How to ask clients for feedback as a freelancer

Feedback is important for you as a freelancer because it gives you crucial information to help improve your business, an easy way to drum up good press for your business, and to keep your clients coming back to you.

Leon Cordier
Leon Cordier

Communication between you as a freelancer and your clients is paramount. It’s the lifeline of your business, so it’s something that you shouldn’t relegate to the end of your to-do list. Part of this process is receiving feedback. Hence, you should find ways to integrate feedback into your business in effective ways.

We’re going to look at some simple ways that you can get some client feedback that’s both organic and professional. Moreover, they’ll help you engage with your clients in meaningful ways and give you the useful information you need to help improve your business. So, let’s dive in.

Why does every freelancer need client reviews?

Feedback is important for you as a freelancer because it gives you crucial information to help improve your business, an easy way to drum up good press for your business, and to keep your clients coming back to you. It’s a great tool for building relationships with clients and for self-assessment.

Before we go into how you go about asking for feedback, we should first give feedback a definition. Whether you get it in the form of a survey, a phone call, or a lengthy email, feedback is information that you get from a client about the quality of your services/product and other aspects like:

  • Delivery and timing (of product or services)
  • Communications
  • Customer Service
  • Pricing

These bits of information are crucial if you want to find the aspects you want to improve and the strengths you want to emphasize when it comes to your business.

How to appropriately ask for client reviews

One of the delicate parts of figuring out how to ask for feedback from clients you work with is how to find the right tone. How do you approach someone without sounding needy, pushy, or too robotic?

Well, the easiest way to overcome this is using a respectful and friendly tone when approaching your clients, and finding the right medium that works well both for you and them.

Other useful tips include:

  • Maintaining regular contact with your client
  • Accepting the criticism you receive, especially if it’s well-intended and constructive
  • Making sure to express gratitude after receiving feedback

These are some good general rules of thumb to follow in finding the right tone. Now let’s look at some more specific approaches we can take.

Set the tone at the start of the relationship

This is important for two reasons:

  1. First, you begin your relationship in a friendly and respectful manner, increasing the chances that your client will want to engage with you later on in the process.
  2. Second, you can establish at the beginning that you want them to provide you genuine feedback that you can use to learn from, making it more likely that they will be willing to contribute.

They say nothing beats a good first impression, so apply that same logic here. Inform your clients in the beginning on how you would appreciate it if they could provide you with feedback, and set the time and means to receive the feedback. Doing so will encourage people to share honest and constructive opinions.

Actively listen and ask detailed questions

This is how you actually take in the information provided by the feedback. When you meet and speak with your clients or read their emails/surveys, you need to pay attention to what’s being provided. You need to be attentive and inquisitive when it comes to getting feedback because that is how you can make the most of it as an enriching tool.

Asking detailed questions helps in this process. You need to determine what it is that you want to learn and then find the best questions and the best ways to ask them. Having good questions is the key to getting the best answers, so take some time to consider them carefully.

Create a short survey to get feedback

Surveys are a great tool that you can use to get information in an easily accessible and standardized way. If you have a simple enough set of questions that you can ask all of your clients that don’t need to be customized, then surveys are something that might be useful. Client feedback surveys can generate a lot of useful information if you use them correctly.

Surveys are easy for you to use and create. Plus, they are often easy for your clients to fill out and access as well. There are several resources like Survey Monkey and Google Forms that you can use to create your surveys. Often they will compile the data generated from your clients and give the info to you in detailed reports that you can analyze.

Convince clients to give more feedback

Convincing clients to give you feedback is always tricky. As we mentioned, it can be an uncomfortable proposition when you have to consider how to ask for feedback from the client. Some ways you can do this seamlessly include:

  • Having an approachable and friendly tone
  • Providing the time and space for your client to share their opinions such as through check-in meetings
  • Offering small deals or gifts to clients who fill out surveys
  • Mentioning and promoting your clients in your content

One good way that you can do this is by simply emailing them. If you’ve found yourself typing “how to write an email to clients for feedback” into a search engine, don’t worry because you’re not alone! Some good tips include:

  • Making the emails personally tailored to the client that you’re contacting
  • Keeping the email and the request brief and clear
  • Providing the link to the survey or means to arrange a meeting in the email
  • Ensuring your tone is not robotic or too cookie cutter

Ask for a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile

Getting recommendations on your LinkedIn profile is a good way to signal to others that you do good work and that you are open to receiving feedback. While you may feel awkward about asking for this, keep in mind the earlier advice we gave when it came to asking for feedback: keep it short and sweet, and usually, that’s enough.

Most people are more than happy to recommend good things to others. Of course, choose your sample wisely when you ask for recommendations. You’d prefer positive feedback, so beware of your content clients.

Networking sites like LinkedIn are important resources for your professional career. Information on those sites attracts attention from clients and potential collaborators alike, so be sure to take advantage of it. These are little small things that you can do to help your business stand out in crowded marketplaces.

Using these simple tips will give you a good place to start should you consider reaching out to your clients for feedback. Here is a bonus trick to make good use of the feedback you receive:

Compile testimonials on your portfolio

If there’s one thing that potential freelance clients like to see, it’s a collection of glowing reviews from previous clients. One of the best aspects of getting feedback is that when someone tells you that you did a good job, you can use that to generate good buzz for your business. Ask your clients if they would mind you using their glowing words as a testimonial to prove the quality of your work to prospective clients.

While you may have to slightly edit the content of these reviews to make them more snazzy, make sure you highlight how appreciative your previous clients felt after purchasing your or services. This is a good way to highlight the quality of your business, and best of all it's free! Next time a client has something good to say, don’t just bask in the moment but turn that into something that you can use to get more business.

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Leon Cordier

I'm an American guy living overseas that likes to write for a living.