photo via kaboompics.com
Before we dive in, I think you should know that I’m still a work in progress when it comes to this topic! I do NOT love talking about myself. I hide from attention as much as possible while letting my outgoing husband and sister talk for me. But that’s not how you grow a business, so below you’ll find a few tips to feel really confident sharing your product or service.
Or at least faking confidence. That’s an option, too. Let me add that to the list below 🙂
Believe in your product!
Believing in your product or service will solve the majority of your confidence problems. The reason we don’t want to tell everyone how great things are? We honestly don’t believe we’re that great.
A few reasons for that?
Maybe you follow a lot of people in your industry online. When everyone you listen to is an expert in your field, you probably feel like the loser. BUT every now and then I find a normal person who knows nothing about marketing, and they’re in awe of my knowledge. Things I read more than once a day, they have never heard before. The majority of people (including the actually people you’re trying to reach) are not experts in your field. You get to tell them how good you are at it.
Maybe you had a few bad reviews. We all mess up sometimes, or we have a client who just won’t be pleased with anything. Save the good reviews – learn from the bad ones. There’s always something to learn from doing a bad job (even if that’s just “I shouldn’t have given that person my cell phone number). Keep a folder of the messages saying “YOU’RE THE BEST,” because you need to remember that.
Or maybe you don’t have a supportive family. There are a lot of reasons we’re not confident.
But if your product changes lives (makes their lives better, gives peace of mind, delights, distracts, grows), you should be excited to tell people about it.
Share REAL stories!
Ok – don’t want to talk about yourself? Talk about your clients! This is kind of hard for me because I sign a lot of NDAs, but the best thing is to tell someone else’s story instead of your own.
Share how your product helped their business grow or made them more productive or kept them safe.
Obviously, you’re also saying that you’re good at your job. But it’s a little easier because it’s about them.
Solve REAL problems
This goes along with the two above. Demonstrate how your product or service solves a real problem for our clients, and they’ll see how it works in their own lives.
Also target the emotional problems, not just the physical problem your product solves. Even the most logical humans make decisions emotionally first and then back up their choices with reason. So explain the emotional side of the product — peace, more free time, less stress — and then give them the data and evidence, etc. that justifies the purchase
Don’t expect everyone to understand
Unfortunately, most people don’t understand owning your own business. As a freelancer/ project-based business owner, some friends try to patch together the various companies I’ve worked for like I work multiple part-time jobs. Giving examples doesn’t really help because they don’t understand the process. Sometimes comparing myself to a consultant works, because they’ve had consultants in the office before.
Other family members may think you’re home all day, so you can probably talk on the phone or go grocery shopping whenever you want… which is kind of true? But my husband works close to normal hours, so I try to work those hours, too.
Most of these friends and family members are coming with their questions from a place of concern or attempting to understand. They don’t want you to work a million hours and not make any money, and they legitimately can’t imagine life outside 9-5.
But don’t waste too much energy here. Usually I’ll say something like, “I know it sounds confusing, but I’ve matched my corporate income while building in flexibility and without wasting my life in traffic.” This usually comforts (surprises) them, and they drop it.
Soon they might be spreading the word saying, “My friend’s daughter does marketing for people, and she actually gets paid, so must be pretty good. You should call her.”
Make new friends (even from a distance)
Eventually, you need to make friends who do understand. It might be time to look for people who also own their own businesses. And don’t be afraid to start interacting with people on social media to make friends even if they’re not in your neighborhood. Reply to their IG stories and comment on their posts… and suddenly you’ll have a real virtual friend.
Networking groups or chambers of commerce can be a fun place to make new friends going through the same journey. The more you tell people about your business, the more you’ll be comfortable doing it.
And then there are just inspirational people you can follow online: I love following confident writers and business owners who work really hard and inspire me to focus and work hard, too. I’ll probably never be IRL friends or talk to these women, but the more I fill my feed with their content the more confident I am to share my life in a similar way.
Fake it til you make it
And last but not least, just schedule the posts and get started before you’re ready. Sometimes I don’t really proofread my posts, I just put them out there to get them out there. The confidence will come later.