Whether you caught the eye of an investor, got your first paycheck, or just landed a huge client, highlighting your wins is crucial for the lasting progress of your small business. However, for many women business owners promoting personal success in front of peers can be a challenge. In fact, studies show that when it comes to self-promotion women find it the number one challenge to pursuing career success.
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My message to women, self-promotion helps
A lack of promotion often limits opportunities for raises, promotions, and investor backing. According to Pitchbook, less than 10% of venture capital backed startups are owned by women, due to the perception that women are less competitive than their male counterparts.
These systematic challenges, make self-promotion is crucial for any woman who is fundraising, networking, or running a business. If you are looking for ideas for highlighting your recent accomplishments, try implementing these tips in your day-to-day conversation to celebrate your hard work and further your career.
How to brag without coming off as arrogant:
1. Keep track of your work
The first step in promoting your business is producing and tracking impressive work that speaks for itself. Using your the respect of your clients and peers by only speaking about your hard-earned accomplishments.
2. Avoid adding a qualifier
When promoting yourself, avoid using qualifiers like “Sorry to brag, but…”. This type of introduction tells your peers that you want to boast about your successes.
Replace qualifiers by carefully weaving your accomplishments into interesting stories so that your peers with better understand your intentions. There’s no need to apologize when you’re not at fault; that’s an important part of going further in your career.
3. Stand on your merits women, self-promotion isn’t an enemy
In your self-promotion, take care to stand on your own merits rather than making negative comments about others. This comes across as petty and can cause tension with your peers.
4. Stay relevant
Look for opportunities to showcase your strengths in natural conversations rather than interjecting an unsolicited boastful comment. Peggy Klaus, author of BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, encourages professionals to weave your impressive accomplishments into an interesting narrative to make your self-promotion relevant.
5. Rehearse your story
Keep a running list of your top accomplishments and use them to craft brief and interesting stories to share in daily conversations. As you craft new narratives, practice them occasionally so you will be prepared to share whether you are in the elevator or a weekly meeting.
A final tip on self-promotion for women:
6. Accept compliments from others
Lastly, your hard work and achievements are noticed and praised by your peers, graciously accept their compliments. The inability to accept a compliment can be due to an imposter syndrome, or a lack of self-confidence in your career.
That “imposter” feeling means you don’t feel worthy of your position or feel that you are in over your head. This lack of confidence can lead to a success handicap in your career.
Self-promotion of your personal and professional accomplishments is one of the toughest parts of getting your business up and running, especially if you are a woman. As you network and make connections with others, approach self-promotion with humility and consistency so that you can continue growing and achieving greater success for yourself and your brand.
Infographic on self-promotion for business success
This infographic from ZenBusiness explains more about mastering self-promotion: