Starting a business or a freelancing career is certainly daunting. I mean, to get clients, you need to expose yourself to the world. You should let them know that you exist. But this vulnerability impedes you from moving forward.
Now, you are stunned because what will other people say? Will you sound too full of yourself? Will you offer great value to them? Will they gossip about your arrogance and spamming? Who the h*ck are you anyway? Are you even good enough?
This, my friend, is normal. You are currently experiencing the Fear of Self Promotion. And contrary to popular belief, not only does this affect introverts, but most extroverts are paralyzed with what we perceive the world will say. We all experienced this. And it is heavily related to imposter syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern where you doubt yourself and your capabilities even if you have accomplishments that will show your competence. It's the feeling that you are just lucky with your wins and you don't deserve any of it. The bothering inner reality that you’re just a walking fraud.
We need to understand ourselves to tackle the issue. We need to face the reality that we are good enough. And hopefully, move forward. And these are some tips to get over your fear of self-promotion.
The most fatal thing in marketing that you can do is not knowing what you have to offer. It's ignorance of your product. It's not that you feel self-doubt. It's just that you don't have a clear picture of what you want to show the world.
You must find exactly what you are advocating for. I don't mean in a rallying protestor kind of way. But for example, you are portraying a #GirlBoss freelancer, knowing that will confirm your identity (at least in social media) and what you are posting. You will gain the confidence in your self-promotions
Find your persona and passion and surely it will be easier to click that post button.
The best way to promote is looking like your not promoting at all. I know it's counter-intuitive. But it shows a natural vibe in your posts. One way to do this is thinking of self-expression rather than self-promotion.
Why not just express your authentic (but decent) self. Show your most natural self with a dash of your creativity. Worst case scenario, like art, if they don't appreciate it, then who cares? It just means that they are not in sync with your taste. And they can find other art to curate. No big deal.
You get to think for long what other people would say. This disabling exercise stops you from reaching your best potential. Well, this may sound harsh. But most people wouldn't care about you anyway.
The crowds that you feel will judge you often times don't exist. There will be no "Delete your FB" campaigns against you. Worst case scenario, those people who will hate your guts regardless wouldn't dwell that much on your posts. At the most, if they are decent human beings, they might just snooze you on Facebook.
So please. Just get over yourself.
If you have haters (and again, if you're a decent human being), most likely you will have people who will like your posts. Focus on the people who actually care.
Find the people who will support you every step of the way. Pretty much like a support group of fellow entrepreneurs, business owners, or maybe find a mentor. Even celebrities have haters. But they're still influential because they built their following from the people who actually give a damn.
So stop thinking about the negative ones and again focus on the people who actually care. We are not saying to completely shut off constructive criticism. It is important to tune-up your self-promotion game. Just don't get too affected by it.
And speaking of tuning up, you should provide value to your audience. Some people may hate you, but other people will be thankful that they have found your website or product.
Always ask yourself, what am I contributing to my audience? How is my promotion helping them? Know that the answer to that question is the thing they are missing out if you succumb to your fears.
You’re just sharing anyway without expectation. If they don't react, nothing will happen. But if they do, then you just helped one soul with your actions.
So speak up and help people with your advocacy.
But this is all easier said than done. It may be so ingrained in your psyche that you can't change instantly. Yes, this fear won't go away overnight. But instead of wallowing in the corner, you can try self-affirmation techniques.
Self-Affirmations are strong statements that can help you change your thinking. Input the things you want to become even if you feel like you're lying. It's something like:
"I am a talented blogger that will touch the lives of other people. I am competent enough to show the world my work."
It should be on the present tense as your body doesn't have a concept of time. It can be short or long, dramatic or simple. What's important is that you utter something you really want to happen.
Read or recite these affirmations at least once per day. And most likely, it will overtake your negative self-talk and bring you to a better version of yourself.
With that, I hope we all promote our endeavors to ultimately help people with theirs. Good luck!