I never thought I would be someone who picked a “word of the year”.
Really, really not my thing. What if I picked a terrible word? What if it became one of those things I started and never finished? That wouldn’t do! But when January came around, it started to seem like a neat idea.
You know those memes and articles about introverts? They all apply to me. I’m a happy introvert, but I’m also someone who has developed a habit of jumping at the chance to do scary-to-me challenges – just to see if I can do them.
Complete a 50,000 word novel in a month even though I’d never written more than 2,000 words before (and that was 20 years ago)? Done!
Absolute inability to keep a houseplant alive, but plant a thriving vegetable garden anyway? Done!
When it came time to pick a word, I struggled.
What is the scariest word a quiet introvert like me could choose? “Visibility”. It took some getting used to, but since January I’ve used “visibility” as my guiding word. My business has grown considerably, and I don’t think it is a coincidence.
You can open a business or begin a new project, never promote it, and hope for the best. Many businesses do that.
But you’ll have a better outcome if you promote it and work at ways to be visible to your customers and potential customers. Successful businesses do this.
Happily, we live during a time where that is easier than ever before – these days, it is unlikely you will need to go door to door to sell someone about your business or your offers.
Of course, I can say “promote it”, but that doesn’t make it easy.
* You may never become fully comfortable with promoting yourself, but you can become used to it. You may not look forward to tax time, but with a good accountant it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience.
* You need to be willing to make time to market yourself. It is so easy to let it slide, especially when things are going well.
* You need to be ok with being visible – in whichever way works for you. Right now, I’m loving Periscope and video, but that doesn’t mean it is the right fit for everyone.
* Start small. Take baby steps. Some people seem to have endless confidence and others need to work at it. That is okay. Start where you are and move forward.
* Commit to doing one thing every day to make your business and what you offer more visible. That’s not so hard, right?
If you aren’t sure where to start when talking about your business and promoting yourself, start at the beginning. Why do you do what you do? How does it help people? What are your reasons?
I often work with business owners who don’t promote themselves because they don’t want to be seen as annoying. I get that. I’ve seen some examples of obnoxious promotion, but I’m also certain that promoting yourself is important and can be done with integrity AND without being annoying.
Finally, I hope you find ways to have fun with marketing yourself, because marketing can be fun.
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.