Self promotion you can feel good about

I hate self promotion. Even if I’m making good videos or doing something cool, I hate talking about it! It’s uncomfortable. It feels scammy (even thought I know it’s not!)

I’ve spent 10 years behind the camera making other people look good. Even talking about how I make people look good is tough for me!

I have a feeling this is an issue with most founders, solopreneurs, coaches, etc. They are legitimately helping clients and creating great outcomes via SaaS platforms, ebooks, consulting, but talking about these wins is tough.

##We’d rather do more great work than talk about the past great work.##

The problem is, when we don’t talk about the past work, we miss out on new people seeing what we’re doing, and hiring us to do that work for them.

Great work is done for great clients. If you share that great work, that leads to new great clients.

##How to share the work - the old way##

If you prioritized talking about past work, actually sat down and thought “OK let’s talk about it” you’d do one of a few things.

#1 Reach out to get a testimonial.
Testimonials are great if you can get the right ones. But there some problems with testimonials:

  1. You might not be asking the right questions. “Patrick was awesome to work with and we’re super happy with the video” isn’t a great testimonial. I need more specificity, I need a result or an outcome. If you leave your testimonial request too open ended, you’re going to get a not super useful testimonial.
  2. What do you do with it? Sure there’s probably a place for it on your website, but will people actually go there and see it? Sharing a testimonial on social media is a no no.
  3. Clients are busy, they may not get around to it at all.

#2 Write a case study
This may or may not include a testimonial but it’s a more complete way to tell the story you want to tell. You have more control over it. The best case studies (like the best videos) have 3 parts - a beginning, middle, and end.

  1. Beginning - the Problem. What is the problem the client came to you with? How did you define the audience and how you will reach them?
  2. The middle - the Solution. What did you make? Why did you make it? Why didn’t you make a different thing? How did you justify your client as uniquely positioned to solve the Problem? How did you deploy it? What decisions did you make around deployment?
  3. The end - the Result. How did the audience react? What measurable results did it deliver?

The problem is that unless you’re talking to a super warm lead, testimonials and case studies aren’t super relevant.

These formats are asynchronous. I ask you for a testimonial in an email, you write a paragraph of stuff that may or may not be helpful, depending on how well I asked for the testimonial.

Same with the case study, I’m creating something based on how I think the engagement went, and you have no say in it.

So here’s what I think we should do: create self promotional materials from video calls with clients

This is something I’m really trying to push with my Edit Video Calls service because I see lots of benefits with it.

Call up your client and say “Hey can I interview you for 10-15 minutes about working together? Would love to follow up on (that project you finished last month).

On this call you’re of course going to get the typical case study stuff - measurable results, audience reaction, etc.

But in this back and forth (synchronous) format, there’s an opportunity to create and capture a broader conversation that’s much more interesting to a wider audience than just your warm leads and has more top of funnel opportunities. In this conversation you’re going to talk about more than just that specific project you worked on together.

Talk about the industry you’re working in. What trends are you seeing? How did that project fit within the scope of the trends? When you were in the discovery and problem defining phase of the project, what did pain points did you uncover? What did you learn about your audience?

This is all stuff that positively contributes to your industry and your credibility. If you can accurately and convincingly speak to the pain points of your audience, they’re going to notice you! You’re going to start conversations and gain insights for future your projects.

And this is also great because now you and your client BOTH have something to share. This joint conversation should be as relevant for them as it is for you. If you can create some content for THEM to share as well (a short video, a post on LinkedIn), that puts your name and face in front of new people, which is the ultimate goal.

Leveraging synchronous conversations in this way creates credibility, shows authenticity, and demonstrates expertise in an industry in a non-sell-y way that is genuinely helpful and interesting to a wider audience.