Freelance Life

Your Appreciation Club – sharing the magic of praise

Welcome to The Appreciation Club –  where we collect praise to catapult ourselves into a place of more confidence!


You may have heard people talk about ‘social proof’ – that’s your amazon reviews, your testimonials for products, your trip advisor rants (!!)

These anecdotes and reviews help us make decisions on whether we want to buy something or not.  We rely on trusted or a variety of opinions to make our decisions and why not?  We do live in a global community after all..

Social Proof and You… 

When I built my website, I made a list of 15 people I’d worked with and asked them for

honest testimonials about the time we spent on projects together.  They’ve all worked with me in slightly different ways and for different amounts of time.

I drip fed personalised emails to each of them over the course of a month or so, writing tailored hellos and some background into why I was asking for a testimonial.

I made a note in my email drafts and ticked each one off when replies came in.

You can read some of them here…

If you don’t ask for feedback, can you really know what someone thinks of your work? (NB – Be ready to receive a tonne of praise!!)

Testimonials are such a great insight into your skillset and offer.

Sure it can feel a bit uncomfortable to ask for praise (because who ever writes a terrible reference?) BUT I advocate for doing just that and pushing outside of your comfort zone because;

  • I actually think as a country we are not always the best at saying meaningful thank-yous. I mean, we say thank-you a lot in this country but, I think we don’t always offer up thank-yous with depth, more use the word in passing a lot.


  • Reading testimonials impacts positively on your self worth.  Yes little old you deserves all those kind words and more!


  • Other people’s opinions and praise helps you understand your offer.  This enables you to sharpen your awareness of where you really fit (your niche).  Everyone is unique in their offer and to build the best business you can you need to get really good at one thing – BEING YOU!


  • Praise can be a catalyst for creativity!  It just makes you feel good and perhaps a bit more pro-active that you might have before it flew into your inbox.

One testimonial I received back from a client I mentored stopped me in my tracks and I actually cried when I read it.  I was in the car with Dave and read it out to him and he was so proud of the catalyst I’d created by giving my time and energy to the project…

Long and short of it is – I never knew Sarah felt this way, not on this level anyway until I asked… and I’m so glad I did for so many reasons…

Here is a (long-ish) extract;


I was so close to giving up… 


“Before I met Claire I felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew, like I was kidding myself.

I was going through a time where I felt like an imposter and everything I’d worked towards was a pipe dream. I was so close to giving up.

Claire told me about a Scottish poet called Darren Loki who had lived a similar life to me, suddenly I didn’t feel so alone.

When you have lived a life I have you can’t help but think;

“you’re only talking to me either because someone is paying you or you pity me”

…but Claire didn’t make me feel like that, she made me feel like she was there because she wanted to be.  She even bought donuts!!”

(*) continued at end of article.

So what do you think?  Are you going to join your own appreciation club?  Who’s in it with you? 

Because I’m self employed, my last ‘appraisal’ was over 12years ago… and really I used to find it quite odd that someone in HR told my boss to fill a form in with me and give me positive and constructive feedback every 6 months.

If I’m honest, I knew how well I was doing and my areas for improvement and I really only used the appraisal meeting to ask for a pay rise!  Career progression was slow back then!

Do you do the sort of work where you can ask for testimonials or regular feedback?  It’s SO motivating!  Who are your biggest fans in life/ in work/ at home?

If you do go ahead and get ready to have your little world lit up in a shower of rainbow coloured praise!

I’d love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know about your appreciation club here or come find my post on instagram and tell me all about it.

Claire x



Sarah’s quote continued… “Human interaction is something almost everyone takes for granted but sometimes that is the antidote for someone to listen to you and tell you; “you can do this” without being patronising but still being honest.

She told me it was going to be hard and I had to be committed, which at that time I didn’t see the point in. But, Claire put a clear achievable plan in place and suddenly things started to look real and possible again.

I have now had my writing performed on stage, receive payment for something I love and have a great bunch of brilliant mentors and friends.

Along with New Writing North, Claire opened doors for me that I never thought possible. She gave me the mindset and confidence needed to go forward and achieve what I deemed impossible and for that I am eternally grateful.”

You can find Sarah on twitter here and follow her journey as an artist and playwright in the North East.



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