What can I use for social proof when starting as a freelancer?

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.”

Professional Reviews

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

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