When self-promotion comes unnaturally

I have a confession to make – I’ve been hiding.

It’s not something I’ve been doing intentionally but it’s time to face up to it.

The thing is, I absolutely love writing about other people’s businesses and sharing content with the world, but it’s different when it comes to my own business!

I’m a cheerleader for engaging content and totally believe in the power of PR. I’ve written thousands of articles, press releases, blogs, leaflets, websites and newsletters and achieved fantastic results for clients. Doing this for other people is my comfort zone. It’s as natural as breathing in and breathing out. But doing it for myself – that’s another matter.

My first excuse is there are never enough hours in the day. I promise myself I’ll create more of my own content when I get through the to-do list. But guess what? That list never gets any smaller. Completed projects are replaced with new ones; other deadlines are more pressing; everything else is a bigger priority; and quite honestly, I’m much happier talking about other people. So, I put it off.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s what author, Tara Mohr, refers to as ‘playing small’ in her book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead. We are conditioned to worry that self-promotion is bragging. This fear can hold us back from talking about our accomplishments, skills or knowledge, and we can end up being silent.

She believes we need to re-frame the conversation, even in our own heads. And she advocates replacing the term ‘self-promotion’ with ‘making your work visible’. That feels better right? Making your work visible doesn’t feel self-centred or pushy.

It’s not a new idea. It’s the approach I take with my own clients. I help find natural, ‘graceful’ ways to be more visible so you don’t feel like a walking advert. So, I’m going to challenge my thinking when it comes to my own marketing and focus on making my work more visible. That also means setting regular time aside to write for myself, so it becomes part of a natural routine. Without the guilt.

I’m interested to see whether a shift in language can make a difference. Sharing my intention with you is the first step – it makes me more accountable. And it will be pretty obvious if I go back into hiding!

We’ll see what happens next………

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