Your marketing consultant says, “People don’t know how great you are.”
Your new client says, “I had no idea you could do all these great things.”
Your prospect blurts out, “Are you sure you’re really good enough to do this?”
“OK, I”d better start promoting myself,” you think. “I do great things. It’s time to tell the world.”
But then that little voice inside your head says, “Remember that time in third grade when you said the math problems were too easy? And everyone poked fun at you for being conceited.”
Or the time you spoke up at a meeting and someone sent you an anonymous note: “The nail that stands out gets pounded down.”
Or you kept hearing that humility is a virtue. You resisted at first, but now it’s part of who you are.
“I need a cheerleader for me,” you say to yourself. “But I just can’t bear to describe myself as amazing, incredible, wonderful, or heroic.”
The good news is: You don’t have to.
The truth is, your clients want to hear how good you are. They want to brag about you.
After all, don’t you like to tell people, “I have the best dentist in town?” Or, “My accountant is amazing – very smart and he’s easy to deal with.” Or, “My financial planner just saved me a bundle – he told me to get busy and refinance the house.”
I learned this from one of my early clients. Right after my first book came out, I was mostly doing career coaching. One client said, “I saw your book in the bookstore and thought, wow – that’s my coach!”
Business bragging doesn’t mean you describe yourself with big adjectives.
In fact, the worst thing you can do is describe your business as “amazing” or “fabulous.”
You can share information and facts about yourself, without being sleazy or pushy. You can communicate your brilliance with a style that will build relationships and make you more likable.
Here’s how to make it happen.
(1) Share your success stories.
Everybody promises they’ll take your business to the next level. You show how you actually deliver on your promises. Tell a 3-step story.
“When Jenny called me, all her friends had stopped speaking to her. Even her dog looked the other way when they went out walking. Jenny was desperate for a social life.”
“We worked on Jenny’s communication style. We developed voice techniques customized to Jenny’s life. We suggested new conversation topics and we taught Jenny the weed-your-friends-weekly technique.”
“Jenny’s social circle has widened extensively. She has more friends than ever (including some special friends). Her dog proudly trots by her side, head high.”
You can learn more about success stories in my kindle book on Amazon, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time (no need to buy a kindle – and it’s free to members of Kindle Unlimited).
(2) Get other people to brag for you. Use testimonials to build credibility exponentially.
Your client says, “Hey, I really got a lot from your service.” That’s your signal to move fast.
Many happy clients are delighted to help but don’t have time to write out a testimonial. So draft up a quote and always, always get permission to use it on your website.
Sometimes you’ll offer a sensitive service, where you’ll have trouble getting clients to offer signed testimonials. When that happens you could consider writing more success stories and offering to provide references for new clients.
Here’s a free infographic that helps you – and your clients – write testimonials that sell.
(3) Show how your past accomplishments will allow you to deliver higher quality service to your clients.
When you make a statement about yourself, imagine your audience responding with, “So what?”
This question does away with many common mistakes, such as branding yourself as a maverick, rebel, or renegade. There’s no good answer:
You: “I’m a renegade consultant.”
World: “So what?”
Try these instead:
You spent 20 years in the meanest company in corporate America. You are uniquely qualified to coach executives who face unreasonable demands.
You’re a CPA with a hobby of oil painting. You can relate to clients who are artists – or wish they were.
Your unique 3-step process will transform home offices from chaotic to calm. Your clients see results faster than those who use standard methods (and they are happier, too).
And discover the best way to brag about yourself with this short course – Tell Stories To Build Your Personal Brand.