How to Request Testimonials From Your Clients ( + Free Templates)

How to Request Testimonials From Your Clients ( + Free Templates)

This is a guest post contributed by Philip Oyelola. Philip is a marketing enthusiast & content marketer. He helps tech companies with content that builds trust and educates their audience. He enjoys writing on topics like HR, client management, and content marketing.

Requesting testimonials from your clients can be a bit awkward, especially if you’re new to it. But testimonials from satisfied clients are a powerful form of social proof that can win over prospects who’ve been on the fence and enhance your brand trust and credibility.

In this post, we’ll share a simple but effective process for generating client testimonials.

Implement an Offboarding Process

A full-blown client offboarding process might feel like overkill to many freelancers and business owners, but it’s a great way to gather testimonials, which are crucial to your long-term success. Plus, it’s a professional way to end a client relationship on a positive note, which might even mean return clients down the line.

Here’s a checklist to help you seamlessly offboard your clients:

  • Send a follow-up message or survey to your client after completing the project to gauge how satisfied they are with the work.
  • Write them a personalized “thank you” message expressing gratitude for their confidence and partnership.
  • Highlight what you accomplished together and recap the project deliverables. This showcases the value of your work and lays the foundation for a good testimonial.
  • Archive all the project documents, like reports and communications, and package them up nicely to send over. This also makes it easy to locate important files if the client comes back seeking info on the project.
  • Showcase additional products and services that might be relevant to your client.
  • Ask for referrals, recommendations, and testimonials.

Get the Timing Right

Before asking for a testimonial, it’s key to have a strong rapport established with your client. Make sure your work is complete and they’re satisfied with the final product. The timing of your ask will depend on your industry and the kind of work you offer. But in general, asking for a testimonial at the end or near the end of a project is ideal.

Let’s consider a few examples. If you run a SaaS company, the best time to ask customers for testimonials is after they’ve experienced first-hand success with your product. If you’re a freelancer who offers services like writing or video editing, it’s smart to wait until the project is complete, or until you’ve hit a particular milestone — like the completion of a key deliverable. If you offer ongoing services, wait until your clients have experienced visible results from the work you were hired to do.

Prioritize Customer-Centric Testimonials

There are two kinds of testimonials: self-serving and customer-centric.

A self-serving testimonial prioritizes the interests of a company or services instead of describing how a service or product benefits the customer. It often falls flat with prospects, because it fails to illustrate the positive impact your clients experience from working with you. Here’s an example of a self-serving testimonial:

I’ve worked with many different freelance writers over the years, and MIke is the best writer I’ve worked with. His motivation and expertise distinguish him from the rest. He’s a great guy, you should work with him.

On the other hand, a customer-centric testimonial centers on the value and impact your work has had on the client. It can nudge prospects to work with you because they can identify with the client and imagine the results they’ll experience too. Here’s an example of a customer-centric testimonial:

We had several challenges before working with Mike. Our conversion rate was below our desired expectation. None of our blogs ranked on the first page of Google. From the initial consultation, Mike impressed us with his deep understanding of SEO and BOFU content. He asked insightful questions about our brand, audience, and goals.

Working with Mike has improved our conversion rate from 50% to 200%. 25% of our blogs now rank high on the first page. Mike is a professional freelance writer who delivers results. His expertise in audience/product research, SEO optimization, and content writing are clear.

The second testimonial is far more powerful and descriptive of what potential clients will accomplish by choosing to work with you.

Ask Politely

How you ask is just as important as what you ask. If you’re too demanding or persistent, you might drive your client away and even sour your relationship. Stick to friendly and professional when requesting testimonials.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask clients who’ve had a positive experience with you and your product/service, and who you believe will speak highly and thoughtfully about your work.
  • Begin your ask by expressing how much you enjoyed working with them.
  • Explain why you’re asking for the testimonial and how it can help your business.
  • Offer clear instructions to help simplify the process for your clients. You can also offer different response options (video, written quotes, social media posts, or even a more formal case study).
  • Be clear about where their words will be shared (e.g. website, social media, email marketing, other promotional materials).
  • Ask open-ended questions. They lead to more detailed feedback. Here are some examples:
    • What was your biggest challenge before you started using our products/services?
    • How have our products/services helped you overcome these challenges?
    • How would you describe the overall experience of working with us?
    • What kind of impact did our collaboration have on your business/life?

