How do you talk about your accomplishments without looking like a braggart?

Marketers face a unique challenge when it comes to promoting their clients in an age that expects transparency and authenticity—but also often favors humility and subtlety.

Obviously, it’s your job to promote. You want to talk about a company’s achievements and highlight its best assets. But for marketers, doing a great job means staying invisible—providing content and creative for businesses to push forward, as if it originated from the source—which might make it look like a company is just bragging about itself while trying to promote its best qualities and incentivize buys.

That’s why some of the best marketing isn’t always received well by audiences. Many consumers favor a more modest approach to doing business.

Today, people are a little turned off by bragging. If you’re overconfident and showy, no matter how truthful your successes really are, it might make people less likely to use your company. Sometimes, potential customers feel like companies that are already successful “need” their money less.

This conundrum got more interesting recently when marketers began debating how to include samples of past work with former clients on their websites.

Do you show off all the great work you’ve done, or try to remain vague about your accomplishments? Should you only note awards and accolades, or can you highlight some of the work that didn’t take home any trophies if you’re still really proud of it? Do you want to show two dozen amazing examples of your work, or should you narrow it down to two or three of the very best? This might showcase less variety, and paint an inexact portrait of the complete services your company offers—but what if it also helps you to avoid looking like a busy braggart?

It’s not always easy to determine which approach will cost you more potential customers and clients, but it really comes down to a company knowing its target audience best.

How can you show off your skills, and highlight your accomplishments, while remaining authentic?

Here are five of the best marketing techniques to promote your work without potentially rubbing people the wrong way:

1. Only list awards, titles, and accolades given out by other institutions, committees, or agencies (especially well-known, credible ones that might resonate within and outside of your industry).

2. Use real client or customer testimonials to highlight how great your company performs.

3. Categorize your services or samples into broader areas, then allow prospects to click through for a complete list.

4. Use images; text can get long and seem overwhelming, even if it’s technically covering the same amount of information that an image of your work captures. Another option is video.

5. Share the logos of companies you’ve worked with and allow customers to contact you directly through your samples page with inquiries about the relationship, ask for samples, or request a quote.

For more tips on how to best showcase samples of your past work on your website, during a pitch meeting, or in a sales deck, feel free to reach out to our shamelessly talented team at Mad 4 Marketing.

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