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.