If you think using powerful stories to promote yourself is the same as using testimonials, read on and find out why this strategy can be so effective without making you feel cringey.
As freelancers, it’s imperative to sell ourselves in order to attract clients; but it’s normal to feel a bit uncomfortable when marketing yourself and your freelance business. Sometimes putting ourselves “out there” can feel salesy and, at worst, slimy. And nobody likes that.
Many of us (especially introverted freelancers) don’t want to feel as though we are bragging about ourselves. We just want to do our work and not be in the limelight or too visible. Sound familiar?
It is a necessity that we promote ourselves, and while doing it in a way that feels comfortable seems complicated – it doesn’t have to be!
For those of you who hate self-promotion, I have an anxiety-free framework that I think you will find a breath of fresh air. It is using powerful stories to promote yourself, rather than just testimonials.
It’s called the Client Snowball™️ Framework and it takes the focus off of YOU and puts it onto your clients.
As a freelancing coach, I talk a lot about how freelancers should rely less on what they do, and more on the problems they solve in order to market themselves to potential clients. Yes, you may be a designer, but if you’re working in the business world you need to include the problem that you solve. For example, I have reframed my identity from designer to a “visual problem solver.“
I have work relationships with people who want to make more money – just like us – and I solve their problems through design work. Maybe they need consistent branding (design a logo), or more campers coming to their camp (design a website). We need to identify those problems and work to solve them.
Keep that in mind as you’re introduced to the framework.
Watch to find out more, or scroll to read about the framework.
The Client Snowball™️ Framework
1. Get a Sale
By this I don’t necessarily mean you get paid. When I first started, finding clients who paid me money was difficult, but people were always asking me to help them. They needed my expertise to design something, and though they didn’t have big budgets they knew I had skills they didn’t, and that I could solve their problem.
2. Get Results
Serve the client with excellence and help them get results. Use your gifts and talents to solve their problem. What happens when your client gets results? They are happy!
3. Get the Story
Help your clients tell a story about the results you achieved for them. We want to collect a story from our client about how we helped them. Note: this is not the same as a testimonial. Testimonials are great, but it is about us. And many of us are reluctant to share these because we don’t like self-promotion.
Here’s an example of each. Which would you be more comfortable sharing?
Testimonial: “Mat is so great to work with; he built me a beautiful new website in no time.”
Story: “By working with Mat I was able to triple my online sales with the website he built me.”
Which of the two would you find easier sharing, the one bragging about yourself, or the one bragging about your client’s success? Even more importantly, which of the two do you think will help a potential client take action and hire you?
4. Collect and Distribute Client Stories
|I tell members of my IGNITE Freelance Business Membership to consider themselves as story collectors. Be diligent in obtaining and sharing your stories. Share them wherever you can: social posts, website, email footers, etc.
These stories have incredible power! Business owners who want the result that you achieved for someone else will see your story, and connect with it immediately. They will identify with the problem you solved and wonder, “Can this person get this same result for me?
Think of it this way, when you go to Amazon and you don’t have experience with the product you’re looking to buy, what do you do? If you’re like me, you go straight to the reviews. I want to know what other people say about the product, and based on the stories I read, I get more courage and trust to make an investment in the product. ESPECIALLY if the person writing the review had the same problem I do and got it solved with that product
When clients see the stories about the work you have done and the results you achieved, you’re giving them an idea of what it’s like to work with you.
That is the client snowball: you get results for a client, you’re diligent about collecting and sharing the stories, other clients see your results, want the same results, and hire you to get the results. Round and round it goes.
With this method, you can see how even doing pro-bono work can be very profitable as it provides you with stories that get you paying clients. And all without the headache and anxiety that comes with promoting yourself and your freelance business with testimonials.
If you want a copy of the Client Snowball™️ Framework you can download it here. Put it to work in your business, and get started building your client base and your business!
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