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Kathleen Cutler

Here’s How to Brag Without Seeming Like You’re Bragging

It’s always a good idea to amplify your achievements.




WHEN DONE RIGHT, sharing positive recognition can be a powerful way to distinguish your brand from others while building “know-like-trust” among your community. The problem? If done wrong, sharing your wins without proper etiquette can have the opposite effect.

Whether you’ve just won an award, received a glowing testimonial or are simply looking to spruce up your online presence with a little social proof, here’s how to talk about your business and artistic achievements with a high-end touch.

When Receiving a Positive Testimonial

According to, 91 percent of shoppers read reviews and testimonials when making important decisions. What’s more, 84 percent trust them as much as word-of-mouth from a friend.

Adding reviews and testimonials to your website, email newsletters, and social media is a smart move that can be especially enticing to new clients and collectors. Getting permission to share testimonials and reviews as you receive them is an absolute must (both for the sake of your reputation for providing client privacy and, in many cases, for legal purposes), but having a high-end system for gathering testimonials in the first place is ideal.


When Winning Awards or Certifications

Gaining recognition from various organizations and press outlets can provide a boost to your reputation and visibility by leveraging the power of their credentials and audience.

Always share news like this from a place of gratitude and with a desire to highlight the good work of whoever is giving you that recognition (rather than what you did or how hard you worked for the opportunity). In many instances, it is wise to ask what can be shared and when. You may even find that assets have already been created for you to make spreading the good news even easier.

When Leveling Up Your Language

While rave reviews and blue ribbons are the most recognizable forms of social proof, they’re not the only ones.

While this psychological phenomenon is most effective when praise for your work is offered by another for all to see, our human nature to look to the behavior of our peers when making decisions is overwhelming. There’s a smart reason so many businesses mention the number of years they’ve been serving their niche audiences, and phrases like “best-selling,” “sold out,” and “wait list” can nudge an undecided browser into being a buyer.

With a little strategy, you can share your successes in a way that boosts your brand, builds your community, and avoids coming across as bragging!


Kathleen Cutler, profit expert for high-end jewelry brands, focuses on helping jewelers understand how to convince younger, affluent audiences to buy, combining modern tech with retro-style relationship building. Kathleen has a degree from GIA and has coached 100-plus jewelers. Reach her at [email protected]



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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