The concept of ‘selling’ yourself can make many of us feel quite uncomfortable, even those who are very confident, as it doesn’t necessarily come naturally. We don’t like to think of ourselves as too ‘self-promoting’, we’re afraid we may come across as arrogant, maybe a little selfish or even narcissistic.
HOWEVER, not only is self-promotion nothing to be ashamed of, but we all, at some point in our lives, will need to do it for the sake of our careers, whether it’s to find a new job or successfully change career, or whether it’s to secure that promotion we’ve been wanting or that pay rise.
Here are some tips to help you gain more confidence and become more comfortable in selling-yourself, you never know where it might lead you and it could turn out quite life-changing:
It’s a misconception that self-selling is really just talking about yourself a lot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Selling and marketing is all about making something look attractive to the target customer and few things are less attractive than someone who is constantly all about ‘me, me, me’ and who doesn’t stop to listen to what anyone else has to say. What is attractive and interested though is doing this instead:
Practice consistency in your words and your actions. It's much easier to sell something that's a strong, consistent brand. That's why even the biggest companies are always brand-conscious, they are the most recognizable and therefore the most attractive to buyers. To ‘brand yourself’, think like a Nike or an Apple:
Just as a company shapes and designs new products to present to market, you must too. What’s your product? It’s you! This may feel a little odd, but it needn’t do, it simply starts with getting to know yourself better. Just like a good salesperson will know their product inside out, so must you:
Anyone who ever sells anything knows the price of it, knows its value. Get to know what your market value really is by getting a sense of the going rate for the role that you do:
You’re going to increase your own value if you have more skills and training to offer. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a battery-operated product, then having to buy the batteries separately! If the batteries are already included, then the product already feels of more value. An employer looking at your CV will recognise the value you bring and the effort that you’ve put in to yourself:
Research the organisation or industry you want to work in or the business area within your company you want to move to.
If you’re looking for a new role then gather insights from companies you’re interested in:
If you’re seeking a promotion or a transfer in your current company:
This is a short, snappy statement about who you are and what you can bring to an organisation. Useful for networking events, introductions, leaving a voicemail perhaps, giving a speech in front of people you don’t know, you may even use it when you find yourself in a lift with your CEO! It only needs to be 30-60 seconds, maximum! Memorise it so it trips off the tongue. Make sure that you include the following as you want to make it memorable:
Being able to sell yourself on paper is hugely important, your CV and your LinkedIn profile are often the main vehicle for showcasing your talents. These are the tools that invite people towards wanting to connect with you and meet with you.
Everyone loves a good quality product so perform quality control on yourself by making sure your standards don’t slip in your current job. It’s hard when you’ve made the decision to leave a role, you just want to focus entirely on finding that new position, but don’t neglect your work duties as it helps keep your confidence levels high and keeps you convinced of your own value!
It’s all about networking!! You want to meet the right people and get yourself known. The best place to do that right now is LinkedIn!