Innovative, successful, kind, generous, competitive, excellent at juggling our work-life balance… in demand! But, we’re modest. Afraid of boasting or revealing our success, afraid of being seen as not good enough, not progressing quickly enough, shy.
How do we shout to the world how successful we are, to achieve more in business with all these hang-ups?! These five practical top tips will help you to shine, whilst keeping your modesty intact.
Don’t downplay your successes
If we can’t take a compliment, how can we promote ourselves? If you’ve earned something, whether it be a new client, recognition for what you do, or an award – anything which attracts a compliment, do not downplay it.
For many of us, the idea of accepting a compliment without making a joke, brushing it off or belittling our achievement makes us feel uncomfortable. In a behavioural study covering sex-based differences in compliment behaviour it was discovered that women accepted compliments only 40 per cent of the time. Interestingly, when the compliment was given by another woman, they only accepted compliments 22 per cent of the time.
Simply say ‘thank you.’ Let the compliment sink in and then carry on the conversation. It’s that easy. It doesn’t make you look big-headed or narcissistic, I promise.
This behaviour will slowly start to build your self confidence and make you more comfortable about self promotion.
Get your clients to shout about how good you are
A fantastic way of self promotion is to avoid it completely! Get your clients to do the shouting for you by requesting a testimonial or feedback at the end of your work together (or at various points if it’s a large project). This digital form of ‘word of mouth’ advertising is invaluable.
Make this a systemised way of working. Build it in to your email campaigns or have an email template to send alongside your invoice, whatever fits in with your business.
Of course you might not get a response from everyone, but the testimonials you do get will look wonderful on your website, social media and brochures. It’s an excellent way of shouting about how amazing you are without feeling self conscious or big-headed.
Don’t forget to respond gratefully to the positive testimonials and ask if they would mind rating you on your Google page or TrustPilot if you have these as well – these ratings will speak for themselves.
For the more critical testimonials, we recommend using them as a learning tool. Look at how any constructive feedback could help you to improve your product or service. If you can make any changes for the better then that’s wonderful – would you have ever known if you hadn’t asked them?
It’s so important to respond to this feedback and explain how it has helped you and what you’re doing to improve. This in itself will turn the experience into a positive one for your client, and they will be more willing to promote you.
Get yourself out there!
An article about self promotion wouldn’t be complete without social media. Whether you love or hate it, social media is currently unbeatable in the business world as a means of shouting about how brilliant you are.
I’m sure you have accounts on the major platforms, and also that you have separate business and personal pages, even if ‘you’ are your business. This way we can keep our private life separate from our business life, and keep your business social media accounts professional. You can still be yourself and friendly, but personal pages and accounts just aren’t as professional if you want to be taken seriously.
If you’re unsure about how to shout about your successes, we suggest researching others in your field who promote themselves with panache – can you echo them in a similar way? If you admire their work and their way of promoting then go for it. How about publishing those testimonials on your pages?
Whichever platforms you decide to use, make sure that it’s systemised and regular. A famine and feast style of social media posts can quickly turn your audience off, and cause you to lose followers. To help with this, why not use scheduling software. This way you can simply set aside an hour or so a week, type out all of your content and add in images or videos, schedule across the different platforms and sit back!
PR and Marketing
Perhaps you haven’t got time to do your own marketing, or you still really hate the idea? A great way of conquering this is hiring a marketing expert to do this for you. The great ones will request a tone of voice document so that everything put out there is in line with who you are. They’ll match your branding, and work with you to get your business where you want it to go.
And what about PR? Social media can go so far with cultivating your story, so why not go further? How do you want the world to see you and your business? Do you want to spread the news further about what you do? Reach more clients that you know you can help? PR is the subtlest from of self promotion if used wisely, so you needn’t feel uncomfortable. There are so many great agencies out there, just be sure to use one you resonate with as this will be a long-term relationship.
We’d love to see more of you shouting about your success 🙂
About the author
Marianne Page founder of Marianne Page Ltd. and author of the bestselling book, Simple Logical Repeatable. She has 27 years of senior management experience with McDonald’s under her belt, and a further ten working with successful small business owners, helping them to scale, grow and occasionally sell their business