Independent business event professionals know how important self-promotion is to maintaining their livelihoods. But self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to everyone — particularly people who tend to be introverted. In Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success, lawyer, diversity consultant, and author Sharon E. Jones outlines ways in which the self-employed can help promote their business.
- Keep a folder of accomplishments. Not necessarily a literal folder, but at least a digital one. “The key to this process is that no positive item should fall through the racks. Any time you do something well, include it in the folder,” Jones writes. For example, Jones suggests keeping track of complimentary emails from clients and colleagues. This folder of accomplishments can come in handy for reviews or polishing your resume, according to Jones.
- Accept compliments graciously. “At times, people value the virtue of humility to the point of self-depreciation. Nowhere is this more apparent than when someone downplays or rejects a compliment,” Jones writes. “People work so hard for recognition, but when they are finally recognized, they don’t know how to react.” Instead of recoiling when given a compliment, Jones suggests keeping it simple. “When I receive a compliment, I always say, ‘Thank you. I appreciate the feedback.’”
- Elevate your small talk. Instead of talking about the weather, Jones suggests those looking to self-promote should view chit-chat opportunities that arise throughout the day as ways to leave a good impression. This includes freshening up the all-important elevator pitch and beyond. For example, “Stay current with global events and industry-relevant news…. Work tidbits that you learn into conversations when relevant. You will come off sounding well-read and thoughtful instead of staying stuck in your bubble.
- Know your audience. “The better you know your audience, the better you can tailor your tidbits of information,” Jones writes. While some accomplishments are impressive regardless of the audience, there are other instances that require specifics in order to be impactful. For example, “if you know [someone] cares about the environment, you may want to mention the sustainability award you received for reducing the amount of waste your company produces.”