How do you get people to notice you, and to value what you offer – especially when the mere thought of self-promotion conjures feelings of awkwardness, self-doubt and inauthenticity?
These 5 simple ways can help you rid that clunkiness, and to adopt an authentic style of self-promotion that can consistently help you to get noticed – even when you’re not actively pursuing new opportunities.
1. Talk about what you love
When you talk about what you’re good at, you may appear calculated or worse, conceited. Talking about what you enjoy or are excited about, on the other hand, will usually showcase the same achievements while allowing you to relax and get personal. Think about your answer to “Why are you a good friend?” versus “What are the kinds of things you enjoy doing for your friends?” Even reading these two questions, you probably went from a pensive, thoughtful expression to a smile. You’ll do the same when talking about your accomplishments. When you talk about the things you love, you’ll naturally light up and show a more authentic side of yourself. To avoid sounding like a tall poppy, talk about your desire to do the work you love, rather than your aptitude for the role. For example, share what you loved about a specific project and role, and also how you hope to do more of that type of work in the future or how excited you are for a specific project or role that is coming up.
2. Share others’ praise
Make note of your accomplishments and all of the kind praise you’ve received from others. You’ll find that you receive more recognition and compliments than you think, and in your next networking meeting or interview, you can share not only what you’ve enjoyed, but also the fact that others appreciated your work as well. Share details of a recent project, why it was a success, and the feedback you received from others during the process. Let others promote your great work!
3. Pay it forward
You know those messages you’re saving? Start sending them, too. When you notice what others are doing well or appreciate a thoughtful or helpful act someone has done, share it. Too often we think nice thoughts about someone and never tell them. I recently received an email from a former colleague sharing that she kept a card I gave her in her laptop case because it made her smile whenever she saw it. She didn’t have to share that story, but she did and it absolutely made my day and reminded me how fantastic she is. How could you make someone’s day?
4. Start connecting
Really listen to others to see how you can support them. It might be something you can do yourself, but often it will be an introduction to someone else. Do you have a friend who is looking for a plumber and another friend who is a plumber? Connecting them and creating a mutually beneficial relationship means that you now have two people who will forever sing your praises for bringing them together. Make connections in a thoughtful way and check in to see how things are going.
5. Keep in touch
The real reason for self-promotion is to stay at the forefront of people’s minds when an opportunity arises. So make a point of keeping in touch. If you see an article that a friend or professional contact would appreciate, send it over. If a contact’s company wins an award, send a congratulatory note. Follow up in ways that make it easy for people to respond and don’t include a list of asks. That way when you do reach out to ask for something, people are used to hearing from you and see you as a person who continually provides value.
How did that happen? We’re at the end of a list of ideas to self-promote and there was no mention of shouting your achievements from the rooftops, bragging, name dropping, or stepping on other people’s toes. When the time comes and an opportunity is before you, you should absolutely boldly ask for what you want and deserve. Consistently promoting yourself in ways that feel authentic using the methods outlined here will make it a lot easier for people to say yes when you ask.
By Alyson Garrido
Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping people advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Learn more at www.alysongarrido.com.