You’ve just finished a project with your client. They love the work you’ve done for them. The design is perfect. The price is right. And the moment couldn’t be more perfect.
So you pop the question: “Can I get a testimonial from you?”
When they say “yes,” you get all excited and can’t wait to post a new positive testimonial on your web site or portfolio.
But a few weeks later when your client gets around to sending a testimonial via email, it turns out to be really lame.
A bust. Worthless.
I visit a lot of designers’ web portfolios. You may not know it, but I try to visit the portfolio or web site of every commenter here at Graphic Design Blender.
And there’s a particular part of design portfolios that I have noticed going downhill lately. Testimonials.
It’s not our fault…or is it?
We can’t help it if our clients give us lousy testimonials…or can we?
Most designers think if they give the best service possible and produce the most marvelous work possible, that the world’s best client testimonial will just magically appear upon request.
5 tips to make your testimonials rock!
There are a few things you can do to make your client testimonials rock the socks off of your site visitors and future clients. If you have more tips, leave a comment and let me know.
1. Use live, personal quotes as testimonials
There’s no law that says you have to have a client testimonial sent to you in written form. Sometimes the exclamations your clients make when they see their new site for the first time are much better than a boring, well-thought-out email a week later. Pay attention to your clients’ genuine response to your work and then turn that into your next testimonial.
That being said, if you mostly work with clients remotely, use their email responses after they receive the completed project as a testimonial. There’s nowhere that says you have to officially receive a notarized testimonial in order to publish it on your web site.
2. Don’t just stick to clients
There’s also no rule in existence that says you have to only post testimonials from clients. If other, reputable people acclaim your work, post it. If a fellow designer, a colleague, or a critic says something positive about your work, post it as a testimonial on your site.
Avoid citing your mother’s compliments or your best friend’s kind words, but branch out. Don’t just stick to official clients.
3. Avoid heavy, boring vernacular lingo
It can be really easy to post the word-for-word, heavy, boring testimonial a client sends you in an email. Try to take the heavy, emotionless words, out of the picture. If a client gave the following testimonial:
“The site Preston designed for us will help us further our business objectives by captivating customers on our newly created landing pages. We are pleased with the great work that will now allow us to increase profit-sharing and ultimately increase our bottom line.”
or some sort of garbage like that, I would cut out everything and post the following testimonial:
“We are pleased with the great … site Preston designed for us.”
See what I did there?
4. Don’t delay
One of the quickest ways to kill a testimonial is to let a lot of time pass between the completion of the project and the posting of the testimonial. Why?
There are two reasons.
First, it gives them time to forget how much they loved your work.
Second, it gives them more time to make up some complicated testimonial instead of just sending something simple and genuine.
Give your clients deadlines by which they should send you a testimonial (if you don’t capture it in the moment when you first deliver the project).
5. Keep it short
No one, no matter how interested they are in working with you, is going to read a series of full-paragraph testimonials. Keep your testimonials short and sweet, capturing the most emotion-packed and potent phrases you can.
How do you capture killer testimonials?
How do you get testimonials that rock for your web portfolio or site? What do you ask your clients? If you’ve got some good testimonials posted somewhere, leave a comment and share a link with us so we can all take a look.