It’s Not Bragging...
It’s Sharing Your Passion
By Lisa Cherney
A client came to me a few years ago and asked me to help her write her bio (biography). She was a massage therapist and wanted to have a nice piece to use on her website and to hand out when she taught workshops. She had tried to write it herself, but kept getting stuck. So, I proceeded to interview her to gather information about her accomplishments, background, expertise, talents, etc.
A few days later I proudly presented her with the finished bio and got a surprising reaction. Halfway through reading it she started to physically back away from the paper with a worried look in her eyes. I didn’t understand what was happening because I had spent a couple of hours crafting a wonderful story that truly conveyed her passion and unique gifts. After a few moments of silence she looked at me and said, “I can’t say these things — it will sound like I’m bragging!”
All of my years in corporate marketing and as a sales trainer came flooding into my mind and I knew immediately we had a huge problem. If she was uncomfortable reading about herself, how the heck was she going to sell herself? This is the moment I realized that there is lots of “work” to be done before we begin to create marketing materials, and that was the start of Conscious Marketing. It wasn’t helpful to her to have a bio if she didn’t truly know these things about herself and feel comfortable sharing them with potential clients.
= Ideal Clients
In order to share your gifts with the world, you need to be able to talk about what makes you great. Why are you different than all the other folks who appear to be doing similar work (or providing a similar product)? This goes hand-in-hand with finding words for your marketing materials (bio, website, brochure) that truly convey your passion and authentic message.
After all, when you can clearly articulate your uniqueness, you will attract
your “Ideal Clients.” These are the clients who resonate with your message. If
you hold back for fear of bragging, the result may be a message that sounds like
everyone else’s and/or it won’t match who you really are.
If you have a special approach to your work, but don’t include it for fear of bragging, the clients who call you will want the plain vanilla stuff instead of your unique twist. It’s just like dating. If you say you like Thai food just because that’s what you think he or she wants you to say, then that’s what you will wind up eating!
Finding Your Words
First, we need to get over the bragging thing. Here’s the truth: If you are worried about sounding like you are bragging, you’re not, because people who make a habit of bragging don’t worry about it. The thought doesn’t even cross their mind! OK, now that we’ve got that straight, let’s talk about ways to find the words you need in order to sell yourself. (If you don’t like the word “selling,” think of it as sharing information about yourself instead.) Let’s face it; if you want to do more of your work and help increasing numbers of people, you need to talk about what you do with passion and clarity.
The attributes that you want to connect with are what I call your “Unique Abilities.” Unlike “Juicy Benefits” (see article called “Creating a Marketing Message With Juice”), your “Unique Abilities” are about you, not your product or service. What do you bring to the table that will help clients understand how you are different from other folks in your field? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. What do other people (clients or friends) compliment you on?
2. What comes easily to you, that isn’t easy for everyone else? (Sometimes we dismiss our “Uni-que Abilities” because we think that everyone is equally blessed.)
3. What would you like to teach others?
4. How have you touched people’s lives?
Take some time to answer these questions, and the result will be lists of all the things that make you unique, that make you who you are as an individual. There are lots of marketing consultants out there. I’ve learned, from listening to what my clients say (question #1) that one of my “Unique Abilities” is my knack for asking questions that bring about profound insights. Listen closely to what your clients and friends say about you, and use these points in your marketing.
Practice saying the answers to the above questions over and over until you truly believe them in your heart. There are people out there who need your services and don’t know about them because you are holding back. Remember, It’s not bragging or being pushy when you share from your heart with the intention of touching lives in a positive way.
Lisa Cherney is a Marketing Intuitive and the President and Founder of Conscious MarketingTM. A dynamic speaker, Lisa has helped thousands of business owners tap into their intuition and market their businesses from the ‘Inside Out’. Conscious Marketing offers workshops, coaching, business consulting, and creates marketing materials. Call (888) 771-0156 for more details, or visit www.ConsciousMarketing.com
(c) 2004 Lisa Cherney
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