Whether you just cashed your first paycheck, managed to catch the eye of an investor, or landed a high-paying client, bringing attention to your accomplishments is vital for the upward growth of your business. However, many business owners who are women, struggle with highlighting personal success in front of peers. In fact, studies show that women report that self-promotion is the biggest challenge in career development. Since a large portion of their hard work goes unnoticed, women can be passed over for partnership opportunities and investor backing. Currently, less than 10% of venture capital backed companies are led by women because women in business are perceived to be less competitive than male entrepreneurs. This systematic exclusion makes self-promotion a crucial for any woman who is starting or growing her business. If you struggle with self-promotion, try using these tips in conversations with partners and peers and learn to master the art of celebrating your success.
1. Stay Relevant
Be on the lookout for ways to highlight your accomplishments naturally in your daily conversations instead of dropping in an unsolicited boast. Peggy Klaus, author of BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, explains that a well-crafted story that weaves in personal success is much more interesting to peers.
2. Keep Track of Your Work
Rule number one in self-promotion is to be authentic. Highlighting work that is not yours or is false will lose the trust of your peers. As you build a portfolio of impressive work, track your progress. This history log of hard work will speak for itself and allow you to earn the respect of your clients and peers.
3. Stand On Your Merits
Tearing others down is an easy way to make you feel superior but it can cause tension with your peers and could even burn bridges for connections in the future. When you share stories of your success, only comment on your own merits rather than discussing negative details about others.
4. Avoid Adding a Qualifier
As you self-promote, avoid using qualifiers like “Sorry to brag, but…”. This start to your story will inform your peers that you want to boast about your success which can cause them to quickly lose interest.
5. Rehearse Your Story
Keep a list of the details of every win you experience. Refer back to this list when creating interesting narratives that are ready for daily conversations. As you craft new stories, practice using them in daily conversations so that you will be prepared to share when the opportunity presents itself.
6. Accept Compliments From Others
Lastly, when your success and work ethic is noticed and you receive praise, graciously accept it. Many entrepreneurs suffer from imposter syndrome, or a lack of self-confidence in a specific position and it can quickly lead to a success handicap..
Though self-promotion is one of the trickiest parts of getting your business up and running, a few simple tips can help you maximize your daily conversations. As you make connections with other entrepreneurs and peers, highlight your success with humility and gratitude. You never know where the conversation may lead.