It can be hard to talk about yourself, and what you do well.
Tooting one’s own horn is simply not a comfortable activity for many to endeavor. However, if you are working in the gig economy, you must overcome this gut instinct to clam-up and learn how to talk about yourself and/or your products and services to get others excited about what you do. It is a required part of what you do!
The good news is that if you consider the upside to a little self-promotion, it definitely gets easier to present yourself in a professional manner without too much thought or effort.
Be the Ball, Danny
True passion and natural energy are very hard, if not impossible to fake. In the case of the gigging professional then, a passion for your craft and the energy you bring to it are very real sources of power to tap into and convey outward.
In most cases, your passion is what brought you to the world of gigging. So maybe explore that just a little more deliberately:
- What is your point of differentiation? You, as an experienced professional, understand the nuances of your niche, and why you answer a specific need. Smile that outward.
- How does that unique sales prop sound in your elevator pitch? Be able to quickly and neatly put a bow on what you do well, and don’t belabor the point. Get in, get out.
- How does it sound to someone who does not understand thing one about your industry? Think of this like a giant cold call. You need to inspire, educate and be sexy without being pushy.
Addressing these deceptively simple questions helps you to focus a message that can translate your value in any situation. Being quick, and non-bragging yet confident will always translate well for you.
Make…Make Your Future
No one likes to listen to a blowhard. A braggart may demand a room’s attention, but rarely will he capture or command it. A boisterous display of egotism is typically quickly forgotten, if not remembered by others with a bitter or sour aftertaste. Not the way you want to be considered or remembered, professionally.
So then, it seems pretty simple: to not be thought of as an ego-driven blowhard, just don’t do that kind of stuff, right?
Be confident, not cocky.
There is a clear difference between being cocky and having confidence. Confidence means you do not have anything to prove – you simply are sure of your actions because you have thought it though completely and have experience. Someone who is cocky is usually busy comparing himself to others, where a confident person will simply act in the way they feel best and be unconcerned with how it is considered.
Nothing is worse than someone shoving their agenda into every possible opening. There is definitely a time and place to talk about everything, so understand how this translates to your business. While it is perfectly acceptable to mention your business in normal conversations, it is not wise to make it the focus of every single discussion.
Soft sell, undersell, knowing when to sell.
How you sell yourself professionally is an area where you will definitely have to be cognizant of how you are coming across. Though it might seem to be at odds with your end goal, if you undersell yourself and your services, most people will appreciate that much more than a hard sell “I am the answer!” type of approach. You want to make people aware of what you do and that your services are available for hire, but you want to keep the actual sales pitch subtle until you have some articulated interest.
Ultimately, selling yourself without shame is easy when you truly believe in what you are doing. You will have a natural confidence, and it will show. You will be relevant and in demand.
While tooting one’s own horn is certainly not a comfortable activity for many people, it is an activity that you can learn to do well and benefit from. And as a self-motivated, independent operator, it is a specific promotional skillset you will need to master.