Testimonials for writers are a crucial factor in creating a word of mouth buzz that can boost your book sales or service referrals.
Whether you want to put more books into the hands of readers or offer writing services, great testimonials can be a positive influence on your goals.
While you’ve likely heard of endorsements, and maybe even have some, testimonials are a bit different.
In this article, we’ll talk about the different facets of testimonials for writers. If you’re ready for a career boost, read on!
What Are Testimonials for Writers?
Testimonials for writers are a third-party review of you and your work. While they’re often shared through a written statement, testimonials can take various forms such as:
- Short video statements
- Quotes posted on website
- Social media posts
How Testimonials Help Writers
Whether you ask clients to write up a brief endorsement, share about their experience on social media, or engage in an interview, testimonials are foundational for building credibility.
If testimonials for writers are such a crucial factor, how do they actually contribute to your ongoing success? There are many ways testimonials help, but below are the top three reasons you should start collecting them today.
Personalize Your Audience
Consider the following situation: You launched your book a year ago and have some traction. You wish you had more reviews, but you’re happy with your growing platform and newfound traffic to your author website.
What if when potential readers come to your site, testimonials greeted them on your home page? As soon as your site loads, they see real readers who love your book and want to share how much they enjoyed it. In this way, testimonials personalize your audience.
Create Authentic Hype
With so many marketing resources today, almost anyone can create a good deal of buzz around their product or service. However, testimonials for writers take this buzz to an authentic level. Yes, people have used the word authentic so much that it’s a buzz word all on it’s own, but this is because individuals appreciate authentic reviews.
The more testimonials you have from readers with names and lives, the more authentic your hype will be. What usually makes you want to purchase a new book more: The author tweeting how awesome their book is, or a reader telling you they couldn’t put it down?
Particularly if you offer paid services such as editing or marketing, potential clients want to know you’ve been vetted and are worth the price point. Testimonials, for writers in particular, are a helpful way to provide the credibility future clients need.
If individuals can see a list of clients you’ve helped, look them up, and perhaps even reach out to them for a referral, they will feel much safer hiring you.
How To Get Testimonials
If testimonials for writers are this important, the next question to answer is how to get them. Your first testimonials will likely be the most difficult, but don’t worry. With a few well-crafted sentences you’ll be well on your way.
Offer the possibility to current clients
Many clients are focused on their project and getting it done well. Leaving testimonials for writers is simply not top of mind. When I’ve asked for testimonials, I’ve found offering the possibility to a client is all they need to write a review. Most clients are happy to help but don’t realize how much power their few sentences wield.
Ask for testimonials from previous clients
If you have worked for clients in the past but didn’t realize the value in testimonials for writers, a simple email can help you. Write up a brief template thanking the client for working with you. Ask them to write a sentence or two of review if they enjoyed the collaboration and are comfortable.
Write a draft to send to clients
If you work with bigger name clients who may not have time to craft their own testimonial, you can treat testimonials similarly to blurbs. Write a sentence or two describing how you imagine the client felt about their experience working with you.
Then follow a few steps: Email them asking for a testimonial. Include that you wrote an outline to make it easier for them. Allow them to edit as they see fit.
Tip: You can legitimize testimonials by including first and last names if possible, or first name and last initial. Asking for clients to include where they work or what they are known for is also a helpful way to add detail that builds rapport.
Examples from Real Writer Websites
What about writers who have done this well? Let’s start with the bestselling author of Atomic Habits, James Clear. When you visit the book page on his website you immediately see a sentence or two of testimonials from other professionals.
Clear highlights Mark Manson’s testimonial, another bestselling author. He also includes one from Arianna Huffington, Founder of Huffington Post and Thrive Global.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic has inspired creatives in innumerable ways. Despite the massive success of her book, she too includes a testimonial on her book page.
If you’re not a bestselling author yet or offer services, testimonials are still tremendously helpful in your success. The freelancer behind Hear Ye Writing includes numerous testimonials on her website.
Testimonials For Writers: Parting Tips
While there is no right or wrong way to include testimonials, there are a few steps you can take to help them stand out. Testimonials that include the following will help legitimate both your testimonials and your product or service:
- First and last name of client
- The client’s credibility
- Where they work
Consider the following testimonial examples:
Example one: “I loved working with Jane Smith. Her turnaround time was impeccable and her quality was just what I was looking for.”
Example two: “I loved working with Jane. Her turnaround time was impeccable and her quality was just what I was looking for.” —John Smith, CEO of Fake Business Name and author of Book Title
Do you see how adding these three small factors levels up the testimonial? Always be sure to ask clients if they are comfortable for you to include their name and credentials prior to posting.
Additionally, if you write a template testimonial for past clients, receive the okay before publishing it live on your website.
For Those Starting From Scratch
If you’re just getting started and haven’t worked with clients before, there is still a place for you. Testimonials for writers can apply to unpaid coaching services, feedback, beta reading, and more. When posting these type of testimonials, be clear about what you offered.
For instance, if someone from your writing community asks you to beta read their book, consider asking for a testimonial. Use the template below to inspire your request:
“I’m a new writer and asked [your name] to beta read my book. He was more than happy to provide great feedback. I’m thankful for his insight on my manuscript!”
It can feel intimidating to start out, but take your first step boldly. The first request is usually the most difficult. It only gets easier!