Client Testimonials – Worth Their Weight In Gold

We recently received this note and the photo above from a client who purchased and donated a major sculpture to a hospital in his home area:

Just wanted to let you know what a sensation the sculpture has been. Please let Gary Price know that it is in constant ‘use’ in front of the Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. The hospital, recognized as the third most beautiful in America, is very hard edged and maybe a little scary to some. The relaxed and welcoming Einstein changes all of that. It has its own facebook page (go to groups then einsteinlove) besides screen savers and constant ‘selfies’. The piece has added much pleasure and excitement to the hospital staff in whose honor it is dedicated.

Please let me know if Gary ever comes east near our area.

Thank you,
Bruce M

Beyond being extremely gratifying to know that we’ve facilitated an installation that has such a positive impact, this kind of testimonial from a client is tremendously valuable. Think of the power this short testimonial will have when someone is considering a similar purchase.

Ask for Testimonials

I would urge you to ask for testimonials from clients who buy work directly from you, and encourage your galleries to collect testimonials from their clients and share them with you.

Asking for a testimonial can be very simple. Be sure and get your client’s email address, and then, about a month after any sale, send a follow-up note to the effect of:

Hi!

Thank you again for your purchase of the Albert Einstein bench. Now that you’ve had it in place for a month, I would love to hear what people are saying about him. Would you mind shooting me an email with a photo of the piece in place and any reaction you’ve heard and what you’ve felt about the work? I would love to share your thoughts with the artist and with others considering adding a Gary Price bench to their collection.

Thank you!

Obviously you would have to adapt the note to fit the situation of the sale, but you can send a similar simple note about even the smallest sales.

Not everyone will respond, but you’ll be amazed at the great things your clients will say about your work.

Giving Your Work A Social Media Following

The note from our client also points to another great social media marketing idea. By creating a Facebook group and asking people to share their own photos, the sculpture has taken on a life of it’s own. For major public installations of your art you could create your own Facebook group. Then ask for permission to create a card next to the piece encouraging people to post their photos with the piece.

Here are some photos that were posted to the Einstein group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/664512926983143/ (you have to join the group to see the photos).

Your Testimonials

What have your clients said about your art? How have you gathered testimonials in the past? What do you think of the idea of gathering comments from your buyers? Share your experiences, thoughts and testimonials in the comments below.

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24 Comments

  1. To be honest, I’m not even sure at the beginning when I did ask every client for a testimonial if anyone even looked at them on my website, blog or FB business page. And now I am at the point where all my commissions come from past clients and referrals . I think the quality of my work is what they are more interested in. But I do give top of the line, above and beyond service, so maybe that’s also why so many clients, friends and fellow artists recommend my pet portraits. I understand they may be important, but for me I don’t think it mattered. I think with art it’s more of a gut reaction, if you love an artists work you’re gonna buy it.

    1. It can sometimes be hard to know what impact testimonials are having – clients who buy might not reference them. My experience has shown me that for some clients, seeing installations of the work and knowing that others have bought and are enjoying the work is a powerful incentive to buy themselves. The work involved in getting testimonials seems a small price to pay. Though I didn’t mention it in the article, I also believe that the act of writing a testimonial makes your past buyers more aware of why they like your work and turns them into bigger fans.

  2. Yes we gather testimonials and we have a dedicated page on our website for this and yes people do respond and comment to us about this page if they have seen the website. As gallery manager I use some of these comments in my discussions of the artwork with potential clients. Not everyone but the more engaged I get with a client the more natural it is to discuss some of the reasons other clients collect my wife’s artwork. Happy is the most common term used by people that collect and or see her artwork. I feel these testimonials put into words why her artwork is worthy of consideration into any person home. I suggest any artist utilize these for marketing and sales efforts throughout their career.

    1. I very much enjoyed everything about my visit to your website. The art, the layout, the availability of it all. Did you construct it yourself or is it derived from one or another of the various website vendors? I also liked the way you used your testimonials including the purchased pictures in their home environment. Thank you for sharing with the group.

  3. I just received this nice comment a week ago for a large photo I shipped locally. Not only are these testimonials nice to have for marketing purposes, they remind the artist on the impact of their work and how it effects the people who own them.

    “Aloha. Just hung your photo. Love it and it is perfect for my “room”. So this is the story. My husband is from AZ and we bought this place that I call the “cowboy house”. My husband redid the entire place and I would call it a man cave house. Everything is in dark leather, he has his African trophy heads hanging on the wall and the floors are covered with exotic skins. There are saddles and lots of cowboy things. Big TV screen – sure you get the idea. I was given a room which I decided I would make it exactly unlike the rest of the house. Bright and light. I decided it would be yellow and I am not partial to yellow at all. So I have this yellow furnished room with nothing on the walls. Last September we went to visit the Grand Teton Park in WY. The “aha” moment – the aspens were absolutely stunning and I decided on a photo or two. I took tons of photos. Drove my husband crazy stopping to take all these photos. Long story short got back to Hawaii and somehow deleted them all from my camera. So have been looking at aspen photos for a while and wanted to finish this room on this trip. Thus your photo. The best thing about it is when the sun goes down it looks like the leaves are moving as the sun plays on the photo. Probably not good for photo but pretty incredible as the leaves flicker like a breeze is blowing them. We have been marveling over it. So it is meant to be! My retreat is now complete and thank you so much! It is perfect.