Create a Testimonial Request Template

A template saves you the stress of rewriting your testimonial request every time. It also serves as a guide for those who’ve never written a testimonial before.  Here are some examples of templates for testimonial requests and when to use them:

#1 – Formal Testimonial Request

Hi (customer’s first name),

I’d like to express my gratitude for your partnership this past (duration). After completing projects, we love to ask for feedback and a testimonial to feature on our website.

Would you be willing to share your thoughts on our work together? You can check our website to see examples from other clients (insert link).

Here are a few specific questions/prompts to consider, but you’re welcome to share any other details you’d like:

  • What were your biggest challenges with your company’s social media account before you decided to work with us?
  • How would you describe your overall experience working with us?
  • Have we improved your business/life in any way with our services? If yes, could you describe how?

Thank you for your loyalty, support, and business.


(your name)


When to use: This testimonial request template is best used right after you’ve wrapped up a project with a client and the work is still fresh in their minds.

#2 LinkedIn Recommendation Template

Hi (customer’s first name),

Thank you for your confidence in my services. I have a small request for you. I try to keep my LinkedIn profile fresh to offer an accurate picture of my skills and experiences. Would you be willing to write me a LinkedIn recommendation describing your experience working with me ([insert link)?

Here are a few specific questions/prompts to consider, but you’re welcome to share any other details you’d like:

  • What were your biggest challenges with your company’s social media account before you decided to work with us?
  • How would you describe your overall experience working with us?
  • Have we improved your business/life in any way with our services? If yes, could you describe how?

    Please let me know if you need help or guidance.


    (your name)


    When to use: If you want to up your credibility on LinkedIn specifically, this is the template for you. It can help you generate recommendations that might sway prospects, who often check social profiles before committing to a service provider.

    Ensure that Your Client Consents to the Testimonial

    Using someone’s words to promote your business without their consent is unethical and can tarnish your reputation, or even lead to a lawsuit in more extreme cases. This is why it’s critical to ask for consent before sharing someone’s words publicly (especially if they weren’t shared publicly originally). Make sure you’re crystal clear about the fact that you’ll be using their testimonial to promote your services. You can even name the specific channels where you might share their testimonial (e.g. website and social media).


    Generating testimonials is such an important part of operating a successful, trusted business. Over time, your clients’ words can help grow your business and expand your reach. People trust word-of-mouth marketing over all other forms of marketing and advertising. It’s well worth your time to invest in a solid, repeatable strategy to generate more of them. Good luck!

    How to Request Testimonials From Your Clients ( + Free Templates)

    5 Ways to Build Long-Lasting Freelance Client Relationships

    Philip Oyelola is a marketing enthusiast and freelance content marketer. He helps tech companies with content that builds trust and educates their audience. He enjoys writing on topics like SEO, client management, and content marketing.

    Meet Jon, a freelance copywriter trying to land a gig.

    He throws himself into prospecting to score clients by sending cold pitches, scouring job boards for exciting gigs, and connecting with fellow copywriters.

    These efforts paid off when he signed three new clients, and business was going well. But Jon made a costly mistake. He didn’t take the time to build relationships with his new clients, so they ended up churning.

    Many freelancers like Jon, are experts in their fields—not necessarily in communication or relationship-building. Both happen to be important skills for cultivating a thriving business.

    If you want to be a great partner, collaborate better, and retain the clients you work hard to lock in, you’re in the right place. Follow these steps to develop long-lasting relationships that will help you grow your business.

