I am an introvert. 100%.
While I love talking to people, learning their stories and celebrating their achievements, if you asked me to talk about myself, my career or anything for more than ten seconds, I will clam up and most likely make a self-sabotaging remark that gets me out of the hot seat.
You see, for me, self-promotion was one of those stuck up concepts I was bullied and teased for throughout my education. I was a confident child who loved to dance, sing, and didn’t think twice about sharing my opinion or being heard, because I had two older brothers and one needed to stand her ground.
But didn’t the other girls let me know about it.
Today, in the business world, where social media is Queen and one MUST put themselves out there to sell their product or service, connect with their audience, and become a respected heavy-weight in the industry, it’s important to understand a few fundamental rules about self-promotion in order to disconnect from the awkward feelings and instead be empowered to show up and shine bright that is still uniquely YOU.
- Remove Self From Promotion
When we first start out, we’re so connected to our business, product and service that our end product inevitably feels like a representation of ourselves. Our blood, sweat and tears are served up for all to see – and judged – so of course promoting our accomplishments feels completely icky.
Instead, think of it this way; if you weren’t involved and came across this amazing product that you knew would impact lives and really help people, how would you talk about it and promote it? Without hesitation, joy and aplomb?
When you take yourself out of the picture and remember you’re selling something else – not you – then be proud to spruik it and let your product do all the talking.
- Create A Brand Bigger Than You
Yes, you may have started the business but at the end of the day, your aim is to produce a product or service that is remembered. If you walk away or sell it, the product still needs to survive so focus on being the conduit to get the business off the ground and successful. If your focus is solely on ‘me, me, me’ or ‘how will this change my life?’ of course, you will start to feel overwhelmed and ready to dive under the doona.
At the end of the day, think of your end goal, not the immediate hurdle you have to jump over to achieve it.
- Focus on your strengths
As a start-up it’s inevitable that you’ll have to put yourself forward to market your business and secure valuable PR. That’s the era we live in today. People want the person behind the product, however there are a plethora of ways you can connect that don’t involve heart-palpations.
For example, if you love writing, then focus on creating a powerful and valuable blog. If you don’t want to show your face on Instagram stories, then stay behind the camera and just talk about the product or service. You’re still connecting with your words, but it’s less intimidating that having your face on screen.
Decide what it is you’re comfortable with and focus on being the best you can be at that particular type of promotion.
You don’t have to do everything and be all to everybody.
When you turn the table and focus on building relationships with your audience, providing a high-quality product or service that talks for itself, and solving problems for your customers then the marketing will take care of itself.
This article was originally published in Issue 3 of Woman Rising Magazine. Grab your copy here.