Why is it that some folks in your industry end up with book deals, TV shows, and can charge exorbitant amounts of money for products + services, yet you’re still left in the dust chasing down every single customer?
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to art of business bragging.
The people who get ahead are the people that sing their own praises on a regular basis. Others turn into shrinking violets at the thought of talking up their gifts. They recoil in fear that the mere thought of “bragging” will have customers running for the hills.
Does this sound like you?
Houston, we have a problem.
If you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will.
So, here are three simple ways to toot your own horn without feeling like a schmuck.
Brag about your Passions
Do you roll your eyes at the thought of having to listen to someone droning on and on about how wonderful they are?
But I’m always lit up by someone that speaks enthusiastically about his or her passions.
Check out these scenarios:
OMG Sally, I’m such an amazingly creative person. I mean, I’m THAT good. I can out-write and out-perform any other business woman out there. The media adores me and tell me so on a regular basis. The last networking meeting I attended, people were literally dying to talk to me – but I don’t have time to talk to all of them. I don’t waste time on people that aren’t on my level, ya know? I’m only going to talk to people that can help me get further in my career.
OMG Sally, I just LOVE being able to use creativity in my business. When I have a new client that wants to pitch the media, I get those warm fuzzies of excitement bubbling in my belly. Little kernels of ideas go off like popcorn in my brain and the excitement is palpable.
So which is the cool brag and which is the icky brag?
I’m sure you’ve guessed #2 is the “right” way to brag. Notice that the second brag allows you to talk about your strengths, but turns the focus on what you can do for your customer.
The first brag is all about the “bragger” and even goes so far as to put other people down. Sadly, brag #1 is from an actual conversation I had a few years ago at a networking meeting.
I faked a stomachache to get out of it.
Tell a Hero Story
When you watch a movie – who do you root for?
I bet it’s the underdog.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely been an underdog at some point. Maybe you’re even one right now.
And if you’re like me, you’ve probably made some massive screw-ups that taught you a really good life lesson. Maybe this failure even led to business success.
Telling hero stories is a great way to illustrate how you overcame a specific problem. Your customers can learn from your solution and get to know you a little better along the way.
Your customers and the media can root and cheer for you as you pull yourself out of the dank recesses into a stunningly good situation.
Hero stories work well on your About Me page, in press pitches (think O Magazine’s Live Your Best Life section), and in blog posts. For an example, check out my own About Me page where I discuss some of my worst business foibles.
Show Off Your Knowledge
Bragging with useful content is a great way to showcase your expertise without having to provide your own kudos. Use your blog or social media profiles to dish out clever tips. Hit up LinkedIn groups or the “answers” section and help someone out. Leave thoughtful comments on blogs. Better yet, offer to write a guest post for one of those blogs.
People will be wowed by your smarty-pants advice. And you didn’t have to say a single word about your killer business prowess.
TAKE ACTION: Full bragging rights allowed! Toot your own horn right here on this blog. Leave a comment about your one secret weapon, ninja skill that makes you totally awesome-sauce.
Go ahead, don’t be shy.