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How do you self-promote in hard times?

I’m so pleased to offer up a dear friend and colleague to you all today. Bonnie Marcus, Women’s Business Coach Extraordinaire, is taking the healm with this fantastic guest post. As we’re faced with a deluge of grim news, Bonnie takes us back to the heart of the matter, pumps us up and sends us out to do what we do best, what we’re meant to do. Enjoy…(and make sure to check out Bonnie’s blog).

Promote Yourself with Passion and Confidence

Why is self promotion so difficult for us? The fact is that we just don’t feel comfortable “bragging” about ourselves and so we often come up short when we attempt to promote ourselves. Because we are not comfortable in the way we are promoting ourselves, we are also less effective.

So is there a way to be effective and feel comfortable when we sell ourselves and our services?

Here’s the GOOD NEWS!  Yes, there is a way to effectively promote yourself and feel comfortable doing it.
Here are some statements to consider:

  • People respond to passion and excitement
  • People respond when you are authentic and sincere
  • People like to hear stories

When you craft your message to be more personal and more passionate, people respond in a positive way. Wouldn’t you rather hear someone speak with excitement about themselves and their profession and how they got started in business than hear another awkward formal elevator pitch? Do you tend to tune out those elevator speeches after a while?
It is possible to create a message with such passion and sincerity that no one will be able to tune you out. Your message is too compelling to ignore.

Tap into your passion and purpose and craft a message to promote yourself and your services. Tell a story. Make it conversational.

Here is an example of a passion and purpose statement:

Selling has always been one of my passions. In my 25 years of corporate experience, I have held many sales positions and delivered sales training programs. Sales training programs are great. They help people to know what to do during a sales call; how to use the right questions, how to close the sale, how to talk about features and benefits, all of which are worthwhile.

But none of the sales programs focus on what needs to happen first. What inner work is necessary before you start the process or pick up the phone? What work is necessary to get over your fears and limiting beliefs that are holding you back from promoting yourself and your business? I have found over and over again that this is an issue with many talented people. They have so much to offer yet are hesitant to promote themselves.

As a certified business coach, I assist people with this inner work and I am so excited when I help someone overcome these barriers and successfully promote themselves and grow their businesses.

Now, what do you love about what you do? What is your purpose? Think about the above questions and take a few minutes to compose your message. Read it out loud.

After you’ve read it, if you say to yourself, “so what”, then start over. You should feel the energy when you read it.

Let this be an ongoing exercise. Continually review your message and modify or add to it to keep it exciting and interesting. Practice saying it out loud until you’re comfortable. Practice saying it to others. Note their reaction. Put all your energy and passion into the content and delivery.

After all, this is YOUR story. No one else has this story. It’s your unique look at the passion and purpose in what you do.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • I really enjoyed this post. I think sometimes we all struggle with self-promotion because we don’t want to seem ‘to full of ourselves’ in front of others.

    However, I have always noticed that when there’s passion in my voice and I’m expressing why I LOVE what I do, that others tend to really pay attention to what I’m saying. I usually hear, “Wow! I could feel your passion coming across in your words. That is so exciting. Tell me more.”

    I really prefer a more natural statement with purpose & passion over a canned sales pitch or elevator speech.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Ahhh…yes, it’s the ultimate catch-22 – especially for women – we’re not supposed to talk about ourselves with such confidence because we’ll be seen as too agressive – BOLLICKS!!!
    Thanks for stopping by, PRIIA Cosmetics.

  • This is a great post – thank you! As a business owner with products named after myself I do find it awkward at times to talk about myself etc. We can forget that people want to see us be successful and do like hearing our “how we got started” or “why we do what we do” stories! I will use your post as inspiration for myself and members of my networking group!

  • Paula G says:

    Great post. So much of the foundation of the comfortable in your own skin coaching I do with women is predicated on this inner and outer approach. Whether you are standing up for yourself as a business owner, employee, or in your personal life, you first need to own it & be jazzed on the inside if you expect to see outer results and have it be aligned with who you are & what you really want.

    People respond when you speak from your heart and walk your talk.

  • --Deb says:

    I’m obviously terrible at self-promoting, despite my absolute belief that I have valuable skills that people could be using. Self-confidence is never really one of my problems. My problem dates back to nasty school yard experiences and a resolution that if the nasty kids didn’t realize what a wonderful person I was, it was their loss. The hard part now is to accept that I need to TELL them and make them LISTEN (the idiots).

    But–doing what I love? Did you see the holiday card I put together for my day job? That was really fun.

  • Julie Roads says:

    I did see it – and I think it’s great – so follow that passion. I can understand your situation – I have felt that, but then I can never ever keep my mouth shut – I tell everyone and MAKE them listen. LOL

  • --Deb says:

    Hey, I enjoy the graphic design thing, too (grin). No training, though, but I do love playing with InDesign!

  • Sandra Foyt says:

    Good point! When you’re sharing whatever is important to you, self-promotion follows naturally. That’s why creating a mission statement should always be one of a blogger’s first goals.

  • Anne Mayhew says:

    Thank you for your post! It makes the creative juices flow! I love the exercise you suggested and will continue to use it!

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