Nobody likes a braggart. But there are times where you need to promote yourself – to your boss, to potential customers, to future employers. How do you promote yourself in a way which doesn’t come across as shameless and inauthentic?
Here’s the trick: You promote in a way which is well-founded, or where promotion isn’t the primary message.
Here are a few examples:
- Share the recognition. The message is a lot softer when a group of us achieved something, as opposed to just my own personal accomplishments. And it can be more powerful as well, because typically a group can achieve more than just an individual.
- Provide objective evidence. The fact that I’ve published a book or delivered 433 hours of coaching is more powerful than just claiming that I generally have lots of experience. In addition, the book is almost always a great conversation starter: people want to know about my writing and publishing experience.
- Relate it to a future goal. I may not be the world’s best expert yet, but it’s very interesting to tell people about the business I’m building. It’s not uncommon to find people who want to help me, then find that I already have considerable expertise to offer.
- Demonstrate expertise in a helpful way. I often sell my coaching services merely by having coaching conversations with people, or as part of a presentation I might give. When people like the way I come across, they see that I can bring them value in a paid coaching engagement.
More than anything, keep the conversation open, honest, and useful to your audience. Let that work to build up the impression that you have expertise and experience.