Building a great portfolio is fundamental to landing work—there are no two ways about it. But there’s one other element that can help “sell” you to potential clients and employers before they even meet you: copywriting testimonials.
Once you’ve done work with clients, one of the best ways to get additional copywriting work is to re-pitch those same clients. But another great way to land additional copywriting work is to have your clients sell you for you.
What does that mean?
Well, in essence, this is about the magic of leverage: letting other happy customers sell you and your services to future happy customers. And not only is it magical, but it’s also super easy.
If you’re not already collecting testimonials from your clients, you need to start doing it even if you are hesitant.
Your portfolio proves to potential employers and clients that you know how to write copy. (It also proves that you know how to work with designers, know how to incorporate a brand in your writing, and a few other things, but let’s stick to basics.) And that proof is super important.
However, there’s another kind of proof that can be just as impactful: social proof. Social proof demonstrates that people or companies think highly of a product or service. Reviews on Amazon are social proof. Logos of companies that have used a product are social proof. Facebook likes are social proof.
And testimonials or references for an individual are social proof.
If you’re thinking that your portfolio proves that you can do the work, you’re right. But there are still many other elements of working with you that aren’t demonstrated in your samples.
Yes, your clients want you to deliver great copy. But they also want you to hit deadlines, respond to emails in a timely fashion (and not forget to answer part of their questions), process feedback, and a host of other small tasks that you can’t underestimate. You want to act as a partner to your clients by asking the right questions and proactively offering solutions versus waiting for your clients to hand you assignments. Testimonials demonstrate that you’re a pleasure to work with, you’re insightful, and you’re professional.
Testimonials let prospective clients see that you’ve worked with others before and that you’ve wowed their socks off. It’s a basic marketing technique, but it works. People can be easier sold by what other people say about you than what you say about you.
Collecting testimonials should be just as regular a part of your process as writing, editing, and invoicing. Once you receive payment for your services, simply send a friendly email to your client and politely ask if they would be willing to write a testimonial for use on your marketing materials.
You’ll find that some people will be more than happy to comply and will send along a testimonial right away, and some people, even people who were really thrilled with your work, just won’t. Eh, that’s life. You’ll have plenty more opportunities to gather testimonials as you go!
If you’d like, you can ask them to write them on LinkedIn. (You can’t upload other people’s testimonials to LinkedIn yourself.) That way, even more people can come across your own personal social proof.
How to Get Copywriting Testimonials
I know: Most people would rather not reach out to others for testimonials. You feel like you’re asking for a favor. It feels uncomfortable.
But all you need do is draft a simple email:
Email Template for Requesting Testimonials
Hi, [client name],
It was such a pleasure working with you on [insert project]. I’m working on building up my copywriting business and I was wondering if you would be willing to provide a testimonial.
I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, so to make this easier, what I’d be looking for is a short write-up that answers one or two of these questions:
- What was it like working with me?
- How did I meet the goals of the project?
- What were some of the elements of working together, besides the copy, that you appreciated? (timeliness, attention to detail, etc.)
Thank you in advance for your help!
Obviously, you’ll want to tailor that email to fit your voice and adjust the questions to be more specific to the work you did with that client (particularly if there’s something more specific you’re hoping the client will say). But it can be as simple as that.
Update Your Portfolio With Your Testimonials
Once you’ve got your testimonials, make sure you use them! Put themon your website in a prominent place and print out a sheet of them for your print portfolio. People love your work! Let the world know! And let those happy clients sell you, for you.
If you’re still protesting and feeling fearful, I’m suggesting, and with much affection, that you get over it. And the way to get over your fear is to send that email.
This is your career we’re talking about, and a testimonial or two could mean the difference between a potential client giving you a shot and them opting not to.
Do you regularly collect testimonials? Have copywriting testimonials helped you find work? If so, how? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on August 28, 2023