Self-advertising is a critical part of any self-employed business owner. For many, it can be the most dreaded component. Self-marketing and promotion requires networking and, essentially, a strong capability to sell one’s skills. A large majority of people find sales unappealing or difficult. With a shift of thought and a few simple steps, however, one can gain the confidence to market themselves and gain new clients and customers.
You Have to Fake it to Make it?
The first step to succeeding in self-promotion is to fake it. Faking the confidence to put oneself out there and gain contacts can turn into authentic confidence, when practiced regularly. When potential customers and clients respond positively to being handed a business card, it can give a natural confidence boost and encourage further networking opportunities. Handing business cards to everyone one meets is a sure-fire way to gain confidence and business. Engage in small talk, even if it doesn’t feel natural. Friendliness, professionalism, and a warm smile can go a long way.
Put Your Best Online Foot Forward
Marketing online is one of the best and easiest ways to gain confidence. Online marketing opens doors to potential business relationships internationally. With only a small investment of time, one can reach out to a large number of potential customers by creating profiles on forums, social networking sites, job boards, and classified ads. It is much easier to gain exposure and create confidence online. There is no direct face-to-face self-advertisement needed, so one can focus on marketing their expertise and trade instead of being charming.
Post advertisements offering services on classified ads and with online local newspapers. Becoming a regular poster and responder on forums pertaining to the business model is a great way to gain trust and repeat customers. Network and advertise a business to family and friends on social network sites. The great thing about online networking is that it has a snowball effect. Users interested in utilizing one’s business pass the information along to others interested in the same business model, and word spreads. This generates buzz and confidence for the business owner with each new transaction that is gained.
Putting Pride on the Shelf: Be an Apprentice
Sometimes the best way to gain confidence in self-marketing is to speak with successful business owners in the community who are in the same trade. Essentially, one is conversing with the competition. The great thing about scheduling a meeting with a successful fellow tradesman is that one can be humbled to learn the trade secrets of the industry’s best. Advertising techniques, tips, tricks, and ethical business practices that one may not have thought of in interviewing or interning with a fellow business owner can prove invaluable in one’s own business.
Self-promotion does not have to be monotonous or unpleasant. Thinking of marketing oneself as fun and making a game out of it can produce immeasurable success. It is vital to one’s success in business, so learning to make it fun, faking the confidence, and working with community resources can result in financial business success.