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I’ve written before about the importance of personal value proposition for photographers, and indeed all types of entrepreneurs. In short, it goes like this: Due to the onslaught of 24/7 information that your potential clients have to navigate, you MUST stand out. Not just as a business but also as an individual. You want to dazzle them with your bounty of knowledge about your subject category to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that you are the logical and best choice for the job—whatever that job might be.

A few years back during a live training course, I was stressing the importance of being able to talk about yourself to potential clients when one of the participants said, “I consider myself and my work as a pearl in the oyster.” Without missing a beat I blurted out, “Good luck waiting for a diver!” I still think this is a pretty funny example of how protective we can be about our self-perceptions, and it also demonstrates a mindset that will assist you in building neither your career nor your business.

People don’t want to contemplate muddled metaphors to figure out if you deserve their time. It is up to you to make the point a FACT: Fast, Aggressive, Clever, Truthful.

Fast: There is no time to waste because if you don’t catch someone’s attention in 30 seconds, the opportunity is gone. There is only one first impression.

Aggressive: Even as kids we shouted, “Look at me! Look what I can do.” It is in our nature to want attention for things we are good at. Sometimes you need to say it loudly—to push this information so others understand why they need you. There’s nothing wrong with it, so don’t feel bad.

Clever: There has to be an interesting, unique hook. This is your (or your business’s) USP. Why you? What makes you so special and unique? The hook is the most important part of building your authority.

Truthful: Ah, honesty is always important. Self-promotion is not supposed to be a BS geyser. People will eventually find out if you don’t have the skills you claim or can’t do the job you promised. And they won’t be afraid to tell others. Nothing will ruin your reputation faster than lies.

To sum it up, you want to look and sound good on paper to draw clients in. And you still need to have a little something extra in store for them to discover and fall in love with. If you are not sure if you have this in your arsenal yet, please check out the course I taught at CreativeLive that covers exactly how to do this. You can still purchase this course to receive all the information and materials. The real value is in having the information at your finger tips with the workbook. You know best what you need to take your skill set to the next level and be noticed as the authority in your niche.

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