Careers >> Browse Articles >> Resume Advice


A Designers' Secret Weapon: Testimonials

A Designers' Secret Weapon: Testimonials

Mike Lenhart

In this dog-eat-dog world of creativity and design, there may be times when we throw our hands up in the air and ask, Why? or Do I really know what the heck I’m doing? Well, at least I do. It is really hard sometimes to get a pat on the back or some other sort of validation in the professional world, especially when you’re freelancing. Sometimes we simply have to get our clients to say something nice about us.

It’s all about getting testimonials. There is research out there that says that business leads can increase over 700% due to them. How should we approach this? Here is what I know and also what I’ve read:

• Think of all of your past projects and come up with an interesting case study.
• Make sure the client of your selected case study is a happy one.
• Make an advance appointment – phone or in person – to prepare your client with what you’re doing and how long it should take (not too long!).
• When you interview them, ask them what their problem was, what you did to solve their problem, what they liked about your approach, style, etc., and how the results of your solution helped their problem (in quantifiable ways, hopefully).

Once you collect all of this info, write up the “story” and then let your client read it and ultimately approve it before you post or publish it. In my experience, most clients prefer me to write the testimonials for them which they’ll sign-off on when it’s done. It’s good to ask them first, though.

Hopefully, after you collect your first testimonial, it’ll be easier to get more. Remember, however, if you piss-off all your clients and burn all of your bridges, you’ll have a harder time finding that first one. We never do that though, do we?

It’s hard to remember to market ourselves, as artists or otherwise, at times. There are always many reasons for this – we’re too busy, we’re too modest, we don’t know how to do it, etc. It’s good to set aside some time each month to specifically work on self-marketing. I’m not perfect at this, in any means, but it’s good to talk about it. Validation is good and we all need it and deserve it. Remember, you can always look in the mirror and repeat, I AM a good person, I AM worthy of love.

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!