When you're a blogger, small business owner, or any kind of social media content creator, it can be hard to get over the self-promotion side of things. It's not always easy to put yourself out there, but there are ways to overcome your fear of self-promotion.
One thing that I think is a huge misconception is that only introverts have the fear of self-promotion. While I identify as an introvert, I have plenty of extroverted friends whom I've met through blogging or social media who have terrible fears of self-promotion. Honestly, I think it's fair to say that every creative nowadays struggles with self-promotion and how to go about it. It can be awkward. You don't want to be too pushy or too "much", and you also don't want to be too timid.
Self-promotion may seem super complex, but when you get down to the root of it all, it's more simple than you'd think. There are simple principles that you need to have and understand in order to own self-promotion in your field and ultimately, to overcome your fear of anything and everything self-promotion related.
7 STEPS TO OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR OF SELF-PROMOTION:
1. Identify Your Root Fear // The first thing you should address before anything when it comes to self-promotion fear is figuring out what your root fear is. What's that main thing causing anxiety for you? Or is it a couple different things that add up to be a huge stress on you? Are you fearing rejection or failure? Are you worried about what others might think? Take time to figure out what the source of your fear is and then come up with a plan to attack it. If you put off identifying your root fear, your struggle with self-promotion will never be fully overcome. It's not always comfortable addressing certain fears, but just remember: you're more than your fears.
2. Shift Your Mindset From Promotion To Expression // Whenever I'm struggling with self-promotion, the one thing that I need to remind myself of right away is to stop focusing on promotion. Instead of being fixated on promotion, I need to shift my mindset to expression. When you look at things from the lens of self-expression, you won't be as intimidated. After all, self-promotion that others can connect well with stems from someone who knows how to express themselves in a relatable way. Find what's comfortable to you when expressing yourself and go from there.
3. Prepare & Practice Your Pitches // Whether you're pitching directly to a brand or to an audience of readers, you have to make sure that you prepare and practice your pitches. Be prepared to know exactly what you want to get across when promoting yourself. Be prepared to answer any question that might be thrown your way. Be prepared to connect with others. Practice may not make perfect, but practice makes permanent. If you want to get to the point where self-promotion is more comfortable and natural for you, you've got to practice it.
4. Know Your Target Audience // Knowing who your target audience is so huge with blogging and business. You need to know and remind yourself often of who your target audience is. When you zone in on who your target audience is, you'll be creating content just for them. Knowing your target audience can then help you gain some confidence when it comes to promoting your work. When you know there's substance and value for others in what you're promoting, your confidence will help you promote it in the best way possible.
5. Find Someone To Look Up To & Learn From Them // Something that I put off for a long time was finding someone to look up to in the blogging world. I didn't want having a role model to be mistaken as me trying to copy someone else. I'm glad that sooner than later, I decided to abandon those fears of being misunderstood with having someone to look up to in this profession. I look up to a good handful of bloggers and influencers, and even though I may not know them all personally, I have learned so much from them. So, my advice to you is: find a key role model to look up to and learn from them. Heck, even reach out to them for advice! Remember that admiring someone is not the same thing as copying them. Just because you look up to them doesn't mean that you want to be them. You want to follow your call and be yourself in that.
6. Block Out Negative Self Talk // Negative self talk will always sabotage you, which is why you need to learn ways to block it out. We are naturally our own worst critics, but we can't let that overtake us. The second we give in and listen to negative self talk is the second you take a step backwards. Learn how to practice positive self talk each day, so that when you really need to combat any negative self talk, you can at the first punch.
Related Reading: How To Practice Positive Self Talk
7. Believe In Yourself // If you don't believe in yourself and your work, you won't ever get past your fear of self-promotion. Always revert back to your "why" whenever you need to uplift yourself. Remember why you started blogging, teaching, and influencing. Remember your passion. When you're genuinely excited about your work and you believe in yourself, that same excitement will overflow to your target audience. You deserve what can come of putting yourself out there. You deserve what can come from pushing past your comfort zone to share with others how you can help them. You've got to believe in yourself.
Are you a blogger or entrepreneur who's struggled with self-promotion? What was your root fear? What are some of your best bits of advice to someone struggling with overcoming the fear of self-promotion? Let's chat!