How to get over the fear of self-promotion and get good at sharing your work in an authentic and non-icky way

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Confession: promoting myself and my work is not something that comes to me naturally at all.

In fact, I would say I actively used to avoid it at all costs.

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I’ve never had a desire to be in the spotlight or the centre of attention.

Why do we fear putting ourselves out there?

  • Fear of criticism.
  • Fear of not being good enough.
  • Fear of our work not being perfect.
  • Fear of not having anything valuable to share.
  • Fear that we won’t be doing anything different - there are so many other people doing the same thing!!

All of these fears hold us back from sharing our gifts with the world and aligning with our greater purpose and holding back on sharing our gifts does not serve anyone.

It takes courage to create.


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The reality is that being visible and getting good at promoting yourself and your services is an essential part of building a brand and running a successful business.

When you are the person who is the face of your business (and there’s no product or transactional service you’re selling); people need to know you exist for them to start building a relationship with you and understand how you can help them.

Foundational to building a powerful and purposeful brand, is being visible - which means not only promoting your services, but also showing up and allowing people to get to know you.

I came across an interesting article by Kelly Watson who describes the 4 myths of self-promotion which categorizes women into four different stereotypes when it comes to promoting themselves and sharing their work.

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The Bitch Myth :: 'Self promotion will make me look arrogant'.

For some women, myself included, the thought of being called a bitch for coming across as pushy and arrogant is something I actively avoid.

But the opposite of this is not sharing our work in fear of avoiding this label.

There’s distinct a difference between shamelessly promoting yourself and bragging about what you do (AKA being an arrogant bitch about it!) and authentically sharing your work, your message and how you can support people.

The Princess Myth :: 'If I'm good enough, people will hear about it.'

The premise of this myth is that if you work hard and wait patiently enough, someone will eventually notice.

This is the myth that I recognize myself in the most. When I was in my corporate career, I basically kept my head down and worked really hard, hoping that people would take notice of my work.

While people saw me as being a hard worker, it actually did nothing to support my efforts being recognized in a way that was reflective of the value I was creating.

When I first started my business I adopted the same mentality and it was a recipe for failure. Not only wasn’t I attracting clients, I wasn’t able to sustain myself financially.

It is not enough to wait for our dream clients to appear.

It is our responsibility to show up; get in front of our tribe, demonstrate the value we can bring and how we can help them achieve their goals.

The Friends and Family Myth :: 'Others should talk about my accomplishments, not me.'

Relying on word of mouth and expecting that others will do our marketing for us is another trap we can easily fall into.

If we’ve had a few clients who have had great experiences with us, it’s easy to get complacent (especially if we avoid self-promotion!) and instead rely on others sharing our work and helping to promote us, but this offers a false sense of security.

While it’s great to have people share your work - I fully believe word of mouth to be an invaluable way to build a business - this doesn’t mean we should rely on it as the only way to grow our business.

We’re doing ourselves a disservice and ultimately holding ourselves back from so many potential opportunities by not actively getting out there and showing up for our tribe.

The Martyr Myth :: 'You can't control what people think anyway.'

This myth is all about adopting a martyr mindset, believing that after you’ve done the pitch to your dream clients ‘you can’t control what they think’ and people will make their own minds up about whether they want to work with you.

While this is true, the reality is that sometimes people are busy with other priorities and need to be followed-up or invited to work with you.

If someone has expressed interested in your product or service and you don’t bother with the follow-up; this is another way we can self-sabotage and prevent ourselves from the many opportunities that are often right in front of us!

This means not waiting for your dream clients to magically appear...

..And instead taking the initiative, backed with intention for meeting your tribe exactly where they are, so there is no doubt in their mind they know just how committed you are to supporting them reaching their goals.

How to get good at self-promotion.

The good news is that self-promotion is a skill we can learn and get better at over time!

This is a skill that is available to everyone.

An important mindset shift can change the way we see self-promotion and help us develop our skills in an authentic and non-icky way.

Instead of viewing self-promotion as selling, view it as serving.

When we come from a place of service and how we can support other people to reach their highest potential we’re able to get out of our heads {and ditch our mean girl ego trying to pull us back into safety all the time} and instead, invite ease and flow into how we show up.

In a practical sense, what does this look like?

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How to self-promote with ease and flow.

Get clear and focus your mission.

When we’re led by our mission and ask: who am I here to serve? It becomes less about you and your ego that always shows up with an opinion.

Ask:

  • What are am I here to do?
  • How can I serve?
  • What support can I offer to help people reaching their highest potential?

Boost your confidence!

Clarity and confidence are the keys to showing up as our best self and instead of second guessing ourselves we’re excited to get out there and share it!

Let’s talk about some simple ways you can boost your confidence and start sharing your message with ease and flow:

INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY.

This is honestly the best investment you could make for your brand. Above getting a fancy website or expensive camera gear - 100% invest in some professional branded photography.

Not only will it help capture you in your best light, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand authentically and everything you stand for.

Visuals are incredibly powerful, allowing you to connect with your dream clients and position you in their minds as the person who can help them reach their goals.

Having some beautiful visuals will help you feel excited about sharing your message, fueling with you with confidence to show up and shine!

DRESS FOR IT!

What we wear has a direct impact on how good we feel. Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous and empowered and notice how much more confident you feel.

This is especially true if you’re going to events, client meetings and when you’re out meeting fellow boss ladies.

If you work from home, make the effort to get dressed into something that makes you feel good; along with doing your hair and make-up so you look like the boss you are!

Wear clothes that flatter your figure and make you feel like you run the place: show up and stand tall - you’ve got this!

GET YOUR BODY MOVING!

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your body moving! Not only does working out release those feel good endorphins, it fuels us with the energy we need to get out there and kick our goals!

Regular exercise helps us stay productive, focused and also helps boost our confidence - when we feel good {and look good!} we’re so much more motivated to get out there and do our thing.

In other words - fill up your cup first and then serve.

When you fill yourself up with foundational practices to support you showing up as your best self, you’re confidently able to show up; serve and shine!


Let me know in the comments - what is one thing you can do today to help you get more visible in your business?


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