HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF SELF-PROMOTION

Do you feel hesitant to share links to your blog posts on your Facebook page, or even on LinkedIn? You don’t want to be that self-promotional. Right? You don’t want your friends and biz contacts to just think all you do is market. You don’t want to just be all sales all the time.

Listen, I totally get it.

For some reason one of my biggest fears when it came to self-promotion was a Facebook Public Figure Page. I’ve been active on Twitter and Instagram for years, but Facebook just felt SO much more official. Also all of my real life friends were on my Facebook page (and all of my business friends too). Why did it bother me SOOOOOOO much to invite the girl who sat behind me in 10th grade biology to like my public figure page? Or that cute guy from college who I had the biggest crush on? Or the lady I used to work with?

The longer I was afraid of it (and ultimately put off even publishing my public figure page), the more I made myself try to identify why it scared me so much. It’s not like I’m afraid to promote stuff. I speak years knocking on stranger’s doors during elections and even more years fundraising (aka asking people for money) for politicians. I was totally okay with promoting other people but ultimately I felt a bit shy when it was time to actually promote myself. Obviously, I did it. I published my Facebook public figure page (though I may or may not have held my hand over the side of the screen that showed people’s images as I invited everyone on my friend’s list to like my page – whatever it takes, right?).

So are you ready to put your fear of self-promotion behind you once and for all?

First things first: Believe in what you do and in yourself.

There’s something you need to truly understand though, about self-promotion and business: Successful entrepreneurs and business owners believe in their products, their services, their businesses, and definitely themselves. They hire employees who believe in what they sell. They find customers who believe in their products, their services, and their brand. Believing in you and what you do is obviously easier said than done, but it is 100% nonnegotiable. (And surrounding yourself with people who believe in you too? Well that totes doesn’t hurt either.)

Of course, know your services and your ideal client.

If you truly believe in what you’re doing, it can help people. And if it’s truly you, then you can sell it from a place of love. If you truly believe in yourself and whatever you’re selling to people (whether you have a product, service, or message to share), then selling to them is helping them.

This means you have to know who your ideal client is. If you know who you’re targeting, then you know what they want and you know what will they need and what will help you accomplish it.

Focus on the people; if you don’t believe in your benefit, look for what’s holding you back

Focusing on how many people you’re going to benefit. If you don’t think you’re going to benefit people, then you aren’t focusing in on the right thing quite yet.

If that’s the case, it’s time to stop and think about what might be holding you back, and what you need to do to get where you want to be.

What are you actually afraid of?

I fear judgement. I discovered this while sitting in a live mastermind when someone else described it as their struggle. And it’s amazing how freeing it can be when you discover what you’re actually afraid of.

It is hard to put yourself out there when it’s just your name on the biz. There are a few things that may run through your heads. We both know about that little voice that asks, “If I sell something will I have less time? Will I be successful or fail miserably? Will I look absolutely ridiculous?” These questions can repeat in your mind, so you keep postponing.

In my case, ultimately, I was afraid of judgment. That was the root of my problems regarding promoting myself, and specifically my fear of sharing my Facebook Public Figure Page.  The thing is judgment will happen.

It took me accepting that fear, embracing it, and ultimately, sharing the page to see that the fear was holding me back from being able to help people. Ultimately my desire to help women position themselves and discover their brand was bigger than my fear of judgement. That’s the lesson here: Passion can beat fear.

And because you know I couldn’t get through a post without mentioning planning – create a plan to succeed, including your promotional efforts.

Once you know what you’re afraid of, you can begin to create a plan that will force you to work regardless of that fear so you can embrace a little (or who are we kidding a lot) of self-promotion and build a successful brand. Write down a deadline in that fancy day planner of yours.

My evidence?

I wrote down the day I would share my Facebook public figure page. I wrote down what I had to do beforehand (aka make a somewhat cute cover photo). And then I did it. When I had an actual deadline, it helped take away excuses and I actually did it.

In the end, it comes back to the first point I tried to make. Just believe in you and your brand dreams can be your reality. If you don’t put yourself out there, nobody will ever know you’re there!

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