As an entrepreneur you should be able to feel comfortable with the idea of self-promotion. After all, what they say is true, you are your own brand and being able to get out there and promote, promote, promote is essential. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t like to talk about their businesses and it’s something that I have often struggled with myself. I am much better about talking up and promoting my clients rather than my own business but have had to get over the fear. Here are some tips that I have found helpful.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
Don’t be modest about telling people about what you do and why it is so special. Confidence about your own product or service is absolutely mandatory. If you are a designer for example, wear your stuff – all the time! I can’t begin to tell you how many designers don’t wear their own product out to events or even go out to events in the first place. As an entrepreneur it is important that you love and promote your product or service because no one can sell it like you.
Get Out There
Go to industry events, networking events and join entrepreneur associations and groups. In-person promotion is necessary. While social networks like Twitter and Facebook can be catalysts for making connections, there is no substitute for an in person interaction. At the end of the day people do business with people they know and trust, so get out there and mingle. It’s all about building and maintaining relationships.
Staying current with all your promotion efforts is also curial. Update your blog on a regular basis with relevant and exciting content, engage on social media platforms and let people know what you are working on. Followers and fans like to know what is going on so let them know about a new service you are introducing, share some behind the scenes photos from your latest photo shoot, or ask them what they would like next from your brand. Remember, out of sight is out of mind so engage and keep things exciting for your customers.
Elaborate on the artistry, image, and story behind your business. The spirit behind your brand should permeate your product or service and should not be left to question. Find and explore tools that let you express this. This should be present in all everything you do from your website copy to the content you put out on Twitter and Facebook.
Don’t Forget About Your Pitch
I haven’t been to one entrepreneurship workshop, panel or business coaching session where the speaker hasn’t mentioned the importance of an “elevator pitch”. For the longest time, I put it off because I was a) completely terrified by the thought of having to speak about myself, my business and my qualifications and b) I hated the idea of sounding rehearsed and scripted when I spoke about what I do. Finally, after hearing about the importance of the elevator pitch over and over again, I gave in.
I realized that I didn’t have to follow a cookie-cuter template that made what I do sound unauthentic. I could create an elevator pitch that was passionate and spoke my truth. The important thing to remember when creating your pitch is to keep the ‘why you do what you do’ as the focal point. If you start from the inside and describe why you do what you do then the rest will just flow. If you are like me and cringe at the sound of the words elevator pitch, I will leave you with this. The one thing to keep in mind when creating your “elevator pitch” or what I like to call 15-second Why Pitch is to tell a story that illustrates what you do, how you help people and WHY you do it. Don’t be afraid to make it your own!