November 2019 · 4 Min Read
She sat back, a bourbon in her left hand, a book in her right. Peering for just a second over the golden rim of her reading glasses, she took a breath. “So, yeah, these client stories of yours sound great but it’s all theory. How do you actually make it happen?”
Developing a client story doesn’t need the power, prestige or production value of a giant Hollywood blockbuster but it does need research, creativity and a willing client. Remember, this is as much about them as it is about you. There are many ways to demonstrate results but a few things need to be accomplished at the beginning to make sure you can grasp your audiences’ attention.
A client story isn’t a blog or an ad, it’s a reflection of the work your business has done to help a client. So, of course, you first need to do something that showcases your skills. As long as you have at least one client, this should be easy. For a bigger impact, think about the clients you helped who came back for more and those who discovered new strings to your bow.
Hopefully, when you were offering your solution, you ascertained the needs of your client, you uncovered their challenge and you thought of a resolution. That was just the start. Creating a good story requires you to immerse yourself in your client’s world. How do their audience see the industry? How does your client fit into that industry? Who are the key members in your client’s team? What difference did your product or service really make? Dig deep! No! Deeper! Be as specific as possible.
Now that you have all of the information you need, it’s time to choose between a case study and a client story. You could of course follow the standard case study formula: Challenge, solution, result with a typical company introduction. This will probably gain you some interest and if a reader gets to the end, they might even be impressed. Imagine if you added intrigue! Well, with a client story, there’s more than one way to make that happen.
Whichever form of communication you choose, the key is to stand out. Talk to your audience about the things that interest them but do it in a way that they might not expect. Bring your audience with you. Introduce your client by telling a story about them or maybe just the sector they’re in. Grab attention by flipping the typical formula. Talk about the result first.
That’s not a licence to self-indulge. Explain how the client is now running a more effective business without mentioning your products or services. Then go back and fill in the gaps. A potential client may want the same results but they don’t want an obvious sale. A good news story works wonders to grab a reader’s attention. There are so many ways to do things differently but remember to never lose your values along the way.
It might seem like a strange thing for a writer to say but a great client story doesn’t always have to be text-based. A video, even one without words can paint an incredible picture. In fact, a picture can paint a thousand words. Think about how your audience might react to a photographic slideshow, a song or even a cartoon. These methods expand your ways of communicating but never forget; they are just tools. The key is to be relevant and interesting at the same time.
With that, she put her book down, nodded and whispered “if you’re so good at it, why don’t you make it for me?” She offered a wry smile and glided gracefully towards the exit. He knew it was time to do it again. He picked up his pen and wrote a storyboard for a silent movie. He was Puck and he was going to make her clients think, feel and take action.
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