This question came from Mario inside of Feast. And he is starting his career as a freelancer.
In building a website, a landing page to send leads and prospects to, or during a sales conversation, testimonials and social proof are great tools to use.
But when starting out you haven’t built those up yet. So what can you do?
Since you haven’t built up a track record of successful projects with actual results, you can play to the human side of business.
People to people
People want to work with people they trust, people that are reliable, and people that are likable.
No one wants to have a bad experience. Experience is heavily based on the human element mores than anything else.
What is your “superpower”?
The first tactic to do is send an email to your colleagues, friends, and family asking a simple question.
“What do you believe to be my ‘superpowers’ or traits and characteristics that you believe to be unique to me?”
This may seem a bit weird to them to get out of the blue, so frame it in a way that explains why you are asking this question.
In Will It Fly by Pat Flynn, he suggests sending this question from your email address but written from a 3rd-party. In the context of the book, Pat is writing the email so it appears to be a conversation between Pat and your friend, talking about you.
I did this exercise years ago when I read the book and received traits like “Driven, Compassion, Organized, Dedication, and able to see the larger goal and potential hiccups of a project from a conversation.”
The next place you can get social proof from is your professional experiences so far.
This especially works if you are working in a cube farm or full-time position.
When your boss gives you your yearly review, she’ll often tell you what you need to work on and what you are excelling at.
Pay close attention to those and make note of what positive affirmations there.
You may not be able to use their name or company, or maybe you can. That would depend on the relationship you have with that person. But maybe at a minimum, you could use their first name and last initial.
Even if you can’t though, with some creative design within the layout, you can simply throw in a quote or 2 into the mix in the right spots that don’t need to carry along a photo or name.
Build the testimonial in your process
The final tactic would be to build in your testimonial asks into you process from the start. This way straight from the first project, you’ll get social proof.
It may not be the best, but something is better than none and you can always change it moving forward.
As a part of your milestone and final delivery process, you can slide in an email that asks your client for a testimonial, or a quick share on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter on how the project went.
Inside the Freelancer’s Sales Kit, which you can find on my website, there is a module that includes the email sequence to get the best testimonials from your clients.
If you haven’t checked out the Sales Kit, it’s a 5 part video course, that in less than hour, you’ll get everything you need to jumpstart your freelance sales process. In each lesson, you’ll have about a 10-minute video that also includes downloads for:
- Setting up your lead generation forms on your website
- How to craft your yearly offer to avoid the slow sales times of the year
- How to run sales calls with a group of leads at once
- Setup an automated way to search the web for new opportunities
- And of course getting testimonials
Head on over to the show notes at rezzz.com/a134 to get access to the Sales Kit.
There you have it, 3 ways to get testimonials for your brand new freelance business.
- Ask for your superpower that makes you stand out and is unique to you
- Professional reviews
- Starting with the testimonial process in your projects day 1
Start a Freelance Business
More episodes in this topic:
What are the costs involved in becoming a freelancer?
Is the income from freelancing reliable?
What payment structure should I do?
How do you build a good freelancing profile in the field of web development considering the competition?
What are skills you can learn fast and have high freelancer value?
How to start freelancing?
Should you do free work to build a portfolio?
What is freelance?
How can I start freelancing without experience?
What does it take to be a freelancer?
Why did you start freelancing?
What is the very first step to work as a freelancer?
How do you set the boundary of work you do and work you don't do?
What are your client red flags?
What should you be able to create as a web developer before starting in your freelance career?
When starting out freelance, should I just be a generalist to get my feet wet, or should I go for that niche?
As a developer, should I throw my projects on Github or build a site from scratch to grab attention?
What can I use for social proof when starting as a freelancer?
How can I start freelancing as a web developer?
Should I use my name or create a business name when starting?
Should I call myself a “freelancer” (definitive answer)?
Why should you not be a freelancer?
How do you collect online payments as a freelancer
How much money do I need to make?
Why is hourly billing bad?
Why is hourly billing good?
What are the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make?
How to adapt and change to the WordPress climate?
How to budget as a freelancer?
What is your marketing plan?
What is your sales process?
What do you do to position yourself as an expert to leads?
How do you balance your time for sales and marketing?
How do you get high-quality clients?
Should I offer my services as a web designer/developer or specialize first?
What do you do again?
What is the best freelancing website?
What do you do for a follow-up sequence for leads?
How to attract clients with big budgets?
How not to be annoying in sales?
How do you convince someone to sign a contract?
What to say when a client is late on a payment?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
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S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach