be ready to work with you, you need to be able to prove that you’re as awesome as you say you are.

Fact: Social proof is more compelling than a discount on the price.

That’s why having great client testimonials is so important. To get you started out right, we’re going to share with you the exact testimonial template I’ve used to secure 100s of testimonials for my clients.

STEP 1: Make it Easy to Say Yes

If you want to be successful with testimonials, there’s one thing that makes ALL the difference. You need to make it easy for your clients to say YES to participating in a testimonial.

The best way to do this is to start by keeping your request short and sweet and be clear about what you’re asking for.

You want to answer any questions they may have like:

  • How will you use this info?
  • Why do you want to showcase them? (Hint: Flattery will help here!)

Now, over the years, I’ve personally secured countless testimonials. In fact, that number is probably in the thousands as I’ve worked on voice of the customer programs my entire career.

Through doing this, there are a few things I’ve discovered that make this process WAY easier — so definitely take note of these two things.

First, it’s important to remember your client is doing YOU a favor, so you want to take up as little of their time as possible. Ensure you’re positioning this as a win for them as you want to showcase their success.

Next up, if they are super busy or don’t like writing, offer to interview them and write the testimonial for them. (YES, this is completely legit and it makes getting that yes so much easier.)

Step 2: Create a System

Now that you know how to ask, you need to set up a system so it’s simple for you to actually follow through and consistently ask for testimonials.

Your system should start with having a specific time when you’ll ask clients for a testimonial. If you do project work, ask at the end of the project while it’s fresh in their memory. If you do ongoing work, have a set point in time you plan to ask for a testimonial.

Make note of this timing in your project management system or calendar for each client so you don’t forget to ask (or give yourself another reason to avoid asking for that valuable testimonial!).

Remember, timing is everything. Be sure to ask when the client is happy, and they want to tell everyone how awesome you are.

Also, invest time in mapping out the steps, from asking your client to publishing their testimonial, in order to create a complete system. This isn’t exactly the most fun or glamorous task, but it’s a huge timesaver.

Step 3: Draft a Template

Next step is to put together an email template that you can use each time to make asking your clients simple. By making this part of the process a no-brainer, you’re more apt to actually follow through and do this.

Your template should include a short introduction setting up the ask, followed by a series of short questions for them to answer. We suggest you include no more than five questions total so they don’t look at it and think it’s going to be too much work.

Our favorite testimonial questions are:

    • Why did you hire us?
    • How have you benefited from our work together?
    • How will this impact your business and revenue growth?

You’ll notice that these questions are specific and designed to talk about results. Results and outcomes are what your potential clients want to hear about so focus on questions that help you paint a picture of what they could get from working with you.

Finally, include a brief explanation of how you’ll use the testimonial, so they feel comfortable saying yes.

By taking the time to map out your testimonial process, you’re setting yourself up for success. The easier you make it for your clients to give you a testimonial, the better results you’ll get.

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Maggie Patterson Abou the Author

I’m Maggie Patterson (she/her), and services businesses are my business.

I have 20+ years of experience with client services, am a consultant for agency owners, creatives, and consultants, and vocal advocate for humane business practices rooted in empathy, respect, and trust.

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