How much do you love promoting yourself? On a 1-10 scale, where 10 is highest, what ranking are you? Write it down and keep reading for a shift to boost your score.
A woman I met, who is starting a business , said, "I just don't like promoting myself." To her it's pushy, sleazy, imposing and not natural. So many solopreneurs, especially those in the helping professions and job seekers, feel this dislike of self-promotion. I used to feel that way about marketing and sometimes still do when it comes to follow-up with a prospect after a long silence or lack of response.
Here's a tool I use to overcome discomfort and fear. It's a bit of emotional intelligence applied to marketing! It works on the phone, in person, and in emails and proposals. I call it the "For the Sake of Mindset." Here's a hint... don't promote your Self!
Imagine a spectrum of extremes. Draw a horizontal line with arrowheads at both ends that looks something like this <-------------------->. At the far left write the word "SELF" and, at the far right, put the word "OTHERS."
Now, think about asking colleagues for referrals, posting an announcement about your services on Facebook or in an email to your network, or networking and telling others what you do. Notice: how does that feel?
Now, list all the ways you feel and think about promoting your SELF on the left. You might say it feels pushy, sleazy, hard, selfish (my favorite), self-serving, etc. Step outside yourself and observe your reactions. In this mindset, your business is all about you and getting new clients and money for YOU. A little icky? A little uncomfortable?
In truth, you are offering your services and something of value (you believe that, right?!!!) On the other side of the equation, you therefore deserve to receive something of value (money). This is an exchange of value. Yeah, so that's nice, but... if that doesn't do it for you, and at a deep emotional place, it may not be enough, then here's a tool that works wonders.
For the sake of... play with that phrase. Imagine a room filled with your favorite clients who are thrilled with your services. Listen to the praise they are giving you, the difference you've made in their lives and the results they achieved because of you. Notice how this feels.
Now go back to your Self/Other <-----------------> spectrum and fill in some thoughts and feelings under the OTHER column. You might list: helpful, open, giving, empowering, talented, loving, natural, generous, satisfied, fulfilled. We are usually great at doing things for others. It takes you out of your head and puts you in your heart, yes?
I want you to take your Self out of the formula! When you offer your services to someone, it's all about them. It's really not about you. You are like a conduit. Your talents and services pass through you to others. You do your work for the sake of others.
Now... it's time to experiment with shifting your mindset. Image a situation where you are promoting your services. Let's say you are casually chatting at a party or a networking event and someone asks what you do. As you tell them, imagine asking if they know someone you can help and ask for the sake of that person!
This is NOT for you. Really, ultimately, you are on this planet to be of SERVICE. You are telling the truth. This is about making a difference in the life of others. Can you feel the difference? This is how it feels to act from the inspiration of your mission... the outcomes you deliver, not the process.
From this mindset, when you write a newsletter or make a request for an introduction in email or on the phone, change your words to fit this mission! "Can you help connect me with ___________ (your target market and their problem) so these people can have the life/career they want?" "Please help me reach more people so they can have ________ (the results you deliver).
Ok, so let's reassess your mindset. On that same 1-10 scale, how much do you love promoting the outcomes you deliver for the sake of your target market?
Go forth and take your mission-inspired mindset out on the road!
EMAIL ME with your reactions to this perspective, especially after you go test it out! For the first 5 people who email me, I'm offering a 30-minute complimentary phone consultation to explore how we can bust through marketing obstacles like these.