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It’s the cruelest of tricks. Your whole life is one long lesson in the importance of being humble (me?  My husband recently said “well, it wouldn’t be a date if you didn’t spill water on yourself.”  Yep.  I’m skilled like that). And socially, you’re punished from an early age when trying to talk about your […]

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  • Stella Reynoso - As someone who’s about to revamp her website, you’ve just made this portion WAY easier for me! Love love love what you say about how we can serve our clients. That was definitely the missing element, and I adore these mini-steps that culminate to the final product. <3 Can't wait to blog my experience to share with everyone – thanks for being so amazing! :)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - I’m honored to be featured on your blog!

    One of the things I’m most turned off by on a professional About Me page is insecurity or apologies. I love the concept you reiterate that you don’t need or even WANT every person who comes along to be sold on your services; you only want people whose needs are compatible with your ability to serve them. My husband is a dentist, and he recently told his boss that he refuses to sell dental treatment to people who don’t want it because those are invariably the patients who are unsatisfied and keep coming back with complaints. The patients who WANT what he has to offer generally truly value his time and service, and they are the most grateful and the easiest to work with. Even though he may make more money by trying to sell to every patient, he and his patients are happier when he focuses on those who value his particular personality and skill set.

    (Also, I loved the jazz hands and insecurities imagery. Nice job.)ReplyCancel

  • Allison - I’ve been working on updating my about page for 3 months now, and haven’t been able to start. Your exercises got my fingers moving, so now I just need to put it together. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - My About page really needed a bit of sprucing up. Thank you for writing it! I used to get that “feel like a jerk” feeling when talking about myself on these sorts of things. You made it easy and not too painful! :) Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Nicole - I found your post really helpful -particularly ‘Write a letter to your 10 year old self’. This really helped me cut out the confusing explanations and get back to basics. I think I will have that technique in mind for all my writing. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Lucrecer - It has been too long since touching base with you, but I always remember your amazing writing. This is such a good article and so helpful. I know the “About Me” page is a challenge for many. Me, included. Thank you, for this.ReplyCancel

  • tonya - gosh I loved this!!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine Welbourn - This is truly and honestly the most fantastic outline for writing an autobiography I have ever encountered. Brilliant. Pure brilliance.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - First of all, thank you for this. Not only did it help me form the story about me, and how I became a photographer, but it also opened some emotional doors. Had you asked us to write to the 9 or 11 year old us my letter would be much different. Fourth grade was one of the hardest years of my youth. I wrote the letter to the ten year old self telling her how much stronger she is than she even realizes. Then it was like I was writing this letter to my current self. “Being strong and humble like your mother, finding the voice in your heart and following it; these lead you to wonderful things. Every moment of feeling lost and insecure will lead you to being a photographer – an artist.”

    These are things I should be telling myself every day, not just pretending to time travel and tell kid I used to be.

    “We all grow up so fast. Remember to live in the moment and embrace every stage you are in your life – It’s going to lead you to something amazing. Before you know it, that moment is going to pass you by (even if it feels like it is taking for-ev-er!).”

    Again, thank you. Opening up and getting words out is typically a struggle for me, and you made those thoughts (and some tears) flow through me and create something beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Anthony - Writing an “About” page was certainly a difficult task. You’re very right. Writing about yourself without sounding braggy is tough. The good thing for me was that I wasnt trying to “sell” myself or services. I didnt have to get into how “talented” I was (good thing too… phew.. :) )ReplyCancel

Photographers often share one common burden with practicing psychologists: Sometimes you need to get information from someone, but you just….can’t. The problem isn’t that the person clams up and won’t talk. Rather, it’s that they won’t STOP talking. Oh, you’re hearing plenty of words – it’s like a verbal monsoon.  But none of it is […]

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  • Chris Welsh - Great advice! Thank you for posting and sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - Company Talksalot. Hahahaha excellent points. #4 is crucial. It’s also great to use #4 when people are mad at you and yelling. I use that when clients yell at my day job over the phone. It makes them calm down like magic.ReplyCancel

  • lori b - These are great ideas to manage the verbose client. I happily shared this on FB and Twitter.ReplyCancel

  • Erika Bischoff - Great article. Thanks for sharing it.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Thanks for the help – glad to hear others have the same struggle with clients and work through them !ReplyCancel

Today I have two morsels for you to consider, and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether they are related, and how you’ll wield them in the future. Thought #1 – A little over ten years ago, a couple of researchers set out to understand the phenomenon of “customer revenge.” Sometimes when a customer […]

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  • Andy Stenz - Spot on. Thanks for the timely reminder!ReplyCancel

  • Terri - Yes! I think of this business trait as something called business integrity. The act of treating your customers with kindness in all situations. I learned it at the side of my grandmother when I worked as a teenager in my family’s submarine/pizza shop. She always treated the customers as if each was the most important person to the success of the shop. And I believe her attitude is what kept them coming back and eventually led to the expansion and franchise of that submarine shop in coastal Virginia and North Carolina.ReplyCancel

  • Erika - Ooooh, I love the pictures, hee hee :)ReplyCancel

  • Leni Moretti - One of life’smaxims: Be kind to one another. Your example’s were very helpful. Sometimes I feel torn between apologizing and wanting to show that I have my professional principles. It’s a fine line at time …ReplyCancel

  • Erika Bischoff - Thank you for sharing this great and very interesting story.ReplyCancel

