Gathering Feedback and Social Proof to Leverage in Future Opportunities
Let’s continue the conversation we started yesterday and talk a bit more about gathering feedback that can be used in future opportunities.
How to Gather Feedback
We’ve found that social proof (think testimonials, case studies) is a secret to freelance success. Both of us have depended on it for the long-term sustainability of our freelance careers. Social proof validates your personal brand and your skills—and they help convince others that they need to hire you RIGHT NOW.
But here’s the thing. We see many freelancers who aren’t actively collecting those testimonials and showcasing the ones they’ve gathered. So, here’s an action plan that can keep you from making the same mistake:
• Any time you wrap up a project with a new client, ask for a testimonial as a part of the final process. That means whenever you send over a final invoice or a project wrap-up email, you should close by requesting a brief quote about your services. This is also a great time to ask your clients what they liked about the process of working with you and what areas could be improved upon.
• Use LinkedIn’s Ask for a Recommendation feature to gather testimonials in a more social environment. The recommendations you collect here can be repackaged into testimonials for your website, used within proposals, or can be highlighted on other social media outlets.
If you have past clients whom you forgot to get a testimonial from, no worries! You can reach out to them with a simple email asking if they would spare a moment to write a line or two about the work you completed.
Setting Up Home-Run Testimonials
When gathering social proof and testimonials, keep in mind that it’s not enough to say: “Hey there, would you be willing to write me a recommendation?”
You have to set them up to write a home-run review and make it easy for them to say specific things about you that other clients need to hear. Here’s how.
When writing your request, remind the person you’re writing to about the amazing results you helped produce (so they are fresh in their mind when they go to write your testimonial). A tailored message subtly hands the testimonial writer exactly what you want them to write. You not only provide the hard numbers/results you want featured in your testimonial, but you’re also reminding them that you did it quickly and efficiently. Smart.
Where Should You Feature Testimonials?
The short answer: everywhere. You should be showcasing your testimonials on your website, within proposals, on social media, and on landing pages (to name a few).
Social proof is powerful, so once you have some solid testimonials, put them to work. Don’t let them gather dust in a file on your computer. Let them do the legwork of telling everyone how good you are at what you do. After all, people can only stand hearing you say that for so long.
In our final lesson tomorrow, we’ll get into what should happen after your freelance projects wrap, so you can develop long-term relationships with your clients (that often lead to referrals).
See you then,
Kaleigh and Paul
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