Artists publish testimonials in brochures and on websites to share the experience clients have had with them. A powerful testimonial is particularly effective for artists who work in the following realms:
- Teaching classes and workshops
- Accepting commissioned work such as portraits or custom jewelry
- Competing for public art projects
Testimonials are valuable in these three areas because they are heavily weighted toward service to someone or something else. You need to please people in order to succeed in these areas.
There are correct and incorrect ways to ask for testimonials. Let's look at both using teaching as an example. For our purposes, we’re asking for the testimonial in an email.
Ineffective Way to Ask for Testimonials for Your Art Workshops
I'm happy you attended my class last weekend. I enjoyed meeting you and seeing your work. I hope it was time well spent for you, and that you learned something you could use right away.
Would you be willing to give me a testimonial for my website?
Thank you for your consideration,
This is incorrect because it puts the recipient on the spot. She must either answer Yes or No or ignore your question and wait to hear from you again.
From any aspect, it's uncomfortable for all involved, especially when the other person isn't feeling all warm and fuzzy about your experience together.
There's a better way.
An Effective Way to Ask for Testimonials
I'm happy you attended my class last weekend. I enjoyed meeting you and seeing your work. I hope it was time well spent for you, and that you learned something you could implement right away.
If you enjoyed the class and found value in the content, I would love hearing from you. Testimonials from satisfied students are a powerful way for me to attract new teaching opportunities. The best testimonials are those that mention a specific problem or concern that I helped solve. A one or two sentence testimonial would be appreciated, and I would need permission to mention your name.
Please only share a testimonial if you are so inclined and it feels authentic.
Thank you for your consideration,
See the difference? The recipient doesn't feel pressured in the second example. You know that whatever testimonials result from this message will be from the heart.
Listen to the audio version of this post.
See the follow-up to this post: Collecting Testimonials for Your Art Workshops
10 thoughts on “Increase Business with Testimonials”
thanks for this tip – I will remember it when I get an opportunity to ask for a testimonial.
Karen and others: Also remember to be on alert for anyone who says anything nice. Try to get into the habit of immediately asking if you could use their words. You can also offer to tweak their words: Write them out and ask for their approval to use.
Thanks Alyson for the text sample. That’s a great idea!
Thanks for giving us a wonderful text sample! I launched my website in May 2010 selling online jewelry making lessons – http://untamedspiritstudios.com. It takes extra time to collect comments from customers, especially at the beginning. But I think it’s important to have a testimonial written next to each online lesson that I post. When I receive comments I can use, I ask the person’s permission, send them a free copy of the product I’ll be using their testimonial with, and tell them where they can find their words on my site.
Love that idea: a freebie!
As regards to testimonials, where do you suggest presenting them?
At this point I have a special sub-website devoted to workshops, workshop images and I have placed a separate page for testimonials. Would love your opinion
Mira: I think it’s okay to put testimonials on their own page, but you can also sprinkle them throughout your site. If the site is JUST for workshops, you could even use them on your home page.
I tend to put testimonials in sidebars because I want them to be seen while the reader is scrolling down. But I’ve also inserted them within the text. Just set them off somehow: a box, indenting with italics, etc.
See how I did testimonials on the Blast Off class page (which, coincidentally, starts next week!):
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Is it appropriate to request a testimonial via email?