Change Your Thinking
Everyone is becoming their own brand these days. Whether you’re a business owner or managing your professional persona — online or otherwise — there will be times when you need to do some self-promotion.
It’s natural if the thought of selling yourself or your business raises uncomfortable feelings or anxiety. If you shy away from self-promotion, you’ve probably internalized the idea that selling yourself is sleazy or pushy. But this mindset serves no purpose other than to keep you from reaching your full potential.
Here’s how to embrace self-promotion and put your work out into the world. Humblebrags ahead.
When I started my coaching business, I created a brand that was very corporate in look, feel, and communication. I genuinely thought that was what people wanted from a business coach. But I always felt uncomfortable about promoting myself because my business never felt like me. As soon as I had the courage to embrace the more caring, feminine, heart-centred businesswoman I really am (and the brand and style of communication that was my truth), self-promotion came much easier and my business flourished in every way, including financially.
If you’re authentic in who you are, what your business provides, and how you can help people, you have no reason to shy away from self-promotion. Let people see the real you and self-promotion will become not only easier, but even something you look forward to doing.
Find the Right Audience
Many times people who are wary of self-promotion are also afraid of what other people will think, believing that they’ll seem pushy or “salesy.” Give up the need for approval from others. You cannot make everyone like you. No one can.
If you’re specifically promoting your business or service, knowing your most ideal customer is vital to honing your self-promotion efforts. Spend time thinking and writing about your ideal client’s gender, age, lifestyle, interests, passions, and problems, and direct your promotion efforts only to them. They will understand what you do — and want more.
Focus on Your WHY
It’s hard to promote something if you’re not fully grounded in why you do it. What’s the reason you’re an engineer or business consultant? What are you trying to help people create, feel, change, and experience?
If you know why you do what you do, you can share that message without it always being about a sale. Start by writing a business vision or personal mission statement. Focus on the meaningful difference you are trying to create. This will empower you to promote yourself with confidence.
Know Your Value
The financial strategy you provide could help someone buy their first home. The freelance article you write could open someone’s eyes to an important story. The jewelry you create could make a woman feel confident and beautiful.
What you sell has a potentially extraordinary and unquantifiable value to someone. Knowing that and owning the value of what you do makes promoting it so much easier. Who knows what richness you can bring to people’s lives?
Take some time to write a list of your achievements and the value you provide. Think of these the next time you are hesitant to put yourself out there.
Give, Then Ask
Consider giving more than you’re asking — in a strategic and targeted way. Provide outstanding value: Write empowering blogs. Share meaningful messages. Gift wrap. All with the intent of not bending over backwards or hurting your bottom line, but rather developing a reputation for being smart and strategic.
Then, when it comes time to go after that big sale or dream job, you can do so knowing that you provide so much value to clients or employers that it’s your right to ask for more — be it money, power, or position.
Remember That People Need You
You have likely started a business or chosen your career path because you have an innate desire to carve out your own life and make money on your own terms. You may even have seen a gap in a marketplace and knew you were the right person to fill it.
Don’t forget that whatever your skill, it is needed. There are people looking for you and needing exactly what you create. If you don’t tell them about yourself — loudly — how will they know?
Julie Parker is the CEO and founder of the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, a global online training school that helps heart-centered people become life coaches. You can follow Julie on Twitter and Facebook.