Let’s face it — promoting yourself and your work can be very stressful. I know this because I help people do it everyday and understand how daunting it can seem. You’ve got a great product or service and now you have to promote it!
If you have ever asked yourself questions like, “Where do I start? “What do I say?” or “What should I do next?” then don’t worry, you are far from alone.
As a young entrepreneur, promoting your work and growing your business is absolutely essential for success. As I say in my coaching program, Grow Your Personal Brand: “You can have the best product or service in the world, but unless the right people know about it, you’re shouting in a noisy room — you know what you’re saying but no one else does!”
To make things easier for you, I’ve put together a few things you can do to take the stress out of promoting your brand and reach a lot more people with what you do.
Make brand growth a priority
Think about promoting your brand like going to the gym: If you want to get really good results, then you need to commit to your new workout and make sure your lifestyle supports it.
In a similar way, if you want to get great results from your promotional activity, then you need to make it a priority for you rather than just something you do here and there. It’s all about consistency and focus. Make sense?
Fill in the blank: Instead of ___________, I could be promoting my business.
Create a procrastination list
I get my clients to make a list of everything they are putting off doing. Then, beside each task I have them write down a step they can take now.
Taking action on something reduces anxiety (stress) and gets you closer to what you really want, which in this case is business growth.
When it comes to promoting your work, it can be really easy to put things off or wait until a better time, but this is just a delay tactic.
What are you putting off doing? Take action on it now.
Organize your activity
Do you have everything ready if a journalist or potential investor asks you for more information? Are your contact lists up to date?
I’m not asking this to be confrontational — I just want you to get the best out of your efforts, and organizing your schedule for promoting your work is one of the most powerful things you can do. Of course things can change last minute, but being as organized as possible is one of the best things you can do for your business.
Spend some time putting things in place to minimize any overwhelming feelings. What can you start on now?
Fill in the gaps
Don’t feel bad about not knowing the ins and outs of promoting your work. You can’t be good at everything, so it makes sense to get people on board who fill in the gaps to your skill set.
When it comes to promoting your business and growing your brand, it can be hard to remain objective, as you are so close to it. That’s why consultants can be so useful. I always encourage clients to get other people in as much as they can to keep things objective and fresh.
Who could you bring in to help you with your business? Would a virtual assistant be helpful? Perhaps a publicity advisor or business coach is what you need?
Take some YOU time
I know how it feels to want to work all the time, but it can lead to burn-out. When you are your own boss, it’s easy to forget to take time off and spend hours on your laptop, but you need to take some time for yourself as well.
The truth is, you work much better when you are rested and refreshed rather than worn-out and tired. As counter intuitive as it may seem, give yourself regular breaks to recharge and regroup, and you’ll notice the difference almost immediately.
Run toward discomfort
Growth nearly always contains an element of discomfort, whether it’s at the gym or in the office.
The key here is to run toward the sort of discomfort that you normally avoid rather than away from it. You can either have the discomfort of going out of your comfort zone or the discomfort of frustration. When we embrace (the right sort of) discomfort as a sign of growth, we see things differently.
One step at a time
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were the great brands.
While it’s great to be ambitious and commit to constant improvement and growth, don’t forget to enjoy the journey and focus on building your business one step at a time.
With ambitious people, there is often a tendency to want to jump ahead and skip the next few steps. Don’t! Where you are right now is providing valuable experience for your future!
Focus on taking the next step, commit to constant learning and enjoy the process!
Ryan James Lock is the founder of www.beingyourownpublicist.com and coaches entrepreneurs and small business owners on overcoming limiting beliefs while growing their business and raising their profile.
Image Credit: CC by Maria Eklind