Working freelance is the choice of a growing percentage of professionals all around the world. That number grows and grows largely because of the influence that technology has had on business, and how easy it is to achieve a great deal, remotely and under your own steam. The way a freelancer conducts business can be somewhat different from how standard companies operate, but there are some areas in which both parties benefit. One such area is the testimonial, the comments and feedback left, either in appraisal or criticism of your service or product. This is a really important area regardless of the nature of your company, and a lot can be gained (or lost) through the usage and handling of this field. So, with that said, let’s take a look at how you can use your customer testimonials to boost your freelance business.
Picking Your Testimonials
When you start out with testimonials, you can’t necessarily rely on the quality of your company to carry your feedback. In some cases, negative testimonials can’t be avoided and you need to work to try and influence that. “The first question, is who you’re asking for testimonials. This is vital, because there are certain people who will give you far better feedback than others and you need to focus on these people, politely asking them for a few sentences”, says Matt Colchester, project manager at BritStudent and WriteMyx. Obviously, it’s good if you get a sense of whether people enjoyed your services quickly, so you know to approach them first. You don’t want to actively cherry pick reviews, so it’s important that you ask individuals who are most likely to speak positively about your service.
Marketing With Testimonials
Sometimes trust can be an issue with freelancers, since that intrinsic sense in which you can trust a large company because its existence validates it simply isn’t there. When you get a good testimonial, it’s doubly good for your company. “A positive testimonial doesn’t only boost the public’s perception of your company, it also gives you content. In the modern era, content is incredibly important, to the extent where many companies would go down without it. This is free content that you can channel in any direction”, suggests Martha Crosby, business writer at Australia2Write and NextCoursework. One such direction is marketing. Create social media adverts that take the testimonial text and a graphic and use it to draw new users towards your site, for example. As a freelancer, you probably don’t have the resources of a large company, so you have to milk value from everything you’ve got.
An example where a company actively used visual testimonials is a software company called BlueBeam. This company’s website provides client testimonials with pictures, videos and downloadable case studies. Most have a header with the subcategories and points of their findings (challenge, solutions, benefits) which is a direct and catchy method of providing concise and targeted information. These are not only accessible with the click of a button but also offer insight and transparency of the business they are involved in. An interesting example from the website includes a testimonial from an engineering firm called Hurley Palmer Flatt. Jairo Jaramillo, a senior mechanical engineer stated “it’s allowed me to respond a lot faster, with a lot more accuracy and consistency and resolution. The clarity which Bluebeam allows me to communicate with the rest of the design team is fantastic.”
Once you have testimonials, you can leave them in unusual positions to intentionally encourage potential clients at various points of their user journey. For example, once they’re on a product page, hovering over the ‘Add To Basket’ button, a little reminder from someone who has purchased the product previously about how incredible it is will give you a great opportunity to just push your potential customer over the edge into becoming an actual customer. This can be done cleverly at all sorts of points in the process, and is another creative use of the testimonial.
Use Gifts To Gain Testimonials
At the start of a freelance company, life can be tough and it can be very slow moving. You might make a few sales a month and only one of them agreed to give a testimonial. You need proof of concept for buyers as soon as you possibly can, which means lots of positive feedback. So, one thing you can do is you can turn to friends, acquaintances or even strangers and offer your service or product for free, with the fee being replaced by some testimonial content. If you back whatever you’re selling, this will scoop you testimonials extremely quickly, for a small cost.
Testimonials are important for all sorts of companies. For freelance businesses they are vital, since they send messages about trust that freelancers frequently need more than large established companies. Once you have testimonials, use them with the respect for their value that they deserve. They could elevate your business.