You know Digital Media Solutions are awesome at what they do, but just because you say it doesn’t automatically mean everyone will believe you right away. When it comes to successful marketing, you need to both shout from the rooftops and also have people shouting for you. These are people who you have built a relationship with, friends, family and business relationships. Having their support is crucial to gain credibility with new clients.
There are lots of ways to do this, from encouraging past and current customers to post on review sites like Yelp, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Focus on service, integrity, follow up, and include your strengths and how you exceeded the expectations.
Start by instituting refer-a-friend program where they’re encouraged to bring in a new client for you. Send gift cards or personal gifts as an incentive! Another option, or in addition to the tactics I just mentioned, is to develop testimonials and case studies featuring your best success stories in your professional career. You write the success story or referral, email it to your friend or client and have them support it. Now, you have a professional “case study” on your success
But what goes into writing a convincing case study about you? It’s not as difficult as it seems, you don’t need a journalism degree to write a great case study. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Identify a Source: Everyone has a cheerleader(s) in your corner willing to endorse or promote you and your abilities. This may be a recent client who has appreciated your follow through, or as simple as your diligent communication skills. This person or success story does not have to be a business experience, it could be a person just willing to support and shout out how great you are as a person. Don’t forget how important honesty and integrity is to any sales process, prospective clients do! Now all you do is write a paragraph about it, send it to your endorsee and BAM you have a professional case study. If you want to use a client success story and you are new to the company, just ask your sales team or co-workers who have clients with success. Put together a spreadsheet listing all your advocates and positive experiences. Then start calling and emailing your list.
Tell them you want to send a brief success story and would like their endorsement. Let them know you will promote them in the future, including a recommendation through any of their social media sites, especially LinkedIn. Chances are they thought of doing one too and would love to have you do the same thing for them!
2. Content: The goal of a case study is to show potential customers how you’ve helped other clients in real life. This will be a basic example of how you solved or provided a solution to a challenge. A typical case study format includes the following sections:
Summary: Brief overview of the situation or client challenge
Promise: Short list of what you intended to provide
Amplification: Bullet points of what took place
Proof: Reason this solution or communication helped
Action: How did you solve their problem or why did this person enjoy the experience
3. Highlight Examples: Use real-life experiences and people; try to get detailed specifics from your customers about how you helped them. If it’s not a client referral in a business experience, personal endorsements are the next best example. Maybe you helped with research and information, or someone you know (this happens all the time), needed a favor and you went above and beyond to help them solve a challenge. Or maybe you have been giving time and resources to a charity or non-profit and you want to highlight your integrity and commitment to the community. Prospects want to do business with great people who give back. The more specific…the better!
4. Images / Logos: Now that you have your case study, don’t forget to include a visual element. Why is television so powerful? It includes audio and visual. You have the text story, so now top it off with some great images; client logo, photo of endorsee, picture or anything including an action shot of the example. Purchased pictures can work too.
So now you have your case study, what do you do now? First, post to all of your social media sites. Consider creating a special section or page on your website that features your client’s case studies. Send an email newsletter to your prospective clients and business partners. Share it with your co-workers so they can share it with their network.
Make sure and share it with the featured client or person so they know when it’s published, so they can share with their contacts. The more you can get others talking about how great you are, and that you do business with integrity, the more believable the message and the likelihood they will want to do business with YOU.
Case studies are worth the investment of time. Build your brand today, get started!
~ Damon Balch
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