• Emily

How a lack of Self-Promotion is holding you back

Self-promotion is a funny thing. We hope that our experiences/skills/business/career speak for themselves, but sadly we know that is not the case.

We’ve all been there. There’s been a great opportunity that has come up but for some reason we have held ourselves back. We think that other’s do it better than us, that people aren’t interested or we feel vulnerable at the thought of speaking up. Inadvertently and without meaning to, we are sabotaging our own success.

I read an interesting article from HBR on ‘Why don’t women self-promote as much as men?’ which spurred me thinking more about this topic. 33% of men rated their performance higher than equally performing women. So it seems like there is a huge gender gap with confidence being cited as the biggest driver holding women back from self-promoting.

Promoting ourselves and our business - whether that is at a networking event, as part of an annual appraisal, when you want a pay rise or to get more sales – is key to growth. How do people know about you, what you are about, what your values are etc unless you tell them? Sadly no-one is going to do that shouting and selling for you. It has to come from YOU.

Now this shouldn’t overwhelm or scare you and if it does then please don’t feel alone. We all go through the process of self-doubt and overthinking; and we end up saying nothing at the risk of saying something that we are 110% happy with.

Here are some reasons why self-promotion holds us back and some questions to ask yourself to dig deeper:

1. CONFIDENCE: You are scared to put yourself out there for fear of rejection

Question to ask yourself: What would you do if you weren’t scared?

2. UNSURE WHAT TO SAY: You don’t know how to describe yourself or what you do succinctly

Question to ask yourself: Write an elevator pitch about yourself and your job/business (see here for how to do this and here for how to communicate your story)

3. YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR VALUE (*spoiler* it’s HUGE!): You can’t see the great gift you are bringing to this world and therefore struggle to sell it/yourself

Question to ask yourself: what are your strengths or value that you/your business give to the world?

Hopefully you found those prompts helpful. I’d love to know any additional ones you have so please email me.

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