    Katherine”

  4. Jason—-especially liked your comment about the testimonials referring to the fact that it makes the patron reflect on why and how much they like the work……maybe resulting in another purchase. Thanks so much for your good ideas and wise insights. Rhona

  5. I also just recently got a lovely testimonial from the sale of a large painting and I got one from the wife as well as from the husband. As follows
    1.I’m writing to let you know how much we love your beautiful painting of the Hybiscus flowers in a field of green. The larger-than-life scale is perfect for our enclosed atrium/patio–a room that opens onto our kitchen where we so often entertain friends/family. We are so pleased to have your vibrant painting hanging in our Colorado home. The framed work’s lush blooms and grasses exude your ” joie de vie “.
    Thank you for sharing your artist’s vision with us. If your travel should bring you to Colorado Springs, we’d love to show it to you in person…best regards, Becky
    2. Dear Joan, the painting arrived yesterday afternoon in perfect condition. It was on the wall by 4:00 pm. When my wife, Becky, walked in the door, she stopped in awe. We are both so very pleased that you contacted us ( they saw the painting at a gallery showing and didn’t take it due to the high shipping charges. I called them and split the mailing costs ) and that we now have a ” Splash of Red ” in our home. You can be sure that we will be loving caretakers of the painting. Many thanks and best regards, Jim.

  6. For me testimonials are so important, I live and work in Thailand so often I have to send my work long distances its important that people can read my testimonials and gain trust from them. I’m also humbled that a client takes time to write a note praising my work, money can’t but that.

    I don’t have access to real bricks and mortar galleries (apart from the usual tourist galleries selling copies of Marlon Brandon in the God Farther) so have to rely selling my work on line therefore trust is so important and for me testimonials help me build that trust. Ta

  7. A public sculpture is a visible interactive piece and lends itself well to the type of testimonials you suggest. The Einstein piece is an exceptional depiction, by the way.
    Most my paintings, once purchased, are in a home environment and only when the patron entertains is it going to be seen and appreciated. Business commissions normally are not in a high traffic public area. I have an art business Facebook I use to talk about particular works, something I’ve elected not to take up website space for. I’ve found the backstory to my paintings is what interests people, and in turn promotes sales.
    I don’t ask for testimonials as much as I ask for referrals. Patrons call friends over for coffee or wine to see the new painting they bought and often post the painting on their FB. Any reference that will bring exposure to new people and potential sales to you is good.

  8. I read this post and immediately saw I could put the principal to good use. I sent a message to one of clients that purchases a great deal of originals from me. The sample email was a great help in crafting the right message to the client. I not only got great feedback as well as photographs of the pieces in place but the reach resulted in additional sales! Great job Jason in the post and for bringing the philosophy out!!

  9. Testimonials are a great way to attract new buyers/collectors, just like word of mouth when you buy something from a shop you like or go to see a great movie etc… I have made many sales from my clients testimonials & thank you all so much…

  10. Thanks for your suggestions, great idea. I’m very thankful for a 5 star review from a new collector via Artfinder. Freya, from Ohio, received my digital art photo of Hull Court Gate, UChicago and called it “A beautiful image of a campus landmark”
    https://www.artfinder.com/product/hull-court-gate/#/

    I’ve also received very positive feedback from other collectors of my art. I will use your sample letter in the future, it’s very helpful.

  11. Requesting testimonials can be great for the artist, too! I recently wrote my biography, and requested testimonials and comments from clients. Some responses took up to month to receive, but it was worth the wait! I had never verbalized my purpose and feelings about the paintings until writing my bio,, and the clients’ responses absolutely blew me away! People described emotions and concepts that are exactly what I have sought to achieve, but that they actually were able to express those same feelings without prompting made me feel so much better about my work. A few commissioned works included departed loved ones, and one letter thanked me for the opportunity to describe how the client felt every time he looked at the picture of him and his grandpa fishing, reliving the early mornings on the cold riverbank. It brought a chill and tears to my eyes.

    The response from clients was truly overwhelming, and encourages me to continue my passion, for it is understood and appreciated by viewers.

  12. Thanks Jason. I have to get back at this. I collected testimonials when I first began the ABA course, but have not done it recently. I just yesterday sold another commissioned piece to a collector who has about 9 of my paintings now. I will have to send him a note asking for his response.

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