5 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Self-Promoting

We live in an age where promotion is everywhere. You see it on your tv, on social media, hear it on the radio, it’s literally everywhere. The type of promotion I’m talking about isn’t advertising or marketing campaigns. I’m talking about self-promotion.

So, what exactly is self-promoting?

Self-promoting is that thing you do every time you tell someone WHAT you do. This could be in a social setting or online. However, for some reason, this can sometimes be intimidating.

I, for one, have first-handedly experienced downplaying what I do when people ask me. Usually I don’t even bring up the fact that I’m a blogger. If someone around me would bring up the fact that I blogged to other people, I would usually be left with a blank stare on my face and simply say “oh, yeah, I mean I dabble,” and keep it moving.

Why is it so hard for us to explain what we do to others? Is it a fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough at what we do? Or is it simply because we don’t want to come of “braggy?”

Or maybe because when we think of self-promoting, we think of the “pushy-salesman,” persona and relate that to being insincere and annoying. But remember this, self-promoting is only pushy if your end goal is insincere and not valuable.

It’s kind of like going in for a job interview (which is nothing but self-promotion) and knowing you’re only in it for the money and not to help the job and their mission.

I’m making it point to self-promote my brand this year without fear or hesitation. With so much social noise out there, people are announcing what they do EVERYDAY. We can’t simply expect people to know what we do and assume we’re good at it. We have to tell them. And when we tell them, we have to let people know what we can do to help.

In this post, I’m sharing five ways to get over your fear of self-promoting and being confident while talking about your personal brand to others.

 

1. HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE OF WHAT YOU ARE PROMOTING

By absolutely knowing what the purpose of what you’re promoting, you’re more inclined to have more confidence to talk about it to other people.

Let’s say you’re a boutique owner that sells clothing for tall women (yes I chose tall women because I’m tall!). If you happen to be in a social setting and someone asks you what you do, instead of saying “oh, well I have a small boutique and I sell clothing.” You could say “I’m a boutique owner and I sell clothing for tall women. I saw there was a need for tall womenswear in my area, so I opened a shop to fill that market gap and create more shopping opportunities for tall girls.”

Now the person you were speaking to has a clear understanding of what you do and why you do it.

Practice your “pitch” and save this as your go-to.

 

Related: How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone + Network

 

2. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO

It’s much easier to talk to people when we know who they are and what they’re about. If you’re promoting something that has no benefit to your audience, you might as well be talking to a brick wall.

You can gain more confidence in self-promoting if you know the people you’re promoting to are actually benefiting in some way. It’s always good to know we are helping people and that they enjoying what we’re putting out there.

By targeting your audience, you learn to cater to them, talk to them and anticipate what they are looking for. You get them, they get you…think of them as your good girlfriends.

 

3. STAY CONSISTENT IN YOUR MESSAGE

We like to try new things, that’s inevitable. But knowing your bread and butter is key.

It can get misconstrued if you promote one thing sometimes, and other things on other occasions. This can lead to you feeling unclear in your message and unknowing of what you actually do.

Re-read tip #1 and always have a go-to pitch ready.

 

4. DON’T BE SELFISH

One of the ways we may be fearful of self-promotion if we are constantly talking about ourselves all the time. Not giving others a platform to share their story isn’t an effective way to build trust, build relationships and build integrity in your personal or professional brand.

Ask people what they do! Ask people what you can do to help. Share the love!

 

5. REMOVE THE PUSHY SALESMAN NARRATIVE

The thing that prevents us from self-promoting the most would have to be the fact that we don’t want to come off as a pushy, annoying person. I mean, who wants to be known as that one annoying person who never shuts up about what they do, right?

Like I said before, it’s only pushy if you’re not adding value. Think of it as spam in your email or on social media. We don’t want to be spammy. We want to be trusted as people who can add value to people’s lives and we can do that by sharing our stories, telling how we got there and contributing to other people’s success.

So there you have it, have no fear. Go on and promote yourself like a boss! You deserve it.

 

What is holding you back from self-promoting and sharing your story with others? Let’s chat in the comments below 🙂 

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  • I think what holds me back the most is feeling a bit unclear on having a clear purpose! I really like your idea of having a go-to purpose explanation; I need to come up with mine. So far my blog is geared towards sharing tips about mindfulness, self love, and other perspectives that can help create a meaningful life…but I don’t like how wordy and vague that is. Thanks for this food for thought! Definitely gives me some ideas for strengthening my self-promoting abilities 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear you found this post helpful, Jade. I completely understand your dilemma with having a clear purpose. It was honestly the hardest for me as well. But just keep thinking of what you really want to focus on. What do you want people to take away from the content you provide? Also think about the people you’re aiming to help, that will definitely provide some clarity on how you self-promote! 🙂

  • This is something that definitely resonates with me and something I’m slowly getting better at doing, I’ve especially noticed that being able to promote and brag a bit sometimes it something that gets better further in the corporate world.

    Great tips!

    http://skylish.co.uk