Not the easiest thing to ask – but it could just be one of the most useful tools you can implement when building online presence. Think about it. How often have you hired a service provider without obtaining at least one person’s opinion? My guess is that you have not hired even one service provider without finding out a bit more about that person either through people you actually know, or through online reviews. It only makes sense that we want to know ahead of time if the person we intend to hire is easy to work with, knowledgeable in their field, reliable, shows up on time, completes the job at hand, provides value.
Asking clients for a review or a testimonial can be considered an integral part of your customer workflow. You will find that your happiest clients will be only too happy to recommend you and your services, they might just need to be reminded to actually go ahead and write one.
It would be prudent to ask your client for the review shortly after finishing a project for them, or having completed a lengthy session. You will want the quality and the details of the care and expertise that you put into the experience to still resonate with the client. This will help them design the recommendation with pertinent details.
I, personally, would not recommend the use of a third-party tool to gather your reviews. How incredibly annoying it is to receive a ‘bot’ generated request for review from someone you have barely dealt with. And it is even more annoying to keep getting reminders to send someone a recommendation. Agh! Turn that off!