We all know we’re supposed to be ‘out there’, building a personal brand, marketing ourselves and selling our strengths to our target market. But many of us aren’t doing anything about it. And it’s often not laziness, lack of know-how or a shortage of time that holds us back, but fear.
Marketing yourself can be extremely challenging and many people find it daunting. It’s pretty normal to be scared of marketing yourself. But the opportunities that successful personal marketing can provide in terms of career growth definitely worth it, whether you’re looking for a new job, want to secure a promotion, hoping to become known as an expert in your field or simply looking to become more visible in your workplace.
Here are some helpful steps in overcoming the fear of marketing yourself:
Pinpoint your fears. Ask what exactly it is you’re scared will happen if you take the risk of “putting yourself out there”. For example, perhaps you worry that you’ll end up with more work than you can manage if your marketing is successful. I often ask myself “what is the worst that can happen”? Then I think about how I would handle the situation if it did arise. A sense of being prepared for whatever may come will often help you to overcome your fear of getting started.
Build a positivity pinboard. Include compliments you’ve received, thank you notes, a list of your strengths and so on. Reflecting on your good work can help encourage your marketing activities and boost your self-confidence.
Get professional advice. Sometimes getting an alternative perspective can help you move forward, see where your gaps are and identify the strengths you can play to. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or part of a large business, you can benefit from an external perspective on your personal brand and your company brand, so consider bouncing your ideas off of a marketing professional.
Partner up. Find someone else looking to build his or her personal brand and market it, and form a “buddy” relationship. By having someone else to talk to about your marketing initiatives, you can each offer one another a means of support. You give each other fresh perspective, new ideas and you build accountability.
IMAGE: Khurram Irshad Chattha. Wikimedia Creative Commons