    Taking the time to develop long-lasting relationships might just be the missing piece to building a thriving client base.

    First Thing to Know: Soft Skills Matter

    Soft skills are often overlooked but are an essential component of managing a successful freelance business. These are the non-technical skills that make us good communicators, managers, and collaborators. Some of the most valuable soft skills for freelancers include:

    • Good communication
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Ability to solve complex problems
    • Flexibility
    • Organization

    You need soft skills to run a thriving business as @alygouletwrites points out:


    Soft skills make you a better freelancer because, when leveraging them, you can:

    How to Use Those Soft Skills to Build Long-Lasting Client Relationships

    When you put your soft skills into play, you can create the client relationships that lead to a thriving business—and make your work enjoyable. 

    1. Spend Time Understanding the Needs of Your Client

    Truly understanding the needs of a client is the soul of every thriving freelance business. Many freelancers don’t take enough time upfront to do the research and understand the problem they are helping to solve. This often leads to multiple revision rounds and frustrating conversations down the road when you’re misaligned on goals, brand, or tone.

    So how do you align up-front and truly understand the needs of your clients?

    Start every project by gathering the information you need to truly understand their goals. You should have early conversations about the working process, your client’s challenges and needs, and what they hope to accomplish with you.

    Here are some questions to help you get this information:

    • Tell me about your products/services and your target audience.
    • What are your short- and long-term goals?
    • Are there any recurring challenges I can help you solve?
    • Have you worked with freelancers before? What went well? What didn’t?
    • What are your expectations for how this project moves forward?
    • Do you have success metrics in mind or should we build those together?

    2. Make Note of Important Client Details

    Every interaction with your client is an opportunity to collect important information. As the number of clients you take on increases, it can be hard to rely on memory to remember all the details. Instead, start taking notes.

    Anytime they mention new needs, expectations, preferences, etc., make sure you jot them down so you can reflect later and build them into your process. You can take these notes in your CRM or freelance management tool, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

    3. Communicate Clearly and Effectively

    Many freelancers are hyped about getting gigs but fall short when figuring out how to effectively communicate with those new clients. This is where your soft skills really have an impact. Being open, providing and asking for feedback, and listening with intention all improve your communication with the client while showing them you’re open to what they have to say.

    If you struggle with this, here are some ways to improve your skills:

    • Be open-minded and truly listen. The ability to empathize with others goes a long way in creating an emotional connection.
    • Identify emotions in a conversation. Having what is referred to as emotional intelligence will help you figure out the best ways to respond to specific feedback.
    • Be proactive and send or give updates to your client regularly so they understand the status of your project.
    • Ask for specific feedback on concluded projects.
    • Be responsive to the concerns of your clients, if they express any.

    4. Invest in Software to Manage Your Business

    To maintain great communication, you need more than awesome soft skills. The right software helps you stay organized and on track so you can deliver on time, stay connected, and more. There are a lot of great freelance management tools available to you.

    One of my favorite freelance tools is Harlow. Harlow helps freelancers streamline management tasks, like client management, time-tracking, contract and proposal creation, and invoicing. With Harlow, you get a full view of your clients and get paid for your work from one centralized hub.

    5. Connect with Clients as Individuals

    Although relationships within professional spaces can be formal, it’s also helpful to have conversations about topics outside of work. Get to know your clients as people by asking about their vacations, pets, family, and other interests. A little curiosity and interest go a long way in forming long lasting connections. Remember, your clients are humans too. 

    You can easily do this by starting calls with a simple question like, “How’s your week been?” or “What are you up to this weekend?” However, remember to follow your client’s lead on this. Not all clients want to speak so casually, so if they seem uninterested in sharing those details, don’t press them.

    You Can Build Long-Last Client Relationships

    Client churn can be a vicious cycle that hinders the growth of your freelance business. Taking the time to develop long-lasting relationships might just be the missing piece to building a thriving client base.