Request for Testimonial (or Letter of Reference) Template

By Jonathan Roseland

Without a doubt one, of my biggest assets as a professional and a business person is my letters of reference and testimonials for my services, they do a better job of selling me than I do.

Seriously, I challenge you to tell me you don't want to hire me after taking a quick gander at my 3rd party credibility here on Limitless Mindset, for my marketing firm, and my recommendations on LinkedIn.

Building an impressive body of 3rd party credibility takes five things...

  1. 3rdpartycredBoldness to ask your coworkers, boss, friends, or clients who have paid you money to write you references. Honestly, it's awkward and it takes a lot of guts to ask for a reference but it's absolutely worth it. Get over yourself and just do it!
  2. A good template; most people have no idea how to write a good letter of reference. Make it easy for them by sending an outline of what content you would like their testimonial to cover. Feel free to steal the template I have below.
  3. Persistence is super important. Pretty close to 100% of those who you ask for a reference will say "yes," however very few will actually follow through and write it up and send it off to you promptly. On average you will have to remind people three times to write you a letter of reference, one of my very best letters of reference came from a client I had to remind nine times over two months.
  4. Photos - In the digital age it's easier than ever to fake testimonials so indicators of authenticity are important. The most effective is a 200X200 pixel thumbnail image of the author of the testimonial. If appropriate I will include their full name, title, and link to their company.
  5. Reciprocity; make this a win-win for the other party. Write them a testimonial or letter of reference in return. If they are dragging their feet on your reference write theirs first and send it to them.

Notice that I did not include "hard work" as an essential ingredient in building a body of 3rd party credibility. 3rd party credibility is quintessential lifehacking, and it is by nature high leverage. Hard work is not always required.


Requesting a letter of reference usually occurs in two steps:

Request for reference

This is, most importantly, a brief message where your objective is to get them to agree to write you a letter of reference.

Hey _____, it would mean the world to me if you could write me a letter of reference or testimonial for the ________ project. I will be sure to return the favor!

They will respond in the positive, follow up with...

Letter of reference details

In my letter of reference please mention:

  • My communication style, ability to translate your goals using my solutions, and ease of dealing with me.
  • The quality of my workmanship and ability to work quickly to accomplish the goals of the project.
  • Any positive results you've had in your business as a result.
  • If possible mention specific numbers (Examples: increased revenue 3X, brought in a $5,000 client, moved us to #1 in Google, etc) when describing results.
  • Problems or pain points that I solved.
  • Anything else you want to mention.

This letter of reference or testimonial can be as short or as long as you want it to be.

If you have a Linkedin account please add it as a recommendation on my Linkedin profile (I will be sure to return the favor), if not just send it to me via email.

Let me know any success you've had from tweaking this testimonial request template...

*CORRECTION to the podcast: I dove directly into my career upon graduating high school NOT college - I didn't go to college. For more of my instructive origin story check out: Get a Job 👷 Entrepreneurial values you gain from jobs


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