You have all these talents and skills to offer but the fear of putting yourself out there is holding you back. If you are an introvert or just someone who is not used to talking about yourself, then promoting or marketing yourself can be quite a challenge.
A great example of this case is, well… me.
I have more than enough reasons to proudly and confidently promote myself: I have a website that I have worked hard for; I offer freelance writing services with a strong portfolio to support; and I have a variety of skills and experiences that are useful in the marketing industry. However, I just can’t seem to go out there to talk to people and message potential clients.
In my defense, I am an introvert with social anxiety. But honestly, is that good enough of an excuse?
If I want to bring people to my website and to have clients come to me for my writing services, then I need to learn how to market myself.
And learn I did.
How To Market and Promote Yourself
Know Your Personal Brand
Before you start promoting yourself to others, you must first learn to identify yourself – who you are and what you want to be known for. You cannot just say, “Oh, I am whoever you want me to be.” You are basically saying that you don’t have an identity.
You can start identifying your brand by first asking yourself, “What am I good at? What would I want to be known for?”. Are you a writer? A graphic designer? An entrepreneur? Do you want to be known for being a swift wordsmith? Do you want to be known for developing these groundbreaking apps?
Once you have identified who you are, introducing yourself will feel like a breeze. You will know what your strengths are and your weaknesses – what your limits are (because you do not have to say yes to everything), and things that you need to avoid. And the most important thing is that you won’t have to pretend or come up with an identity that is not you.
Now I ask you: Who are you?
Start With People You Know
Now that you have your brand or your “elevator pitch”, it is time to find people or potential clients to introduce yourself to. The thing is, you do not need to pressure yourself to immediately contact a big established company. It is important that you are comfortable enough with your pitch that you will eventually sound, feel, and look confident. I know how daunting it is as an introvert to do a task so big without practice or mental preparation.
You can start self-marketing or self-promoting to your friends, family members, or colleagues and your network will grow from there. Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.
Take Advantage of Email and Online Messaging
The good thing about today’s time? Technology and the internet. If you are still a bit intimidated by face-to-face interactions or interviews (don’t worry, you’ll get there!), then you must take full advantage of being behind your computer screen. Here is the chance to write out all the things that you can’t say out loud. Introverts have a special gift with written words so this is the opportunity to show off your skills. Go all out with your introduction (but be careful not to sound egoistic or arrogant). Most job applications usually start off with an email, anyways.
For fresh graduates, here are some valuable job search tips and strategies!
Put Yourself Online
The internet truly has made everything easier in terms of communication, news, awareness, and more. As an entrepreneur or job seeker, the internet is an open door for job searchers to find you and vice versa. You just need to put yourself on the web. Create a website wherein you can show off your portfolio. Start a blog. Create a Facebook page or a business account. Join Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups that are related to your niche. Upload a professional display photo and write an impressive bio.
Sounds scary? Yes, it does. But what you need to remember is it won’t be scary as long as you attract the right audience. Do not join random groups that are in no way related to what you are looking for. Do not accept messages if your gut tells you not to. Aside from that, you’re on your way to meeting your dream clients!
Test your Limits
Everything is going to be scary once you’ve decided that you want to market yourself. Being scared is normal but you must not use it as an excuse to expand your wings and limit yourself inside a box. If you will not test your limits, then you are hindering yourself from welcoming new opportunities.
In my case, I only market myself through emails and religiously avoid any applications that require phone calls or video interviews. That resulted in me to miss out on several dream jobs and opportunities. The saying “You will never know once you try” is especially true in this case. If I haven’t accepted that one phone interview, I will never know how easy the process is. I will never know that it is nowhere near as bad as I thought it to be.
Another way to test your limits is by attending to small networking events or small conference talks. Note that I said “small”. Again, you do not need to pressure yourself. Start with baby steps and you will see improvement from there.
Improve Your Mindset
One of the top culprits that hinder us from achieving the best version of ourselves is the self-limiting beliefs that have unconsciously become part of our mindset. Thoughts like, “I’m not good enough for that job position”, “I think I need more time before I apply”, “I do not have the expert knowledge for that” are exactly what limits us in reaching our maximum potential. Instead of growing, you are remaining stagnant. You do not improve nor move forward.
Your first step to achieving greatness is to actually believe that you are great. You are worth it. Change your mindset and improve the way you see yourself. Some great activities to improve your mindset is through journaling or daily affirmations.
Stay True, Stay You
Most people get so caught up in promoting themselves that they overdo it. They tend to pretend as if they are someone else just to get that particular job or opportunity. The thing is, if it’s not meant for you, it’s okay. There are greater things on their way to you. During conversations, you do not need to force yourself to answer questions you are not comfortable with. If you think you have limitations, then make them respect it. Why would you let yourself go through all that mental suffering, anyway?
Recharge if you need to recharge. Take a day off from looking at job boards if you need it. Do not lose yourself by promoting yourself too much. You are your biggest asset, so take care of yourself.
It is always important to stay patient and not rush things. This may sound overly cliche but good things will come to you. As long as you believe in your capabilities and do not lose sense of who you are, then you are on your way to much greater things. Good luck!
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