How Should I Talk to Clients About My Work? (Video)

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In today's episode of #AskAnnie, I'm discussing how do you talk to ideal clients and customers about the work you do?

This is Episode 7 of my Facebook Live series, #AskAnnie. You can watch the video episode below or read on for the transcript version. Like our Facebook page to catch these broadcasts live!

Hello, hello! In this episode of #AskAnnie, I'm going to be answering a question I recently received from Elizabeth:

How do you talk to ideal clients and customers about the work you do?

That is the question today that we're tackling on #AskAnnie. This is my little short video series answering your common questions about how to best brand a small business. My name is Annie Franceschi. I'm the owner and brand creator behind Greatest Story Creative, a Durham based small business branding agency.

Today we're tackling this question of how should I talk about my work. So it's from an indirect question that I received just today from Elizabeth. Thank you, Elizabeth, for submitting this.

Elizabeth asked, "Can you help makers, in particular, people who are artists talk about their work better?"

Elizabeth said, "I recently saw a photographer and was admiring their photography and I asked them a little bit about it and they said well my mentor told me that I have a good eye." And this was such a turn off to Elizabeth because she felt like there really wasn't much to the story. She said please teach makers how to talk better about the work they do. I think this is a great call-up for all of us to talk better about the work that we do.

How do you balance being self-promotional and adding value?

It's really hard to know what is the balance between being self-promotional and adding value and to find those right ways to share what we do with other people.

That's exactly what we're gonna be talking about today. I want to give you a couple of quick things. We're not going to be able to tackle everything today about brand voice. I'm actually teaching an entire workshop about it, for Branding with Annie in just about an hour or two today. I think there's just something so many people don't understand, in particular people who are artists, who are telling a story with their work.

Is it somewhat self-promotional right? So whether you are a service-based business owner like me or you're an artist, something you need to keep in mind, which is pretty simple, but something very easy to forget.

Your customer is the hero.

You are not the hero of your business. The customer, your client, they're the hero. They're the reason that you have a business. You are selling them things, adding services and products to their lives. Even a painting or a piece of pottery is still a product. It's something that's adding value to their lives and the story and everything that you tell them has to treat them like the hero, even if you're the artist the customer is still the end user.

The customer is the one that's buying it from you and investing in you and what you can add to their story. So it's really, really important that you don't lose sight of that when you think I'm going to make my story so clever and wonderful. You have to keep in mind that the customer, your customer, is the hero of the story.

Now, how do you fit into that? Because of course, you have to tell a story yourself. This is not about burying yourself or making it all about the customer, because, you are their guide.

So if the customer is Luke Skywalker, you are Obi-Wan Kenobi. You are there to help them along their journey, to help them win, to help them have great things in their lives. And the thing about this that people get tripped up on is, well it's about my story and all these things about me. And it is, but it's through the eyes of your customer.

What does your customer care about? Where are they going to find value in your story?

That's what you need to be considering here. If I can give you one really great, quick, but very powerful tip for talking about the work that you do, it is this trying to identify what parts of your story add value to your ideal clients and customers. It's not just things that you like or that you find interesting, or that your mentor told you that you have a good eye for photography.

It might be, you know I've always been really fascinated by tall buildings and the history behind them and I wanted to celebrate Durham and you start to tell a story of something that a customer might care about. Maybe they also care about the history of Durham and that's what draws them to say this photography example.

You want to pick out the things that customers are going to care about.

That they're going to want to retell to other people. In the case of a maker, someone who paints, or creates ceramics or in this case photography, what story are they going to tell their friends and family when they have that piece in their home? It can't just be like, yeah this photographer is really talented. That's sort of self-evident right? So what are the stories that you're selling them? What are the stories that are apart of this? That are authentic and true to you but add value.

You need to have that dividing rod between what do you say and what do you not say? It's this - what parts of your story, your credibility, your experience, your perspective, add value to your customers' lives?

We want to keep that lens really tightly around who we are and what we do from a professional perspective because people aren't buying things just because you like them. They're buying them because they like them.

Customer and clients are investing in the story behind it.

They're buying them because they're investing in the story behind it and stories they're going to tell other people about it and what it makes them feel like. So you can help that along by giving them more to appreciate about it.

I want to challenge you to do a better job of talking about what you do. Even if it's just keeping in mind that the person you're talking to is on their own journey and you're really there to help them. I think you're going to see a big shift.

Adopt that mentality, remember that your customer's the hero. You are their guide and everything about you that matters for them is going to be where you're adding value to them where you're adding value to the services and products that you offer I just want to encourage you to do those things

If you enjoyed today's short, but very to the point #AskAnnie video, I want to encourage you to check out more videos, just like this.

This is actually the seventh #AskAnnie episode that I've done. So, if you want a few minutes to get a little bit better at branding, to learn things like, should you brand your email address? What's the best kind of branding to invest in if you have a limited budget? These are some of the topics we've tackled.

You can find all the #AskAnnie episodes at Greateststorycreative.com/biz. You can also find them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/greateststorycreative.

I love getting e-mails from you at annie@greateststorycreative.com with your questions. So if you have a great question, I'd love to answer it in a future video. So drop it here in the comments or send me a note and I would love to answer it for you.