5 Ways You Can Be Introverted, Feel Like You’re Being Yourself and Self-Promote As You Mean It
J.K. Rowling was too shy to ask for a pen. So instead she dreamt up a story of a boy, travelling to a school to study witchcraft and wizardry, inside the walls of her mind. Years later, she submitted her work to 13 publishers. Time and time she had to show the world her work. Eventually, when the first book came out on July 26, 1997, Rowling became an overnight success.
Self-promotion doesn’t have to be a cringey subject, you can be who you want to be and be proud of your work.
1. Talk About Your Work
Get in the habit of talking about your work. When someone, anyone, asks you how it’s going in a work setting, take the opportunity to talk about what you do.
“Yeah really well, I’m working on this project at the moment, we’ve just managed to secure this funding, so the next step is to do ‘x’ ‘y’ and then ‘z’.”
Getting into the habit of talking about your work makes it feel more natural. You don’t have to be screaming about how good you are but if you can get into a natural flow of talking about your work it will help. That way when your boss asks you how everything is going, you can talk with enthusiasm about what you’ve been up to. Talking things through often gives you the opportunity to think in a different way. So it actually might benefit your work.
2. Share Good Feedback
If your boss isn’t close to your work, they might not know how hard you are working. By sharing feedback you are getting from people you are working with or better, getting them to share it directly, your boss will know exactly how well you are doing.
It feels a bit unnatural and I admit, this one is tricky. It’s all about making sure that good feedback is flowing. Make sure that the feedback is going directly to your boss and that they are aware of how other people think it’s going.
3. Tell a Story
Context is everything. If you are able to talk about the journey you’ve gone on, you can bring people along with you. It makes people feel included as if they are on the journey with you. Not only does it help with their understanding, but it also concretes some learning for them. That’s important. Your boss might get told new information 30 times a day. You can make your information stand out by taking them through a story of what’s gone on.
By contexting your work, you give them the opportunity to get on board with what you are saying. If you start at the end it gives the work less soul and less clarity. They then may not remember what you said in the first place.
By telling a story you make your work stand out, it gives your work soul and people remember that.
4. Give Yourself the Opportunity
Find the time to sell your work. Weekly catch-ups are a good idea. It keeps the conversation flowing and gives your boss a constant update on what you’re doing and if you need any steer. By scheduling time, it gives your work some gravity too.
You’re saying ‘this is important’ by booking about 30 minutes to talk about it. That’s important because your work is important and it’s key that you communicate that.
Carving out time, making your boss feel that the work is important and helping her understand what your blockers are all part of the process of getting them invested in what you’re doing.
5. Weight the Number of People You’ve Spoken To
If you can communicate who you have engaged in the conversations it will help give your work more weight. People like other people to know what’s going on. In a big business, it matters. It’s important to keep people in the loop and the right people knowing about the right work is absolutely critical.
Make sure you make a conscious effort to include how far and wide you’ve spread the communication. If it’s important enough, it will have gone to a few folks. That’s important.
Self-promotion can make us feel like we want to curl up in a corner and hide. It’s especially unnatural if you’re introverted. It’s guaranteed that the last thing you want is to show off how great you are. Although self-promotion doesn’t have to be that artificial. It can be if done right, a natural part of the business.
Like anything, practice makes perfect. The reality is self-promotion will always have a place in business. By not part-taking you’re not abstaining from the game, you’re just losing.
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