Without a doubt one of my biggest assets as a professional and a business person is my letters of reference and testimonials for my services, they do a better job of selling me than I do. Seriously, I challenge you to tell me you don't want to hire me after taking a quick gander at my 3rd party credibility here on Limitless Mindset, for my marketing firm and my recommendations on LinkedIN.
Building an impressive body of 3rd party credibility takes 5 things:
- Boldness to ask your coworkers, boss, friends or clients who have paid you lots of money too write you references. Honestly, it's awkward and it takes a lot of guts to ask for a reference but it's absolutely worth it. Get over yourself and just do it.
- A good template; most people have no idea how to write a good letter of reference. Make it easy for them by sending an outline of what content you would like their testimonial to cover. Feel free to steal the template I have below.
- Persistence is super important. Pretty close to 100% of those who you ask for a reference will say yes, however very few will actually follow through and write it up and send it off to you promptly. On average you will to remind people 3 times to write you a letter of reference, one of my very best letters of reference came from a client I had to remind 9 times over a 2 month period.
- Photos, in the digital age it's easier than ever to fake testimonials. So indicators of authenticity are important, the most effective is a 200X200 pixel thumbnail image of the author of the testimonial. If appropriate I will include their full name, title and link to their company.
- Reciprocity; make this a win-win for the other party. Write them a testimonial or letter of reference in return. If they are dragging their feet on your reference write theirs first and send it to them.
Notice that I did not include hard work as an essential ingredient in building a body of 3rd party credibility. 3rd party credibility is quintessential lifehacking ladies and gentlemen, and it is by nature high leverage. Hard work is not always required.
Requesting a letter of reference usually occurs in two steps:
Request for Reference
This is, most importantly, a brief message where your objective is to get them to agree to write you a letter of reference.
Hey _____, it would mean the world to me if you could write me a letter of reference or testimonial for ________ project. I will be sure to return the favor!
They will respond in the positive, follow up with...
Letter of Reference Details
In my letter of reference please mention:
- My communication style, ability to translate your goals using my solutions, and ease of dealing with me.
- The quality of my workmanship and ability to work quickly to accomplish the goals of the project.
- Any positive results you've had in your business as a result.
- If possible mention specific numbers (Examples: increased revenue 3X, brought in a $5,000 client, moved us to #1 in Google, etc) when describing results.
- Problems or pain points that I solved.
- Anything else you want to mention.
This letter of reference or testimonial can be as short or as long as you want it to be.
If you have a LinkedIN account please add it as a recommendation on my LinkedIN profile (I will be sure to return the favor), if not just send it to me via email.
the commentsbelow and let me know any success you've had from tweaking this testimonial request template...
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