Whenever I am asked for tips about breaking into journalism or public relations, one piece of advice that I emphasize can be applied to just about any endeavor: the importance of showing your value, not merely talking about it.

And over the course of more than a decade of self-employment, I have learned that winning new clients comes by way of winning their confidence. That assurance comes when they can see, first hand and not only from client testimonials or my charming personality, how I can help them.

How can they see it? One way or another, I provide them with tangible support, no strings attached, the very first time I meet them.

It may be advice about how to improve their biography, or it might be identifying a part of their story that they’ve never thought to tell but which I know the media would find absolutely compelling.

And sometimes they can literally “see it,” when I shoot a video that helps them promote who they are and what they do. That’s what I did a few weeks ago when I met a bright investment advisor, Ted Barnhart, at his office in Oak Brook.

During our meeting, I shot two videos, which I later edited and uploaded onto my YouTube channel for him to review. I also told Ted how to create his own channel. If someone is going to invest their hard-earned money in your service, you want to take some proactive steps to provide them with a sample of what they can reasonably expect in return.

“Sampling” works at grocery stores, at the department store perfume counter and with Inside Edge PR–and it can work for you, too.

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Sticking Up for the Client, Sticking Up For the Story

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