Good feedback is
like a warm blanket on a cold day.
It makes me feel safe and warm and cared-for. And I hope the warm fuzzies transfer to new people who might be thinking about working with me.
But what if you don’t have any actual written feedback?
It’s remarkably easy to get it. Just ask for it.
A good time to do that is before you’re all the way finished with a project, when you client is excited about what’s happening.
That’s not to imply they won’t still be happy later, but in the middle of the project, you are top-of-mind for the client. Later, they may be on to something else and, much as we don’t like to think it’s the truth, they probably forget about you.
When you’re asking remind them, too, that you don’t want a letter of recommendation, just a few words that describe the relationship and what they get from it.
Remember, if it’s your plan to share the feedback on your website or in a brochure, nobody will read a long letter anyway. So when you’re publishing, bold the important part of the comment. That will help visitors get the salient points and skip over the extra words.
Alexandra Franzen posted over at Mashable a great piece on helping people give useful feedback.
She says if you can give people at least a starting point, they’re more likely to give you what you want and need.
She lists great prompts for good feedback, the kind you want your mother (or possible clients) to see. Like:
I’m constantly impressed by the way [your name here] handles problems like ___.
And then there’s also the other kind of feedback.
They kind that points out where you’ve messed up or didn’t complete something exactly like the client thought. That’s the kind we wish we didn’t have to hear.
HOWEVER, it can be the most useful of all. Think about it: If nobody tells you you have spinach in your teeth, how would you ever know? And once you do, it’s easy to fix.
So she lists some prompts like:
The most challenging thing about working with [your name here] is ___.
If you ask for feedback, you have to be ready to receive even the negative kind.
And not with an excuse or even a reason. It’s more useful for you and more respectful to the client if you ask: How do you think I could fix that?
Do you have some other prompts for getting feed back?
OR if you’d like to write something about working with me, I’d be really happy about that!