August 21, 2014

The Anatomy of a Perfect Client Testimonial

A client testimonial has one purpose. It's purpose is to reassure a potential client that your product or service will work for them.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Client TestimonialWhy is client testimonials so important for freelancers?

“Your customers will always be more persuasive
than you,” Gregory Ciotti.

It's that simple.

The 3 Parts of a Perfect Client Testimonial

A perfect client testimonial tells a story of before & after, and the client is the main character.

The story has three parts:

1: “The Pain I Was Feeling”

This is the “before”-part of the story. A perfect testimonial identifies the pain the client was feeling, and describes the pain in a vivid, dramatic way. The story tells about previous failed attempts in finding a solution. At best it even airs a bit of initial skepticism about your own services.

Below I've cited a testimonial given for freelance graphic designer David Airey. The client is Joseph Graziano, the Managing Director of Profinity Capital Management. It might not be a perfect client testimonial, but it's pretty close:

“Being faced with the task of branding your company is a large undertaking. I spoke with a few large US marketing and design firms, and none of them gave me a feeling of intimacy and understanding when it came to my project — I felt like I was just another “To do” on their list.”

David's client clearly expresses his pain. If he had had expressed an initial doubt in David Airey too – even better!

You want the reader to feel “I'm just like that person! I suffer from the exact same thing.”

2: “The Product I Found”

A perfect testimonial names the specific product the client discovered. It then describes how the product solved the pain he or she was suffering.

“This led me to David, where right from the start it was his goal to get inside my head and understand what Profinity is, and how we wanted to be perceived. After a few back-and-forth discussions, David went to work, only to come back with a brilliant set of designs.”

The client mentions the product, David Airey in this case, and how he attacked the client's pain. You want the description to be specific, giving a tasty sample of what to expect from your creative services.

3: “What the Product Did for Me”

This is the “after”-part of the story. Spell out the results in detail. You want the reader to feel “I want those results result too!” and “This is doable”

“I was happy that he was able to wrap himself around, and understand, my need for a minimalistic, sharp, and professional feel. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Thank you, David.”

Again, be specific. Provide numbers if you can.

Want to know how to get perfect testimonials from clients? Read this two excellent posts over at Copyblogger:

How have you benefited by customer testimonials? What's your best customer testimonial? Please share in the comments below!