I recently received a terrific question from Lorraine, one of the people in my community. She asks:
How can I get testimonials and case studies from a corporate client?
Should I ask before, during, or after the project? Should we ask for permission to use their logo on our website?
Should we get the testimonial via LinkedIn or email? How can we make the ask in a professional manner?
I felt her questions were so good that I’d turn the answers into a blog post. So, without further ado, here is how I build and get case studies and testimonials from my clients.
How I Get Recommendations on LinkedIn
I love LinkedIn recommendations because you can wear them like a badge of honor. The best part is that you can’t fake a LinkedIn recommendation — someone has to actively take time out of their day to write you a recommendation and tie it to their profile. This is why it’s so hard to get LinkedIn recommendations: it’s not because people don’t want to give recommendations; it’s that people get lazy and don’t want to put in the effort to do it.
To get recommendations, you’ll have to do the following:
1. You have to do a great job on the project
This of course goes without saying — you have to have done great work with your client. If your client is super happy with your work, then you can move on to the next step.
2. You have to be friendly with the client
Can you pick up the phone and call your client at any time? Have you invited your client out to lunch or dinner? I’ve found that being good friends with your client goes a long way, especially when you make the ask for a testimonial or recommendation on LinkedIn.
3. Make the ask
Here is the exact message I send to receive a LinkedIn recommendation:
Hope you’re having a terrific week!
My company is aggressively expanding and we’re in the running to capture to new big client deals. Because you’re one of my best clients, I’d love to use you as a reference. Can I have the potential client call you?
Also, they’re checking my LinkedIn to review my recommendations. Can you write me a recommendation by this Friday? It would greatly help a lot.
Thank you very much — if you need anything from me I’m only a phone call away.
I make sure to let them know that I need it by Friday so that they don’t get lazy and forget to give me a recommendation.
Also, notice how I give a clear reason for needing a testimonial NOW — “We’re super successful, expanding the company, and are about to close another huge client deal”. This increases urgency for the testimonial and also makes us look good.
My two favorite people who have recommended me
Here are two of my favorite people who have recommended me using the exact techniques I list above:
Social Media and Marketing Specialist at Whole Foods Market
Jun is a great person to work with. He always provides support for my digital marketing needs – whether it be building a microsite from scratch, Facebook/Twitter support, digital marketing advice – Jun always stays professional and helpful. When approached with new challenges, he always comes back with a list of solutions. I appreciate his dedication and patience to work with our constantly changing needs at Whole Foods Market. I know I can always rely on him and his team for support.
Head of Product and Marketing at Luxola
Beyond being entrepreneurial, driven and intelligent, Jun impresses me with his ability to work with his team to really understand business problems, propose thoughtful solutions and drive true results.
Jun really exhibited this through working with us on a high visibility project at Sephora that would require fast turnaround times, a site that would support high holiday traffic, and a solution that would be elegant and on brand for Sephora. Jun succeeded in helping us create that vision, in addition to producing the technical results that we needed — no small feat.
Additionally — I look forward to working with Jun again, and would recommend him highly to anyone who is looking for a team leader and creative thinker who can both strategize and execute.
Never Ask for Permission — Just Apologize Later
I never ask my clients for permission to use their logo on my site or presentations. If they’re my client, then I just go ahead and use their logo. Keep in mind, if there is a specific reason for your client to stay confidential, then do respect their wishes and keep them confidential. If there is no specific reason, then their logo is free game on your site and presentations.
How to Format Your Case Studies
Here is how I format my client case studies:
Image: I of course include an image at the top that showcases the project
Project Goal: I list the project goal and what were the expectations going into the project.
Specific Solution: I describe the specific solution we utilized for the project and client. In the example above, we built a Facebook Applications and conducted conversion optimization to improve user captures.
Results: It’s not a case study without results. List all data-driven results, especially data that resulted in an increase in revenue or a decrease in costs.
How I Showcase Testimonials for a Consumer-Facing Product or Service
Check out my testimonial page on here.
You’ll notice that every testimonial has the following:
- A picture so that the reader can connect with the person who gave the testimonial
- Text that is in italics and in quotations marks
- Name of the person
Hope this helps! If you have any follow up questions, do be sure to send them my way.