You pour your heart and soul into building your business. You are on your own and you work your socks off to meet the needs of your clients and make a positive impact on your community. But, when it comes to the self-promotion part, you are in a fight — with yourself. Whenever you put out ‘salesy’ content or consider giving talks at events — you feel like you’re ‘tooting your own horn’ too loudly, or even that you are being selfish or showing off.
As those inner voices get louder, you start ‘self squashing’ which leads to you holding back from showing up to share!
If you’re a shy entrepreneur who struggles with the idea of self-promotion, fear not! There are plenty of ways to boost your small business visibility without feeling like you’re being a show-off.
By the way — you are not alone!
Here are some down-to-earth tips to help you reframe your fear of marketing, become more visible and grow your business with joyful unsquashed confidence.
Share Your Authentic Story
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience on a personal level. Share your journey, your struggles, your successes, and your values in an authentic way. People love stories that are relatable and genuine. Be yourself, and let your personality shine through. When you share your story, you’re not showing off; you’re simply creating a connection with your audience and building trust.
You don’t have to open up an entire cupboard of skeletons or wear your heart all over your sleeve — that could backfire.
Weave your story in to content that is relevant and resonant. I call this ‘vulnerability weaving’.
Focus on Your Customers
Instead of talking about how great your business is, focus on your customers. Highlight the problems your product or service solves and the benefits it provides. Share testimonials and success stories from satisfied customers.
By showcasing the positive impact you’re making on people’s lives, you’re not being selfish; you’re demonstrating the value you provide and building social proof.
Collaborate with Others
Collaboration is a powerful way to boost your visibility without feeling like you’re showing off. Partner with complementary businesses or influencers in your industry to co-create content, host events, or offer joint promotions.
Collaboration not only helps you reach a wider audience but also allows you to tap into the expertise and resources of others, creating a win-win situation.
Be Generous with Your Knowledge
Sharing your knowledge and expertise can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain visibility.
Create valuable content such as blog posts, videos, or social media posts that offer practical tips, insights, or advice related to your business or industry. Be generous with your knowledge and genuinely help others without expecting anything in return.
When you provide value, you’re not being selfish; you’re positioning yourself as an authority and building trust with your audience.
Engage with Your Community
Building a community around your business can be a powerful way to increase your visibility. Engage with your audience on social media, respond to comments and messages, and participate in relevant discussions. Attend local events, join networking groups, or volunteer for causes you care about.
By genuinely connecting with your community, you’re not showing off; you’re building meaningful relationships and creating a positive impact.
Leverage Online Tools
In today’s digital age, there are plenty of online tools that can help you increase your visibility without feeling like you’re being a show-off.
Use social media platforms to share updates, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and client stories. Create a blog to showcase your expertise and share valuable content. Utilize email marketing to stay connected with your audience and share updates.
There are numerous tools and platforms available that can help you amplify your message and reach a wider audience. Be consistent — which is not the same as ‘shouty showy’!
Stay Authentic and True to Your Values
Finally, remember to stay true to yourself and your values. Authenticity is key in building a strong brand and establishing trust with your audience. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or follow trends just for the sake of visibility.
Be genuine, be honest, and be consistent in your messaging and actions. When you’re authentic, you’re not being selfish; you’re generously showing up to share.
Finally finally — there is nothing wrong with the word ‘authentic’- as long as you are being authentically authentic!
Brainstorming unique value and spotting the ‘should trap’ squashers is one of the things create resources on and explore with clients.
I also explore inner barriers — self-inflicted ‘self-squashing’ traps, in my book ‘The Mystery of the Squashed Self’ and my TEDx talk — ‘Beware the Self Squashing Prophecy’.