This is something I keep on getting asked by leads…
Why don't you share your portfolio?
There's many reasons. But it boils down to portfolios and samples are bad.
Here's a few reasons.
I don't want to give new clients work (i.e. ideas, hooks, processes) for free, without an opportunity to use them as tools to sell my services.
I'm happy to share ideas and hooks and samples that I come up with during the conversation, but otherwise, nope. Not doing that.
For one, I can't actually give them anything related to their industry, since it's really easy to rip a page, re-word it, or keep it in the back-end to avoid DMCA/ copyright issues.
I'm not willing to go that route. Now, sure, this is highly unlikely (I've only had that happen once, and even then it was a pleasant experience)… but here's the bigger, more important part.
I don't want to share previous work and metrics it got.
My clients would hate me if I did that, and the clients I actively try to sell to will wonder… "Is he going to show OUR WORK to our competition?"
This becomes even worse when copy really converts. There's literally nothing stopping me from going to their competitors, showing them the results, and re-selling a somewhat re-written version of what I wrote originally.
And yes, there's tonnes of hacks out there doing just that.
This makes the trust aspect critical, because it not only allows them to trust that I keep my clients safe, but also establishes a strong ethical and professional baseline for your relationship.
Sharing samples/ portfolios is a lose-lose.
What remains then?
References, testimonials, and bypassing the issue entirely.
References and testimonials are a simple one. Just ask people to write a short paragraph about how you helped them. Then take a screencap, or copy-paste it into your testimonials file.
Bypassing the issue, on the other hand, requires a bit more thought.
One of the most sure-fire ways that I've found of getting clients has been to just connect, talk, be useful to them. Give some advice. Show them a wider perspective. Solve a problem or three.
Then ask if they want your help with everything else.
This is what's called a "free consult", and despite the popularity of this being done on a phonecall or video call… you can easily apply the same principles in text.
It immediately creates a sense of authority when you point out improvements they can make themselves. You go from "writer for hire" to esteemed consultant. And that's crucial.
Plus, key benefit, people like to see that they can actually trust an expert. Especially when their business, their precious baby, is at stake.
That's why constantly learning, expanding, experimenting with different approaches is absolutely crucial. If you're aiming at truly helping people, you need to have an all-around education, and be at least fluent in what they do. What they use. What their customers are.
And that, requires time. Lots and lots of time.
That's one of the reasons why I decided to start helping my friends learn, write, and consult in their own business. I spent well over a decade building my skill-set.
If you want to be one of these friends, message me, and let's get to know each-other.