5 things you should do INSTEAD of Instagramming a photo of you with a customer

Social media. It’s bloody brilliant isn’t it? Personally, I don’t agree that taking selfies and photos is making s more narcissistic. However, The Guardian writes about “the rise of the selfie and digital narcissism” and I can see their point about how having photos of ourselves, at our best and showing them off for fake internet points might be seen as self-indulgent.

There is however one strand of selfie that is becoming more and more popular and frankly, it’s both self-indulgnet AND odious. The ‘client selfie’.

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are rife with entrepreneurs taking photos of themselves with their customers.

“Look how successful I am! I’m taking a photo with my customers to show just how important they think I am!”

I’ve always thought that photos are taken of things that aren’t that common. I’m more likely to take a photo at a concert than with a cup of coffee (although now I write that I remember that people take fucking HUNDREDS of photos of coffee).

In my mind, if you’re workshopping or consulting with a customer and you take a photo, it doesn’t happen that often.

I understand the point, that you’re proud of your achievement and you want to promote that you’re popular and working. However, I can think of 5 things that are 100x more productive, constructive and a little less needy than taking a photo of yourself with a customer.

Get them to take a photo with you

How’s this for social proof? Think of it like this. If you were a celebrity and you went around asking if people wanted a photo with you, you’d look pretty desperate. However, you know you’re successful when other people want to take photos with you. It raises the celebrity status of a person when other people take photos of them.

You can even encourage people to take a photo with you and publish it on social media by opening up a #hashtag competition where for everyone who takes a pic and tags it with #yourname, they’ll be entered into a competition to win $50 of Amazon vouchers.

If it’s a more consultation, coaching based customer – ask them if they can take a photo and post it out. Think of it like a visual testimonial.

Write a case study about the customer and consultation

Frankly, this should be something you’re doing anyway. It takes much longer than a quick Instagram photo, but its much more useful and will last longer. With your next lead or potential customer, ask them if they’d rather have a photo of you with a previous customer OR a case study on a similar business or problem. Which do you think they’d prefer?

Create a light bulb moment about the workshop

If you’re running a workshop, you should be creating ideas, content and feedback as you go. Your customers will show you things and you’ll talk about items that you hadn’t thought of before.

Think of the main problem that you’re solving for your customer and list how you helped them. Maybe take a video of one of the sessions, or record it. Transcribe it and create a worksheet or process that others can follow.

For example, I often coach on creating marketing funnels and content strategy. Every business’s funnel is different, but after a good whiteboard session I’ll take a photo of what we’ve created, make it anonymous and write up a worksheet for how I created the diagram. All of a sudden I’ve got a light bulb moment for ‘how any insurance company can create a marketing funnel’.

Create a product around the workshop

Congratulations on selling a workshop, but if you’re not taking that same content and packaging it up as a course then you’re missing out. Similar to the light bulb moment above, your workshops follow an agenda and that’s what you should be splitting up and creating a presentation video on, with worksheets, and selling.

Record and write up the consultation and publish it

This was revolutionary when I first saw this. Each consultation session has 45 minutes dedicated to recording a wrapup of the coaching. The customer knows they’re going to be recorded and it can be made anonymous, but the conversation itself is a bit like a podcast. Because it’s just a wrap-up, you’re not giving too much away AND it’s easily understandable to your customers. Talk about the problems they were facing and what you’ve talked about so far. Were there any big ‘A-HA!’ moments? What are they going to be doing next time etc?

Bonus: Split the workshop into some blog posts

OK I thought of this after I published the post but I wanted to sneak it in. When you run a presentation or record anything, check out a transcribing service and get the text version. You can edit that and publish it as a blog post. You might think you’re giving away too much but how often have people read a blog post on learning to drive and taken a test without further instructions and guidance?

Or, look at your workshops and write up how you go through each one. A few instructions and a video leading people through the same process is incredibly valuable and AGAIN you’re not giving too much away, because if people like it, they’ll want you to run through that with them anyway.


Cool, so now are you going to stop taking tacky photos of yourself with customers? We’ve learnt that we can create more valuable, longer term content from all our coaching and consulting and how to do it.

Am I a mentalist? Are you going to look at some of your options and write up your customers or are you going to create any new content from your previous work? Let me know in the comments below.


Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.