  • Violeta Nedkova - Jenika, I love your psychology morsels and way of writing. You’ll be one of my “content marketing” case studies (mostly, the way to hack content to get clients) because you have it down, girl. :)

    Haven’t made anyone angry yet, but that’s coming…ReplyCancel

  • Owen Lucas - Both instances have just happened to me! I have just won a fan through a humble apology to a client (and it wasn’t my fault – she was just too slow placing a deposit for her desired date of booking!); while I am currently feeling like I should have had an apology from a training course that just didn’t deliver what they promised. I’m resisting any urges to go viral you’ll be pleased to hear!ReplyCancel

  • Owen Lucas - Both instances have just happened to me! I have just won a fan through a humble apology to a client (and it wasn’t my fault – she was just too slow placing a deposit for her desired date of booking!); while I am currently feeling like I should have had an apology from a training course that just didn’t deliver what they promised. I’m resisting any urges to go viral you’ll be pleased to hear! OLReplyCancel

  • Jamie Swanson - YES. YES yes yes yes YES! People need to read this one for sure! Thanks for such great insight, Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • Denise Karis - <3ed reading this post! I hate feeling blown off and I think that's what a lot of angry clients feel when they are frustrated or upset and on top of it, no one seems to care.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - I am amazed at the businesses that don’t take responsibility for crappy circumstances, especially when they cause them. Sometimes s*it happens, but apologizing and making it right – without being a jerk about it – can mean SO much to someone! I agree 100%, love this article and am sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Rana - Jenika- this is such a great article and I could not agree more! People need to let pride not get in the way of being an understanding business person!

    Thanks for the great read!ReplyCancel

As far as lab assistant jobs went, it wasn’t the worst out there. For example, I could have been in the primate lab cleaning cages.  Or dealing with mysterious fluids in the taste and smell lab. Yeah, my job was far more pleasant – to stand on the main quad and collect responses for consumer […]

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  • Sarah Heggen - This article is perfectly timed. I was just fretting over the lack of testimonials on my website, and I couldn’t quite figure out how to ask for them without feeling slimy. You’ve saved the day! Thanks much. Now to get to work!ReplyCancel

  • Jen Trombly - I had to laugh when I read this blog… I literally had the exact statement, “Would you mind filling out a brief survey” in my questionnaire email. Yikes!!! I had revised it and have just sent the first one out! Whew…. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Megan DiPiero - Whoa! Just spent the last 40 minutes on this page and clicking all the great links within. Chock full of goodness! I have been thinking about surveys for the last few months. This is just the action-driven post I needed to point me in the right direction. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - Thank you for this!! Great information I will definitely be using. And I am going to brand camp! Hope I get to meet you!ReplyCancel

  • Shayna Hardy - Oh my gosh!! I literally just copied and pasted these into an email to a client and I received this amazing testimonial! I was crying when I read it… THANK YOU soooooooooo much!

    “I would say that you were really more than photographer. You went above and beyond to make sure we were pleased with the product. Not only did you photograph our family but you came into our home and recommended places to display that work. The consultation is something you don’t always see in photographers. You seem to know how to market your talent rather than just “take pictures”. “ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Woohoo Shayna! So happy for you, and that’s a great testimonial to have 😀 Congratulations.ReplyCancel

  • April Bennett - This is such an amazing, site, amazing article, and the website ebook is absolutely amazing too! Thank you so much.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Bertoli - This post was SO helpful. I just finished my testimonials page (and scattering them throughout my website too)! Thanks so much!
    This is good for my business but also GREAT for my self esteem as I am just getting started. If I’m having a rough day I just read my testimonials! :)

    Check it out for yourself:

    Thanks again!

  • Jennifer - thank you for the very specific suggestions!ReplyCancel

  • Camille - This was so helpful. I’m an introvert who hates self-promotion, and can never find a way to ask for feedback that results in useful information. I tweaked your script to make it a bit more formal for my corporate executive clients, created a form, emailed it out, and just got back responses from two former clients. They’re fantastic! And more than one or two sentence answers. I’ve got plenty of testimonials to spread throughout my website.

    Thanks for your help!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya Damron - love reading all the info here!ReplyCancel

  • Leanda - Thank you this is just what I needed today! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Elaine Welbourn - This. Totally. Worked!

    I asked a client recently to write a testimonial about her experience working with me at her recent engagement photography session. I followed the format presented in this blog post carefully. although I thought it might sound too “pushy” to ask specific questions, thus limiting what she might want to say to me/about me, it was completely successful! Not only did she write a testimonial, but it was heartfelt and relaxed – exactly what I wanted! Thank you for this helpful blog!

    (…and in case you hadn’t noticed…I used the same three questions to write this testimonial for you!)ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Duncan - I love these questions! And the part about telling clients it will be quick and painless is genius. Thanks Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • April - Thanks so much for the guidance! I had been waiting a week for testimonials from a few clients I’d recently reached out to. Yesterday I fired them a reminder email with these specific questions and overnight got responses from half the bunch. It’s so much more helpful to them to write about their experience with prompts and you’re right- they wrote exactly what I needed to turn would-be clients into bookings. Now I just have to get that info up on the site. Thanks, Jenika.ReplyCancel

  • Aaron - Fantastic, thanks!!ReplyCancel

After my grandfather passed away, I found among his things a 1969 Army Field Manual titled: “Survival, Evasion, and Escape.” This curious volume details things a soldier would need to know if they fall behind enemy lines.  Everything from preparing muddy water for drinking, to organizing an escape from enemy transport, to fashioning a needle […]

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