Promoting yourself confidently without showing off
The other day, I was on Twitter reading the bios of some new people I’m following. One woman’s first words were “Phenomenal xxx talent” which stopped me in my tracks. Ouch!
I thought her unfortunate choice of words made her sound insincere as well as desperate to stand out. A ‘look at me’ message can be perceived in much the same way as an email or social media message typed in capital letters.
Although using strong words to describe yourself may be acceptable in some business cultures, many women prefer to let their actions speak for themselves.
We wouldn’t necessarily all use words like phenomenal or exceptional, or even ‘passionate’. We fear that saying what people might want to hear means taking a big risk.
Surely they won’t believe and trust us?
The trouble is, the reader you’ve never met in person may give you but a few seconds of their time. You may never get a second chance if your key message and bio are too modest, tame and just like all the others.
Does it seem almost impossible to sell yourself in an instant and with authenticity?
Of course you don’t want to feel like you’re lying. Whatever you say has to feel genuine to be convincing.
If modesty is part of who you are, rest assured that it will come across in your writing, podcasts or videos. As long as people take the time to find out!
So what words can you use to help you make an impact?
First of all, take a look at how you describe what makes you special, unique, different — think of it as your unique selling point if you like.
Do you talk about it? Does it feature in your bios and signatures?
If not then you’re not yet communicating the essence of you. Always remember that a label such as coach, accountant, photographer, lawyer, is just one tiny part of who we are!
One of my clients once told me that I have a real talent for seeing solutions others don’t see and that I get complex situations quickly. I now use her words (rather than my own version of her words) in my full-length introductions. Her words seem to be ‘amplifying’ my messages far better than mine could ever have done.
As it is often easier for an outsider to think of appropriate words that describe your unique talent, here’s a simple tip: why not ask a colleague who knows you well to describe it instead?
You could even do this exercise for each other! That way you will start to describe yourself how others see you, giving your message a high level of authenticity.
The role of dressing up
Consider this: whilst you may be making an effort to look nice, you’re not changing the person underneath the pretty outfit, are you?!
So remember, promoting yourself online requires a little dressing up too. Amplifying your message will help your readers as it will help you to still be the authentic ‘you’, even if you use slightly unfamiliar words to sell what you do.
But the real beauty of this simple exercise lies in its deeper effect — the positive effect on your confidence levels as you improve how you promote yourself online.
About Ute Wieczorek-King:
Ute is a UK-based German business mentor, trainer and blogger who inspires passionate midlife women to become visible and focus on what really matters in their micro-business.
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