I used to feel uncomfortable when talking about my work. I thought it came off arrogant and would drive people away. Once I dabbled in entrepreneurship, I quickly realized that self-promotion is part of the deal. You have to be prepared to talk about yourself and what you do to get people interested. Whether you’re a freelancer, a business owner or a serial side hustler, self-promotion is crucial to attracting clients, and ultimately, making sales.
That said, it doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly become comfortable doing it. It took me a while to get used to it, but doing that has been a game-changer for my side hustles. If you can relate in any way, use these tips from copywriting expert Laura Belgray to overcome the fear of self-promotion for good:
Find friends who “Get It”
Build an inner circle of fellow entrepreneurs, business owners or self-development geeks who will support you (in the form of likes and comments) and understand your greater purpose when you post something that might strike other people as boastful.
Get over yourself
Chances are, you think people will judge you because you spend too much time inside your head, which can have you over-analyzing. It may sound harsh, but most people won’t care about it as much as you imagine they will. Even if they don’t like your pitch or a social post, they likely won’t be dwelling on it for more than a minute. Unless your language or behavior provokes them, they’ll quickly forget about it and move on.
Provide value to your target audience
When you’re offering something people want, you go from selling to actually serving your customers. Once you do your research and find your niche, tell yourself you’ll be solving someone’s problem by talking about your product instead of annoying them. If they were to say, “I’m so glad I found out about you. You helped me to ______,” what would be in the blank? Write it down. That’s exactly what they’ll be missing out on if you DON’T put yourself out there.
Focus on the people who care
Think of a celebrity, friend, or any “it person” in your field whose self-promotion has annoyed people – even you – or has been criticized or mocked. (If none comes to mind, think of Gwynneth Paltrow.) Did people rolling their eyes affect that person’s success one way or the other? Should it have stopped them from putting themselves out there? If the answer is “No,” then it’s No for you, too. You can’t make everyone like you (if you’re trying to, you should stop it right now), but you can focus on the people who care and build with them. You’ll be a lot more productive and make real progress that way.
This article was written by Shelcy V. Joseph from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.