COVID-19 has racked the economy for founders, with no sign of slowing down soon — and with it, there’s been fierce online competition for entrepreneurs who offer similar services. Perhaps you’ve seen it in action: someone posts to Facebook, asking if anyone has a recommendation for a growth hacker or a logo designer. The comments become flooded with website links, tagged recommendations, and more, making it an overwhelming choice for the person who posted in the first place.
With so few clients actively searching for services and so much supply, it can be challenging to determine how to stand out amongst a sea of other entrepreneurs who offer similar services – or, even how to just stand out in the comment section! Try the following tips to make your services and talents more well-known.
1. Tell A Story In Your Initial Message
Especially when sending out numerous cold emails or messages at the same time, it’s more time-efficient to switch out a few key names and details within your pitch to make it work for many potential clients. If this is the route you’re taking, make sure that the sales copy is compelling in and of itself. Samantha Tollin wrote for the Career Contessa that “the best way to sell yourself is through a story.” And, it’s true — because people remember stories far more than they remember facts.
While Tollin’s advice pertains to cover letters, think of it this way: if you were searching for a great video editor and you got a sales message from someone who told a story of how they helped a client similar to you, would you be impressed? Sometimes, the stories — proving what you can do through what you’ve done for others — can bring to life the value that you offer in a far more compelling way. Don’t go overboard, though. A few sentences will do the trick.
2. Try using videos to show who you are (and stand out).
Sometimes, the best way to make a splash is to do something different than the competition is doing. Rather than just blindly firing off sales messages, comments, and emails, try using videos. Trevor Houston works in the financial services industry, but his real passion is his radio show, “Who Ya Know” which helps job seekers learn how to make professional connections and land jobs.
“The biggest tip I tell my listeners is to use a video communication tool called BombBomb. Find the decision makers at the company you’re applying to on LinkedIn, then comment on one of their recent posts with a quick, two minute video introducing yourself and complimenting them,” Houston advised.
His other secret sauce in this video-commenting strategy is to have a whiteboard that has the decision maker’s name on it, so it compels them to actually click play (and know it’s for them, rather than a spam video you’re posting on everyone’s posts). “Keep the video to a short, ‘I love your content! I’d love to have a conversation with you sometime,” and embed your scheduling link into the video.”
You can take these videos further, too – Houston says the “trojan horse” of this strategy is to send a follow up BombBomb video after the 15 minute informational interview that thanks them for the chance to talk. A benefit to BombBomb is in the analytics it provides — you can see in real-time if someone watched, and according to these analytics, Houston says that these follow-up videos get passed around and replayed up to fifteen times.
3. Show Them What You Can Do
To really prove how you can be an asset, Caris Thetford shared in The Muse the importance of demonstrating your value in a more tangible way. Go the extra mile after your initial sales call. Do you offer event-planning services? Make a proposal for an event down to every detail of the event’s theme, location, etc., in alignment with some of the past events that the company has done. Do you do digital marketing campaigns? Make a sample digital marketing plan for one of their products, with unique ideas rooted in what’s worked for your past clients.
“This approach will demonstrate your depth of knowledge of what the company needs and your ability to realistically meet those needs,” writes Thetford. “It also proves your effort and enthusiasm.” Imagine this effort as showing the company a glimpse of what you can do – that emphasis on ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ will stand out amongst other sales calls and proposals that simply list experience.
The combination of these three tips are sure to get you noticed. It’s simply a matter of showing who you are — because you’re hireable! A client will be very lucky to have you, especially in these times. It’s time to make your splash.