1. Podcast: Your Story is Valuable

    18 Comments

    Hello lovely Veda House readers. I wanted to thank all of you for your kind words about the wedding details I’ve been sharing. I’m glad you are enjoying them as much as I am creating everything.

    I wanted to stop by today to talk about a freelance topic that has been on the top of my mind for some time now, basically since I took the leap into full time freelance last April. (wow, it’s almost been a year!) The topic of interest is about “telling my story” and how I should share that story in a successful way. I do know you want to tell your story in a way that is 100% authentic to YOU and in a way that you also enjoy doing so. Lastly, your story needs to be able to connect with people in an impactful way in order for it to be a successful “business”. I’ve struggled with defining what makes my brand truly authentic, but I feel I might finally be finding a place in the freelance world. Lots of fine-tuning needs to be done.

    To build on the topic, Megan Gilger got my gears turning again when I listed to her Circles Conference talk. If you know Megan, you’ll know that she is fearlessly attacking her dreams to work with clients who want to take a wild measure (also the name of her company, Wild Measure). In her talk, Megan mention how telling her story has been the biggest component in her growing business. She also says that the way she tells her story has evolved over the years, and today has transformed into a more authentic version. Today she posts frequently about her day-to-day life, adventures she goes on, and challenges she overcomes. Her clients are now connecting with HER and not necessarily the work she produced a year ago. The official “portfolio” doesn’t seem to have as much weight anymore, but her storytelling is a super powerful tool to gaining new clients.

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    Megan says, “People connect to your story. Your story is valuable. If they hire you, it’s because they TRUST you. Being trusted is incredibly powerful and creatively freeing.”

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    I agree with Megan wholeheartedly. I believe that if someone is hiring me, there is a reason why. I hope they are hiring me because they’ve connected with ME or MY story in some way that inspired them to create a new jewelry, take their brand to a new level, or even start a blog to share their story. I also hope that they trust me to shape their brand in the best possible way.

    So how important is the traditional “portfolio” in todays online/blogger/freelancer world? Have blogs and other social sharing platforms become a the new way to connect with creatives? Are people searching for their next designer based on WHO the designer is or is it still the body of work that does the talking? I think it’s different for everyone, but for Veda House I’ve noticed that the more authentic my story is…the more original my content is…the more ME I am…the better.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Have you found a unique way to share your story that people are connecting to?

    ( Listen to Megan’s Talk, Read More Freelance Journey Topics ) 

    COMMENTS FROM THE VEDA HOUSE READERS
    1. Really fantastic post! And so interesting…I can’t wait to listen to Megan’s talk while I’m at work today!! Thank you!!

    2. Wow. I never really thought of anything like this. I am really new to the freelance world and I guess this is one of the many things I still need to learn. I guess MY story would lean on the fact that I’m a self taught designer. I mean, I learn from everyone and everything but I am pushing myself out there without any special frame beside myself.

      • veda says:

        Thanks for stopping by today! I never knew you were a self taught designer and find that aspect very interesting. Have you ever thought about a blog column dedicated to talking about that journey? I think people would really connect with HOW you’ve made a name for yourself.

      • Well, it would be an interesting thing to write about. Especially because it’s something that I was really ashamed to say to people, I thought it would scare customers away. But, I actually got some emails from readers asking about it and I saw some discussions on designers blogs about the topics. So maybe we’re at a period where people are looking for parallel ways to train themselves, I don’t know, but I’ll definitely follow your advice on making this a column.

        • veda says:

          Honestly, if you have a talent or something useful to a client, your degree (or lack of degree) doesn’t really hold any weight. Like this post talks about, if people are connecting with YOU, they want to hire YOU and not your credentials.

      • Diana says:

        Hey, couldn’t help but chime into this conversation! Fernand et Firmin, I personally would love to hear more of how you became a self taught designer! I’m considering branching into the design/illustration realm from painting, so always curious to hear how different people move into different fields!

        And Cassie, thank you for sharing this awesome video! Megan Gilger and Wild Measure are so inspiring and I thought the idea of using your story as a way to connect with potential clients was just brilliant. :)

    3. Megan Gilger says:

      Girl, you are an inspiration. I have felt for so long you have been doing your thing, showing your style, and letting your creativity wander. It is so amazing to hear you accepting your story and allowing it to shine. You are incredibly talented and to watch you grow into who are as a creative is really amazing. Keep creating, keep sharing, and keep allowing yourself the grace to fail and succeed in this world. You are awesome. XOXO

      • veda says:

        Thanks for stopping by Megan. You are equally as amazing and I’m so glad we’ve been able to hang out in person a couple times. To more of this in 2014!

    4. Kelly Brito says:

      I absolutely agree, Cassie. I do think clients come to us because of a connection. I know all (or most) of my clients read my blog before (or during) contacting me, and this helps them reach for and confirm that connection.
      I’m not sure how important a portfolio site still is, but one thing is certain: showcasing pieces of the portfolio and work in progress on the blog is a great way to attract attention to our more. More so than a static, half-abandoned portfolio page would. :)

    5. Chelsea says:

      I loved this post, and as a creative, it’s inspiring in all ways.
      I’d love to listen to Megan’s talk… but the link isn’t working for me. Could you send me that link?
      Thank you, and keep up all this amazing goodness you’re blessing the internet with.

    6. Gabby says:

      Hmmm….I am almost positive I met Megan in NYC in April last year….small world. Her quotes are spot on!

    7. Courtney says:

      Thanks so much for posting this podcast! I just started being self-employed last August, so it is exciting when resources like this come along.

    8. I very much agree that people are sold on people’s stories – who they are – rather than what they sell, I had never thought of how that relates to a portfolio, though. So interesting. I think blogs connect clients with freelancers much more than websites do, though. Great stuff to think about!

    9. Bre says:

      OH! I’m glad you posted the link to her talk. I assumed it wasn’t online but wanted to see – - so going for it right now. :)

    10. Natalie says:

      Thank you Cassie for this post. Currently I’m rebranding, relaunching, recreating – let’s say re-everything – and I’m thinking to start a “in search of home and creativity” series to share not only my creative journey but also my life experience at home far away from home (I’m an expat, living in Italy). I’ve realized only recently how important it is to share our personal story – it could be inspiring not only for our readers and possible clients, but for ourselves too, because we can see better what we have accomplished when we put it down “black on white”.

    11. Sam says:

      Cassie, I just found your blog a week ago and I have to say I’m hooked! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic of freelancing and telling your story to clients. Honestly I struggle with this as I kind of wandered into doing freelance prop styling and photography after people saw the work on my blog and I have a hard time defining the line of coming off too sales-y and sounding arrogant vs. making people know I’m available for hire. I guess when I started freelancing I didn’t know there was so much sales pitching and negotiating involved. Anyway, bookmarked your blog and looking forward to future posts to come!

      Sam
      http://www.samishome.com

    12. […] you love podcasts as much as I do, here are a few more favorite I’ve shared in the past. Megan Gilger talks about how your story is valuable. Lynn Casper talks about being producers of content […]

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