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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Biz Question

One of the hardest things for me, I'm finding, is that I'm much more modest about my abilities and capabilities than I ever realized. It's holding me back -- I know it -- I just can't seem to get over this hurdle. People who have used my service constantly compliment me, but I'm having a great deal of trouble "marketing" myself. I don't have this problem at all when it comes to selling someone else's product or service (if I believe it, that is). If there's information out there to help business beginners who apparently learned the "It's not nice to brag" rule too well, I'd love to read something like that.

Carol

Answer from our Guest Expert Allison Gaea Jucha of Yes!Coaching

Dear Carol:

My first biz coach fought with me for months because I felt the same way you do. I just couldn't blow my own horn and tell everyone in the world how wonderful I was as a biz coach -- even though I got constant positive feedback from clients and other coaches. It just wasn't kosher, right?

Well, it took me months to realize that I didn't really have a block against promoting myself or that I was just too embarrassed to do a little self-promotion. In fact, I really could talk about the services I offered in a very marketable way. And I could even admit to being good at it because I loved it so much. I finally figured out I didn't -- not couldn't -- promote myself because I really didn't want the responsibility of running my own business. I needed to address this issue before being able to market myself and getting over this initial biz hurdle.

Now, I'm not saying that's what you're dealing with, Carol. But I'm suggesting you question how not promoting yourself holds you back in the "safe" zone. Try to discover your own reason why you have trouble "marketing yourself." Ask yourself some questions to start:

  • How does not promoting yourself keep you from taking off with tons of business?
  • How does it keep competitors from knowing who you are?
  • How does it keep you from needing more sophisticated technology?

Ask the right questions and you'll have a better picture of what it is that keeps you from letting people know how good you are at what you do.

On the other hand, if you really don't feel comfortable promoting yourself, take the easy way out -- let others promote you! Get testimonials or do business by referral only. Or hire a marketing specialist and let her tell the world how great you are. You don't have to do anything that makes you truly uncomfortable, but it'd be wise to understand if this holding back is related to something easily solved.

By the way, my favorite books on marketing are Marketing Without Advertising and 101 Ways to Promote Yourself. Both are available at major bookstores. I hope this wets your appetite for flagrant self-marketing, Carol! Thanks for the great question. And Good Luck with your Venture!

Your Biz Coach Expert,

Allison

Have a biz question of your own? Go post it in CyberSchmooz

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