Maria Brophy


  • and make good money doing it!

    ‘Strategies for a Successful Art Business!’
business of art / Entrepreneur

How to get Testimonials (Praise) from your clients and why it’s Important

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34 of 50 Paintings CATALINA ISLAND by Drew Brophy Nov 28 2015 RSTESTIMONIALS HELP SELL YOUR WORK

If your business model includes being commissioned to create work of any kind, testimonials from past clients will help you gain new clients.

Why?  Because there are too many scammers and slackers out in the world!

It’s hard to know who to trust, and when you’re spending money you want to be sure the person you are hiring is legit.

Testimonials from real people help to give a new buyer confidence in your abilities to give them what they want.

When I consider hiring a new person, I look for what their past clients have to say about them.  Testimonials give me added confidence that they will do the job well.


On my own website, I have posted testimonials from artists and small business owners that I have consulted in the past.  I asked permission to use their full name, because I want new readers to know that I am posting real words from real people!

Here’s an example of a testimonial on my site that captures what I do best, comes from the heart of my client, and will help new clients decide if I can help them or not:

I haven’t had a conversation with someone this knowledgeable in my whole life!  A lot of people tell me that I should sell my work, but you are the first person who has been able to tell me HOW, in a viable way.”  Joe Mahoney

On my husband Drew’s website, we post testimonials from his corporate clients (as they are our main target market).  Here’s an example:

We worked with Drew to transform our (Verizon FiOS) VW Bus into a work of art during the 2013 US Open of Surf.  It was effortless working with Drew and Maria. They had very little time to plan and design, yet the final result was more than what we could have asked for.”  Bryan Babiarz, Art Director at Marketing Werks

You’ll notice one thing about these testimonials:  we use the client’s full name.  This gives authenticity to the testimonial.  Otherwise, a reader may not be convinced that the testimonial is real.


The most effective testimonials are those that are short, give specific details and are straight from the client’s heart.

The best way to get an authentic, from-the-heart testimonial, is to talk to your client, write down what they say, and then use that (with their permission) as a testimonial.

How to get your client to speak from the heart:  Call them and say “I want to follow up and ask a few questions.  Were you pleased with the work I did for you?”   Then, ask, “What did you like best about the XXX I created for you?”  These questions are meant to get the client to speak in specifics.  Listen and write notes as they talk.

After you were able to get them to share their feelings about working with you, say “I would like to use some of what you said as a testimonial.  I’m going to email you what I’d like to use and get your permission, is that okay?”  Most people will say yes.  (I haven’t had anyone tell me no yet.)

Then, write up a short, concise testimonial based off the notes of what they actually told you, email it to them and ask permission to use it on your portfolio and website, along with their full name (and company name, if applicable).

This is the best way to get a testimonial, for two reasons:  

1 – You are doing all the work so you make it easy for your client; and

2 – By asking them questions, without first telling them WHY you’re asking, you get to the heart of how they felt when working with you.  This gets the best testimonials of all!

Make it a habit to collect testimonials from your clients every time. 

Post them on your website on a page titled “testimonials” or “praise” or “happy customers.”  You can also pull the best ones and use them in your sales brochures and marketing materials.

What has been your experience with collecting testimonials from your clients?   Please share your thoughts in the comments, below.

Here’s to our success in art,
Maria xxoo

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6 Comments How to get Testimonials (Praise) from your clients and why it’s Important

  1. Bonnie Hamlin

    Oh thank you for this advice!!! I’ve struggled for years trying to get myself to ask clients for testimonials, the couple of times I did it, were pure torture, even though the clients seemed OK with it. But the way you describe just slides in without the stress, almost sounds like fun. And a reminder how important the follow up phone call is as well. Thanks again

  2. xxx

    Excellent web site you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days.
    I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  3. Brenda

    Thanks for this Maria – I try to always ask for testimonials when I feel the connection with clients.
    What would you recommend to do if most of your interactions with the client has been via email? I don’t even have a number to call and asking for a number feels like an added burden because then we have to organise a time etc… Yet I see the wisdom in a call because it IS a lot easier for them to just speak rather than type out a testimonial for you.
    So far I am trying sending them to an easy to use survey with a handful of questions that only require short answers m. And then I’m creating testimonials from this collections of one liners – the idea is just to gather their words and use their voice

  4. Darrell

    I always ask for testimonials upfront. The people I connect well with go out of their way to write something good. I generally send an email shortly after the job is finished and if they don’t reply I don’t bother them further. From the emails I have about a 50% hit rate.

  5. Annie Frances

    I want to get testimonials for my website. I have specific clients that I want to call because I know they are real people who will give me real answers. I appreciate your suggestion to ask questions that will give me specific answers. Thanks!

  6. Lady Lucas

    Thanks Maria for sharing your wisdom with us. I do agree that testimonials make a difference. Lately, when a client emails me back about how thrilled they are with something I’ve created for them, I simply ask if I can lift the quote from the email for use on my website. Most likely they will say ‘yes!’ 😉


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