Here’s one fun fact about me:
I am actually very good about asking for feedback.
I have it set up in all of my workflows post-workshops, or when offboarding a client. I even had it set up automatically when I used to do custom work. In all cases, I got really good at sending my customers a follow-up survey.
I automated all of this so that I would always ask for the feedback. But sharing said testimonials and positive reviews? Ooof – like nails on a chalkboard to me. Much discomfort.
I feel the discomfort that stems from thinking that I am bragging – and I am! But if we are good at what we do, it is worth sharing that other people think we are good too.
What does it do for you to share testimonials
In short – sharing your reviews and testimonials creates trust between you and your future customers.
Reviews and testimonials can also make you feel vulnerable – what if they didn’t really like it? What if they aren’t happy with the piece? What if they didn’t feel comfortable speaking up? What if it’s bad?
The flip side to this is, of course, what if it’s good and you don’t share it? What if they loved it and they want to share how much they loved it, but they don’t know how? What if it’s good feedback?
There are ways around this discomfort that can help you feel more secure in asking for reviews and testimonials.
How to collect reviews and testimonials comfortably
Two words – Automate it.
Almost every eCommerce platform – Squarespace, Shopify and Wix chief among them – allow you to collect reviews automatically.
You’ll have to check your specific plan and set it up, but automating the process can help you set it and forget it.
Automating all of this removes you from the process, and sometimes, we need to get out of our own way.
But what if you still don’t want to set up automated reviews?
Even if you don’t want to set yourself up for automated reviews, you can still partially automate collecting testimonials – this is a great system to implement for custom work, or if you prefer the personal touch in collecting testimonials for any of your jewelry.
Set up a survey/short questionnaire in a platform like Google Forms, Survey Monkey or Typeform. This creates an easy place to maintain all of your testimonials.*
Keep the questions to no more than four – attention spans are short! Ask what they loved about the process and the piece. Ask them what they liked about working with you, or what helped them decide to work with you.
Ask one question that you will keep private – “For my feedback only, to help me better serve future custom clients – What can I do better in the future? What would you have changed about the process?” (Seriously, feel free to just copy and paste this question into your survey.)
This question allows them to express if anything is wrong, which in turn gives you a chance to make it right, all in private. It is also another way to help them feel free and safe to express themselves.
Finally, ask for permission to share their words, and ask for permission to share their name (or give them the option to remain anonymous).
Set up this form to send after a custom piece is finished. In many invoicing systems – Square, QuickBooks and more – you can attach it to their final invoice and collect the testimonials automatically this way.
Now to put this into practice for myself
I often work with my clients on ways that they can use reviews and testimonials for marketing, or placing their testimonials somewhere prominent on their websites. But for me? I have a page, but I always wrestle with the actual sharing part.
It takes me forever to add them to my testimonials pages (I only recently added a couple to my website that I had been sitting on).
So here I share two testimonials, to hold myself accountable for this task and to share good news.
“Working with Sharon was such a great fit for me! She kept me on task by setting clear, realistic goals, but I never felt pressured or stressed. I found her vast knowledge in business planning, retail sales, wholesale sales and the jewelry industry specifically to be incredibly helpful in allowing her to take a thorough and holistic approach to guiding my business goals.
I felt fully supported along the way and was able to reach out for support in between our scheduled meetings if needed. Sharon is personable, a clear communicator and has a wealth of knowledge to share.”
—Sarah – Sarah Swell Jewelry
“I’ve been operating without a budget. Before meeting with Sharon, I spent however I wanted to, and now I have a better understanding of the limits to my spending. Sharon also took a look at my pricing formula and showed me places where I can increase my profits. Besides these very tangible improvements, Sharon is a blast to work with. She’s easy to talk to, adds just the right amount of humor, and more than anything she knows what she’s talking about. If you need someone knowledgeable to go deep with your business’s finances, definitely work with Sharon.”
—Hilary – Hilary Finck Jewelry
Have you thought about what holds you back from asking for feedback? Or what keeps you from sharing it with the world? Post it in the comments!
*Side note – you don’t have to set it up in a form or survey format. This process makes it easier to keep your feedback in one place – Google Forms collates it all into a spreadsheet. If you prefer an even more personal touch, you can save the questions and cut and paste them into an email to your clients. It makes the process less automated and a little more work for you, but keeps a personal touch for your clients.