If you’ve ever studied even a small bit of marketing you know how important word of mouth is to growing your business. Personal recommendations can really propel your business into stardom – or at least a steady stream of reliable clients. But did you know 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey)? 85% – that’s huge! It can be tough to ask for reviews from customers but it is well worth the discomfort in asking. You shouldn’t feel awkward, it’s incredibly common practice to ask for feedback and people are happy to rave when they’ve received stellar service.

Reviews on social sites are the easiest for clients to leave and for you to solicit. You can link your recent customers to your Google Business listing or Facebook page where they can leave a short review. It doesn’t take much for these reviews to make you shine. After you’ve completed your service and received payment via invoice, include your link in a thank you e-mail with a short blurb requesting a review. Encourage your client to be honest and sincere – you want truthful reviews. Use phrases like "if you loved working with me..." to help reinforce the type of review you're looking for.

Testimonials and/or reviews should be featured on your website. If you can snag a headshot of your client along with their testimonial, you’ll really be set up to win. Don't forget to get permission from the client to list their testimonial on your site. When it comes to the length of the review – it doesn’t take a book, a few short sentences about their experience in working with you should do the trick. Try to avoid multi-paragraph, lengthy reviews as prospective clients are unlikely to read them and they could be tricky to edit down to a good length. Ideally the testimonials you post on your site will be similar in length to each other. Only feature 3-5 at a time. If you’re able to gather more testimonials, hold a few back to rotate in and out over time.

Having your satisfied customers leave reviews could be the extra boost you need to take you business to the next level. If 85% of prospects trust them as much as personal recommendations, you don’t want to miss out!

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