Part three in the StoryBrand Framework is to always be the guide. You are the most powerful character in the story! But how do you show how skillful and trustworthy you are without bragging about yourself?
Creative business owners often fall into two traps when it comes to marketing themselves: they either never showcase how amazing they are because they don’t want to appear like they’re bragging or being a showboat, or they go all out- bring on all the not-so-humble bragging.
You either “forget” to show any of your work on social media and your website…
Or your Instagram feed is full of selfies and client testimonials filled with gushing language about how great you are.
There has to be a happy medium.
You know who never had to go around bragging about his accomplishments? Dumbledore.
He didn’t have to. His wizardry was perfect, he was well regarded by others, and you don’t just become the headmaster of Hogswarts for nothing.
Nobody likes a bragger (unless it’s other braggers, but then again, they’re probably secretly hating) but nobody is going to buy from people that aren’t confident.
So whether you need to tone it down or amp it up, here are five ways to marketing yourself as a guide that’s sure to win over future clients.
Nobody ever had anything bad to say about Dumbledore’s abilities- except his competition.
He had plenty of testimonials.
Want future clients to know how you’ll get them results?
Share client testimonials!
But there is a trick to this.
Client testimonials should share the success your clients have received…not how amazing you are.
The best client testimonials will showcase how you helped solve a problem, end of story.
Are people so in love with their new home decor that they’re now using rooms they never did before?
Did you create lasting memories of a wedding while also making the bride feel 100% taken care of so she could focus on her day?
Share those stories. Client’s success is far more important than how amazing they think you are.
Pro Tip: Ask a few questions about how you helped solve their problem, write their testimonial for them based upon the answers, and get their permission before you post it.
Sprinkle client testimonials throughout your website and in your social posts.
Another tip? Use actual pictures of your clients if appropriate. Please, please, please don’t use stock photos of people. This screams fake and inautheintic.
Unfortunately, The Daily Prophet wasn’t always kind to Dumbledore, but if you have press hits, use them!
Press hits show immediate authority.
Been published? Put a logo bar on your home page showing where you’ve been featured.
Have a lot of press? Create a press page that links to all of your hits.
Now for social media…
Steer clear of posting something that simply says, “I’m so honored to be featured on The Glitter Guide this week. Go check it out!”
What’s wrong with that?
You’re making it about you, and people want to know what they’ll get out of it.
So reposition your post.
Take the spotlight of off you and make it about your clients!
If you’re a photographer and a wedding you shot is being featured, highlight the success of the bride and groom and how happy you are to have been a part of their day.
If you’re a fashion stylist and a magazine is sharing your three tips for keeping Friday Casual from looking like a day at the beach, let people know what’s in it for them, drop the link, and that’s it!
Head Master of Hogwarts says a lot. Instant authority!
If you have some sort of badge to show you’re certified in something prestigious, all you may need to do is drop the badge on your site (like our footer!) and perhaps explain why that certification will benefit clients.
Awards are another story.
You could drop those in your footer as well. Just remember that if you post on social about the award, you’re liable to make the show about you.
Talk about how honored you are to receive an award for helping your clients achieve XYZ.
I would also be wary of listing awards that don’t hold much weight.
Now I know I’m about to make the entire interior design community upset, but there isn’t much to receiving a Houzz Award. (I know- all my interior design readers just left). But I say it because I love you and you needed that truth bomb. Anyone that’s on Houzz can get a Houzz award. There, I said it. Let’s move on.
Just remember when showcasing awards they need to A) show true authority and B) have something in it for your clients.
Dumbledore always seemed to know what to say to Harry, and when to say it.
And he had no problem showing everyone how much he was like them.
“I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.” -Albus Dumbledore | The Goblet of Fire
In this quote from The Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore is showing how he’s just like his students.
He also cracks jokes, tells about his crazy brother, and shares how he failed with Tom Riddle.
It’s completely acceptable to talk about yourself on your website.
As long as it’s not all the time and it comes from a place of empathy.
When you share stories about yourself in regards to your business, always think of starting it with “I understand what it’s like to [insert your client’s problem/frustration].”
This shows future clients that you get their situation.
That you’re like them…but the future version of them.
People love working with people that get where they’re coming from.
For example, one of our clients is an interior designer who lived in her dad’s shop when she was a kid. Her first room in a real house made her feel so important and so beautiful. We shared that story so her clients understand that she understands the value of a home that sparks joy.
The number one reason Dumbledore never had to boast about his abilities?
He just showed them!
No words needed.
Want to really brag?
Want people to walk away from your website thinking, “Damn, that gal’s talented! I need to hire her now!”?
Images, images, images.
If you sell a product, use professional photos of people using your product having a good time.
Sell a service with a tangible result?
Show high quality images of the outcome: your artwork, your interiors, your photographs, your custom clothing.
Sell a service with a not-so-tangible outcome, like coaching or consulting?
Show images of you working with others, smiling, laughing, have a boss of a time.
There’s a reason we show professional shots of our clients looking like successful bosses next to their testimonials.
We want people who are considering hiring us to think, “Dang, I want to feel like her!”
When you show images of success on your website and on your social, those images are doing all the bragging for you.
Nobody could possibly accuse you of being full of yourself- images don’t lie!
And even if they do accuse you, who cares! As long as you’ve followed these five tips, you’ll know that whenever you’re talking about your work, you know you’re coming from a place or quiet confidence, a place of service, and a place or expertise.
Even Dumbledore had critics, haters, and mean girls!
So how are you going to show your worth as a creative? Drop us a line in the comments so we can celebrate how amazing you are!
And if you think you’re going to sound braggy, drop us your ideas and we’ll give you feedback!