Most people are not 100% at home promoting themselves and what they do. As business owner, however, you have to get comfortable selling yourself and your services, and quickly, for your business to thrive.
If you're holding out on promoting yourself - whether out of fear, self-consciousness, or not knowing how to do it the "right way," you are holding your talents, skills and gifts back from the world, and from potential clients! As a service provider, isn't it your mission to help people who need it?
Not that self-promotion is necessarily easy... it can be one of the more challenging facets of running your own business, and an emotional hurdle. Many of us were brought up not to brag about our talents and abilities, and now find it difficult to let our light shine. We may feel uncomfortable, or as though it's uncool to put ourselves in the spotlight, and tell the world how truly awesome we are. So self-promotion becomes a stopping point on the path to success.
At the same time, we are bombarded with images and "news" about celebrities whose shameless self-promotion has made them "famous for being famous," lacking talent or substance. It's so tacky, yet these folks are household names. Frustrating, but lessons can be learned from them!
How do we find the middle ground, where we can make a splash, while putting ourselves out there with integrity intact, getting noticed hype-lessly? How do we sell ourselves without selling out?
First, put a positive spin on selling. This is your chance to show your best self to the world. Selling is an opportunity to be of service to others by offering them a way to fulfill their needs, solve their problems, and improve their lives!
Second, let your clients sell for you with testimonials that you can use on your website, in ezines, social media, press kit, and advertising. When you get good reviews, use them! What others have to say about you is so much more valuable than what you could say about yourself.
Third, sell substance and value through branded content. Branded content marketing is a hot trend, and a great way to connect with your audience without the discomfort of a hard sell. Writing articles for your blog, ezine, social media, article websites and as a contributor to other blogs or ezines showcases your expertise, demonstrates your abilities to create solutions for what people need now.
To be of greater service, you have to share your gifts, skills, and talents with a greater audience. If you're not promoting yourself, you're not giving people who need your help the opportunity to know about you. You're skipping the opportunity to build your business, and you're surely not living up to your role as a service provider. So ditch the assumptions that you have to "sell out" to self-promote! Offering solutions to a world of people who need it, and demonstrating your value through testimonials and branded content, will not only help others, it will build your credibility and your business!