People buy your product or use your service for one reason. Confidence. They have confidence in the promises you made or the referrals of your past customers; they have confidence that what they are about to buy is of high quality and integrity. In a nutshell, they have confidence in YOU.
You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t have confidence that what you have to offer is of value to someone… somewhere, would you? Obviously you must think you have something really superb; otherwise you wouldn’t be in business in the first place. No great company ever hung up a sign that said, “Hire us because we’re just okay.” So, one could conclude that you’re something pretty special and that your product is superior.
Now it’s time to take that attitude and run with it. Once you do, the sales will escalate. Maximize the unique characteristics that set your business apart. You can master the art of self-promotion without coming across as a narcissist in the least bit. As a matter of fact, your clients won’t even realize that you are self-promoting if it is done right.
1) Ask not what you can gain, but what you can give. Sure, you are in business to make money. However, that should not be your driving factor. That fundamental desire should take a backseat to your willingness to make your customers happy. Compromise when you need to and you will have a customer for life. When you are marketing to new clients, take the serving others approach instead of the self-serving one.
2) It’s all about them, not you. While we’re at it, this is a good time to mention the ‘Me, Me, Me’ generation. When you are promoting yourself, it’s better to tell clients what you will do for them, rather than bragging about all the great things you’ve already accomplished. They don’t care. There is a time and place for that. But only when they ask you.
3) Persist without being a pest. Repeatedly contacting customers or hammering them with too many self-promoting pieces will simply aggravate your clients. You need to find a balance between how often or how much you market to your clients and prospects.
4) Focus on the benefits, not just the features. Many of us have heard this adage before, especially those of us with sales backgrounds. To help differentiate the features from the benefits, make a list of all the great things about your product or service. Then, make a side column next to that list. Tell the customer WHY that feature is so valuable. Every characteristic must answer the question; “Why would I want this feature?”
5) Market with conviction. You are confident that what you have is worth buying, so now you need to convey that confidence to your customers. Did you know that close to 90% of all people (business owners included) feel uncomfortable selling their own services? People don’t like to seem egotistical. However, being too modest can make your customers see you as weak. Tell everyone how awesome your stuff is, and one day they will just have to buy it to see for themselves.
6) Close them with an authoritative tone. If you tell someone to do something, people are likely to respond. Every self-promotional piece that you put out should have a strong call to action asking customers to make the next move. So, instead of saying, “Please call us today if you feel that we might be able to help you”; make your message stronger. Like this: “Call us today and we will have you up and running within 48 hours.”
A final word; be approachable. Find a way to connect with your clients; first on a professional level. Customer approachability means a lot, especially in a world where so much business is now transacted online. Find your style and be you, even as a freelancer.