How to ask for design testimonials

Why you should ask for design testimonials 

Whether you run a design agency or work as a freelance designer, securing glowing testimonials is a key part of marketing your work and showing that you’re a true professional to work with.

As nerve-wracking as it can feel to ask for testimonials, getting into the habit of securing them at the end of a project is a great way to keep your portfolio, website and social media presence fresh and set you apart from your competition.


Be prompt when asking for design testimonials

If you are pleased with how a project has gone and feel confident with its outcome, ask for a testimonial as soon as the project is over. This is the best time to ask for a testimonial as your client will be excited about your design work and the positives of working with you will be fresh in their mind.


Provide guidance and ask questions to shape design testimonials

Have you ever asked for a testimonial and heard “what do you want me to say?” in response? Most of the time your clients are busy people, so if you’re asking for a testimonial make it straightforward and easy for them.

We recommend sending a list of questions or even using survey/ feedback collecting services. There are lots of free methods available such as Survey Monkey and Google Forms.

CSD members can access our full guidance on securing testimonials, including example questions that can support your testimonial process. If you’re a member find this here.


Use what’s already been said for your testimonials

If a client has sent you glowing feedback during a project, from a happy text message to a positive email, then you are 99% of the way there. Reach out to them in writing and ask if they will give their permission for you to use their comments.

This method is organic; however, be sure to ask for permission before using their name and quoting them. You should give clients 28 days’ notice to remove the testimonial.


Find reasons to re-connect with design clients

While it’s best to incorporate testimonial gathering as part of your working process, sometimes you can forget. If you have past projects that you don’t have testimonials for, make time to reach out to historic clients and request them.

Linking your request to CPD is a really good way to reconnect as it illustrates to past clients your continuing professionalism, especially for CSD members, informing them that as part of our Pathway to Chartered Designer, CSD  requires a number of case studies to illustrate your design skills against the CPSK™  which covers four core criteria: Creativity, Professionalism, Skills and Knowledge.

While you may not want to ask out of the blue, there are several ways you can ask for testimonials without it feeling inauthentic. From launching a new service or website to an item of news supporting your CPD, these are all ways to reconnect with historic clients.


Speaking of the process, FCSD Graphic Chartered Designer Peta Nash said: “From a business point of view, the Pathway provided me with the perfect opportunity to re-introduce myself to previous clients and request testimonials. It was fantastic to have a reason to reach out to clients I’ve worked with over the years, not only to remind them of the work I’ve previously delivered but also to showcase how I’m developing my business. This element of the process resulted in me securing new work, which was a wonderful bonus alongside polishing some older case studies.”


Looking for an email template to ask for design testimonials?

We have created a downloadable guide for CSD members which includes example questions that can support your testimonial process and an email template you can use to request testimonials too.

Members can download their guide here. If you’re not a member but are interested in becoming one and benefiting from the support of a recognised design body, information on how to run a successful design business and more visit our membership page.


Categories: Resources