How did we do? Were you happy with the service you received today? Let us know your thoughts!
There’s a reason every company you interact with these days is desperate for you to leave your feedback: reviews are crucial in influencing decisions. How often have you been swayed to “add to basket” by a slew of five-star ratings, or been led to the cinema by a friend telling you a new blockbuster was a must-see? If you’re a freelancer who’s not collecting testimonials, you’re missing out on promotional and professional opportunities. That’s why we’ve put together this Dinghy guide to help our freelancers build their base of customer reviews.
Why collect testimonials?
Sometimes it’s hard to sing your own praises – so let others do it for you! Displaying reviews and feedback from happy clients is a great way to generate new leads and help legitimise your business. Reading reviews of good experiences can give new clients the confidence to reach out and ask you to work with them on their next project. If others trust you, that’s an encouraging sign to a client that they are getting a good deal by hiring you.
Decide where you want to show your testimonials
It’s a good idea to have your testimonials all in one place, so that you can send new clients straight to them. Common choices for freelancers include LinkedIn; displaying them directly on your website; or through a review service like Trustpilot or Feefo. All of these have their own pros and cons. You can customise your own website to display the reviews as you want them, but there’s no real way to verify that the reviews are genuine, and you’ll have to keep manually updating them. Through LinkedIn, clients can see that the reviews come from real people, but if they don’t have a LinkedIn account themselves they may only be able to see a limited view of your profile. Tools like Trustpilot have the advantage of being independent, so may be more trusted by potential customers, but you are relinquishing a lot of control over your reviews and you may have to pay a fee to use them.
Decide how you will collect testimonials
If you’re using LinkedIn or a review-collecting service, testimonials from customers can be entered directly into the site, or you can set it up so that customers are automatically emailed to leave a review. If you are going for a more DIY approach, then you will need a way of collecting and collating reviews. This could be emailing clients directly and asking for feedback, or using a survey tool like SurveyMonkey to collect the views of all of your previous clients. If you want genuine and honest feedback, you could make the survey anonymous. However, testimonials are more convincing and powerful if a previous client is willing to put their name and company to it – particularly if they are an established brand. You’ll need to balance these aspects to decide what’s the best way to collect reviews of your work that will help you improve and promote your brand to potential new clients.
Ask for feedback!
Asking for feedback should be a regular and routine part of your interaction with all of your clients. Whether because they just don’t think to do it, because they are worried about what will come back, or they feel cheeky asking, a lot of freelancers have never collected client feedback. However, there are a lot of reasons to do so.
As well as the promotional potential, honest appraisals of your work can help to improve the services you offer and identify any gaps in the market that you could be filling. If there’s anything that your client isn’t happy about, you can address it head on and make things right, rather than risking negative word-of-mouth.
Exchange reviews with others
It’s common practice on LinkedIn for people to write testimonials for each other. This could be current clients, people you’ve worked with in previous employment or fellow freelancers that you’ve collaborated with. Contacting people in your network and asking them to exchange testimonials is a great way to build up a body of reviews, especially if you’re new to freelancing and don’t have many clients yet.
Asking for testimonials and finding the time to display them proudly in your website and marketing is a hugely powerful tool. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously said, “people influence people”. It will be worth the time and effort collecting feedback when you find out that those rave reviews made a new client reach out for your help with their next big project.
Offer an incentive
Sometimes, people need a little enticement to put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) and write a review. You could consider offering a small reward in exchange for their time and feedback – such as entry into a monthly or quarterly prize draw, or a discount off their next piece of work.
Refer a friend
Because we know how important other people’s opinions are in building trust, we also have our own referral scheme. Dinghy customers who recommend us to their freelancing friends can get rewarded for their introductions. If you refer someone to Dinghy using your personalised link, you’ll both receive £25 worth of vouchers if they stick with us for 3 months. Not sure how refer-a-friend works? We’ve got a blog all about it here. Don’t forget that your Dinghy landing page can also be set up to show proof of your insurance cover. Another great way for our freelancers to reassure clients that your work is protected and professional.
Not insured yet? Head over to our homepage to see what a great deal you can get on our flexible, fuss-free freelancer insurance (and find out what some of our customers think about us too!).