selling yourself short
When I’m running out the door to a big day, I can guarantee my wonderful boy’s voice will be ringing in my ears saying “you rock the mostest” and when I get in, he’ll ask how things went. My typical answer goes a bit like this: “it was ok…..I forgot to say this bit…..I wish I’d do this that way….someone made this comment….but it was ok” and you know what his response is? “Sarae, you’re really great at what you do. I’m sure it was amaaaazing from your client’s/clients’ point of view”. Yep I drive him slightly mad selling myself short.
At networking or training events, I happily share my business purpose and the range of different services it encompasses. I’m far less comfortable saying my style is unique, my clients find real personal and professional benefits in working with me and I am worth way more than every pound or euro I charge.
Hmmmm why is that? It’s the truth. I do give my clients great, memorable, life enhancing experiences. You might challenge me and say I fear “being found out” or that I feel like an impostor. Yep, that could be a reason; it’s not mine (I genuinely believe I’m good at what I do and I love growing my abilities further). Or perhaps I’m a bit introverted or uncomfortable sharing things that are dear and important to me. Again, not my reasons.
For me, there’s this little voice that says nice people don’t show off or brag about themselves. Arrogance and inflated egos are real turn-offs to me and qualities I hope never to demonstrate.
I hear people selling themselves short fairly often. I’m left wondering do they even notice they’re doing it and what is it doing to their self esteem, belief and confidence. Do you find yourself doing this too? At work? On dates? At interviews? During appraisals? With friends or colleagues? Yikes. This could have a massive impact on you leading the life you want.
Here’s my way to marketing and selling yourself in a balanced, honest, authentic way:
1) Answer these questions honestly:
- Your name (Are you’re a Rebecca, Bexs, Becky, Becca or even which with whom?)
- Your expertise (Mine are Coach, Trainer and Pilates Instructor)
- Your specialisms (I work with people who want to change their life for the better AND I do it in an energetic, empathetic way)
- Your unique factor (A story, example, fact or interesting “hook” to aid their memory or build their curiosity)
- Your “What’s in it for you” factor (why they should want to work/be/share/do with you)
2) Now ask a few trusted friends, colleagues, mentors, clients…..anyone who’s opinion you respect…..to answer questions b-e for you without sharing yours first. (You can do this anonymously via online tools like typeform or survey monkey.)
3) Compare both versions and spot any differences. (Yes you can cringe a little here if it helpsJ)
4) Refine to create a version that accurate describes you in all your true glory.
5) Then get out there and use it, share it, upload it, say it with a smile, your shoulders back and head held high.
You might take this to form a verbal introduction (elevator or 60 second pitch) or your summary and headline on LinkedIn. You might discover the keywords for your SEO or your tag line. Another approach to this outside of work and business, could be to tweak the above questions for a online dating profile. Switching b and c to:
- Your best qualities and personality traits
- Your favourite activities
This week, listen out and try to catch when you sell yourself short. Does it happen in similar situations or is it a consistent “thing” for you? Try out the little exercise and share in the comments your new approach to marketing yourself without selling yourself short.
If you know someone who does this and you want to help them, please feel free to share this page with them.
Robert • April 14, 2014
Love the simple approach to create clarity in the mind of the coach/trainer about what they do and how they go about it, thank you for sharing.
Sarae • April 14, 2014
Happy to help – works for all sorts of peeps. Ask your clients, coachees or participants to do it as a homework inquiry piece – changes mindsets, changes their frame of reference and gives new evidence to a belief.
Daniela • September 25, 2014
Not going to lie…really love the pic on this post. Haha 🙂 And the message it really helpful. I like the part about the hook….