As I’ve embarked on content writing for my website it has struck me that the one section I struggled with the most was the testimonial. This isn’t because I didn’t have people to ask, I certainly did (as you can see).
However it seems quintessentially British to be a bit shy about asking for a recommendation; even when you know you have done a good job and/or had a good relationship.
We humans tend to be terrible at giving self praise but very happy to do it for others, which is utterly lovely yet a bit of self love and recognition can go a long way.
Reviews and wheat fields
My parents are absolute sticklers for using sites like Tripadvisor to help them gauge whether to grace a restaurant or visit a landmark and plough through the testimonials like Theresa May running through a wheat field #naughty.
If I suggest a new eating place I absolutely know they’ll have done their homework on it, planned their food and won’t let Glenda’s* 2011 bad review go unread… because she didn’t get sweetcorn in the side salad and that’s a cardinal sin.
I tend to use review sites for car garages and Airbnb, because honestly, no one wants to go on holiday where the place you stay ends up being a reinactment of Hostel or a replica of Mordor.
Be nice and be organised
What I’m trying to say that is wherever you go and whoever you meet, you leave an imprint and people will form opinions of you. I feel it’s so important that you treat people how you want to be treated, you never know when you’ll see them again or in my case, ask for a testimonial.
I’ve been bowled over by the words people have used in their testimonials for me and feel a sense of achievement and pride in myself and my work. It’s like a lovely cwtch when the hard work you’ve done is recognised and rewarded.
I think we should all tell each other more when we’re pleased with one another- not just when we’re self promoting.
If I had a magic wand, a la Harry Potter, I would’ve asked former colleagues at the time to do a testimonial and gathered evidence that way, alas, I didn’t. If I have one piece of advice, it’s do that, be organised with yourself as well as your work, it’s just as important.
*Glenda isn’t real, sorry, I like the name.
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