|'Banner Girl' promoting a bakery shop - note the loaf of bread hat!|
I wish I had a buck for every time someone clever I meet has told me that they are not good at self promotion, I would be very happy.
Unwillingness toward self promotion is real and present threat to the success of any business venture. And I suspect, sometimes not the real issue.
For any business owner who is suffering from the symptoms of shyness when it comes to self promotion, perhaps it is worth stepping back a bit and taking another look at the picture.
Starting with this.
You are not your business. Your business is not you.
Or at least it shouldn't be.
While many small businesses operate as though they are the person. the reality is that no business can flourish when it is held back by the owner. Thinking that you and the business are one and the same is definitely holding back your business.
Nobody can do all things that need doing. And certainly not do them well enough that they need to be done to as a standard from which your business needs to operate. That's not just the magic thing that you do but also the dreary stuff. The account keeping, the documentation, the quoting, the follow-up, the customer service, the marketing, the styling of the business premises or marketing materials, the design work, the content generation, the online channel development, the sales training, the delivery, the purchasing, the legal compliance, the HR management...Or any of the other things that need to be done for the business to operate effectively, and not just limp along as best it can with you the centre of the universe.
Work Out What Only You Can Do
Some areas of the business can be done by anyone. Other aspects can only be done by you. When you spend your time doing the things that anyone can do, you are not available to do that most essential thing within the business that it needs - because you are off doing marginally useful things that could readily be done by someone else - and probably someone cheaper to employ and more capable in that role.
Work Out How To Best Do It
Every role in a business needs to be documented and when all the other jobs are done, then remember to document what it is that only you can do - and commit to doing it.
Build A Team
Watch any of the old rock bands that are still around. What you see is that sharing the load and having access to more skills that complement what one in the band does, makes for a better product. There is indeed more than the sum of the parts and when all come together what they produce is greater than they could manage on their own. That's powerful. Use it.
A Great Manager
What else do good old Rockers have in their favour? A good manager. For many a good manager made the difference between having any success at all, or being just another band that never made it.
The manager's job is to get the best deals, make the arrangements and take care of the backroom stuff that is their expertise and probably not yours. They find the opportunities to get the band seen and they arrange for those who matter to hear about you. They promote you like you never would yourself and you get to just front and do your thing that you do best.
And the manager can deal with those who think you will work for them as a freebie. Not you.
By expanding your view of what your business is, you empower yourself to focus on your strengths and gain additional brainpower and expertise to work out the puzzle to change what you have not been able to do alone, into a solution that will work and free you to focus on what you really should be doing.
Promoting your business.
Your problem that you thought was being bad at self promotion? Is really lack of a defined and marketable product.
Or perhaps more importantly - putting the system into place that will allow customers who need what you do, to most easily find you, and buy.
You'd want to promote that, for sure.
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