Artist Website Strategies: Using Testimonials

by Carolyn Edlund

Testimonials are powerful statements that get your work taken more seriously. Here’s how to obtain them and how to use them.


Thumbs Up


Do you have happy clients? Collectors who love your work? Repeat customers? These are all great sources for obtaining testimonials for your art business.

People respond far more to word of mouth than they respond to advertising. Personal recommendations are great forms of social proof that you can use when marketing your artwork.

Testimonials are an excellent way to share those personal recommendations on your website. Place them also in other forms of marketing, such as print ads, email newsletters, and direct mail.

How do you get testimonials?

Simply ask for them. When a customer has expressed how pleased they are with a commission or a purchase of your art, tell them how much you appreciate their comment. Let them know you are gathering testimonials to use on your website. Ask if they would be willing to write a sentence or two to share how satisfied they are with your work.

You have little to lose. People are usually flattered to be asked. Even if they don’t respond, you merely have to approach another client. Always let the customer know how their testimonial will be used, and ask permission. And be sure to obtain that permission through an email or in a letter so that you have a written record of it.

Sometimes people write long, rambling recommendations that need to be shortened a bit to make a more impactful testimonial. In that case, simply call or email them and say, “Thank you so much for giving me this recommendation! I need it to be a bit shorter to fit into the space I have, so I’ve summarized it a bit. Would it be fair to say (insert your shortened version here)?” You will probably get a resounding “Yes” in response.

A written testimonial by itself isn’t good enough, though.

You will need to print the testimonial with the name of your client to give it authenticity. Not their initials, but their whole name. If you sold the artwork to a company, their company name would be appropriate here too.

Even better than that would be a testimonial from the client with their name and their photo included next to their quote.

And best of all would be a testimonial with the name of the client, and a photograph of them with the piece of artwork they purchased from you.

Use testimonials on the Home page of your website, or on your About page (see this example). You may even have a separate page on your website specifically for testimonials.

Authentic and honest word-of-mouth testimonials from satisfied customers can go a long way in earning the trust of your website visitors, and help them feel more confident doing business with you.



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  1. Wonderful post! You know I’m used to collect testimonials about my own work. Over the years I received many recommendations and reviews and I find them very useful in many ways from writing an article or essay to making any type of advertising. If you go to my website you will see separate “Testimonials” section where I post selection of people’s reviews. If you for some reason don’t have any comments about your work then all you need to do is asking for them.

  2. It’s also extremely important to not focus only on the good testimonials. Too much good equates to too good to be true. Take a look at the testimonial loading game on amazon and you know what I mean. You really do want that negative testimonial, the one that states, “I wasn’t quite sure at first, but….” or, “there was a problem but Janet turned it around and now… ”

    Also, merely asking for a testimonial isn’t enough. And chances are your clients aren’t willing to sit down and pound one out on the computer. YOU have to do the work. So when you ask for a testimonial, know what to ask and then write it down or make it EASY for your client to give you a thumbs up.

  3. This is an excellent piece for artists entering the fields of art licensing and/or direct sales to retail or consumers, and highly recommended. I especially like the way you laid how exactly how to go about the process of getting testimonials and doing so in a pleasant, courteous and business-like way.

    In my experience at Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing, I’ve found that testimonials lend credence, a sense of reliability and even some respectability to your company and your site. They tell people that you’re bonafide, that you’ve been in business for a while, and that you can be trusted – all very valuable impressions to get across to a new artist or company.


  1. […] in a satisfactory way, you have done well. Your response may turn an unhappy customer into one who would recommend you […]

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