One of the requirements for Professional membership is two letters of reference (or recommendation). Ideally, these will be from your clients. But they might also come from another NSITSP Professional member.
Some people have wondered what exactly we do with these.
Why this requirement?
The Board set this requirement as a “low bar” to membership. You should have a couple of clients who are willing to write a paragraph saying that you are a good person to work with.
Does the letter have to be on letterhead?
Ideally, you’ll upload a scanned letter in PDF format. It should be on your client’s letterhead, not your own. You might also take a screen shot of an email message that shows the client’s information and email signature.
What happens to these Letters?
Once letters are uploaded, they go into a secure database on the NSITSP.org web site. This is a Fluent Forms database on our secure server, which is within a WordPress site on a dedicated server at DreamHost that is managed by Small Biz Thoughts. Small Biz Thoughts is owned by Karl W. Palachuk, our Executive Director.
Once uploaded, Letters are opened and viewed by one of our staff, just to make sure they look legit and are not just random quotes from your web site or marketing page. Then the PDF file is closed. It stays inside the database described above and is not printed or exported.
Does NSITSP contact my clients?
No. We do not contact your clients or extract any information whatsoever from the Letters of Reference. This is simply a way to check that members have a business that is a going concern.
Can I use these Letters for marketing?
Yes! You should verify with your client that it’s okay with them. But we think this is a great way to gather some endorsements that you can post on your web site as “social proof” of your good standing.
What else do I need to know about Letters of Reference?
Depending on your clients, you may find that Letters of Reference are very handy to have. Some government agencies, foundations, and larger clients ask for Letters of Reference to prove that you are a a good person to do business with.
Do You Have a Sample?
Yes! Professional Community member Andy Higgins gave us permission to post this client letter of reference (or click the pdf icon).
In case you’re not sure where to upload your letters of reference, go here: https://nsitsp.org/join/professional-member/letters-of-recommendation/
Who should I contact with further questions?
If you are a Professional member, you can access the forums on this web site. Or email [email protected]