Do you think you’re good at what you do but don’t get a chance to show anyone? Are you getting enough work to earn a living? Well, then, are you being yourself and letting you shine through?
It’s a common thing not to like talking about yourself. It feels like bragging when you say you’re terrific at X.
It may be that you, like many professionals, are fearful to boldly say how good you are at what you do. You may feel immodest. Fear others will criticize you. Or, believe it’s unprofessional to say it aloud.
There are ways you can let people know how good you are without having to say: “Look at me, I’m hot stuff.”
Use Your Clients’ Words
When clients describe what they got from working with you in their own words, prospects gain a true perspective on you, your talents and skills. That’s persuasive stuff.
Testimonial, letters, and videos from satisfied clients are powerful tools to help you communicate your value without bragging.
To get solid convincing testimonials from clients, pick a time when they have expressed their gratitude for what you’ve done with them. If the client is willing, capture them on video, which you can then showcase on your site.
Ask: “How would you describe my work to someone else?”
When you get them, display testimonials on your website. Include them in your marketing kit. And, sprinkle them on product/service pages.
Let Stories Show Your Worth
When you speak with prospects, have two or three client success stories prepared to relate. Instead of boasting, you can relate what happened.
Begin by describing your client’s situation when you started working together. Follow with an outline of what you did for her. Conclude with the client’s results and reaction.
Again, use the client’s words to tell the story, not yours.
Say, “My client was very pleased with how easy the manual was to use. She appreciated it being completed well before her deadline.” Don’t say: “I created this wonderfully technical manual that was easy to use. It blew his socks off. On top of that, I completed it well in advance of the deadline.”
See the subtle difference?
In the first instance, you are sharing the client’s view of what happened. This is much more convincing than speaking from your own perspective.
Telling stories is an effective way to get across the tangible results of a process. And, you won’t have to focus on your qualifications.
The Case of the Weight-Loss Coach
Let’s take Cindy, my hypothetical coach. She struggles with how to share the reason clients hire her. The nature of her work is difficult to describe in one sentence, she feels.
Cindy explains, “Basically, I help people change habitual behavior around food. I know that doesn’t sound specific enough. When I start to list all the underlying problems I can help people with, I feel like an impostor. Somehow, it doesn’t sound believable to me.”
The solution for Cindy was to demonstrate her abilities by writing blog posts and articles. That’s letting you shine through, Cindy!
Instead of claiming she could address all the issues, she wrote stories about successful client experiences. Each story focused on one of the underlying problems she helps solve. In the articles, she told stories about her work with clients, without naming names and protecting the client’s identity.
The stories were available on her website for prospects to read. She used them as guest posts on other blogs. And published them as PDFs, which she could send to prospects by email, or hand out when he gave a talk.
There was no need for her to brag about what she could do. Her client stores illustrated what he had already done for others.
Let What You’ve Achieved Speak
But what if you’re new? And don’t have lots of testimonials? How will letting you shine through happen?
You know you’re capable of doing great work. Showing evidence of that isn’t the same as saying it, though. What do you do then?
If you’re in this situation, create a professional bio that includes your experience, education, and all the affiliations, awards, and accomplishments you have.
Let’s say, for example, you were a member of the ICF and vice president of your local chapter. A project you had worked on won a high award. As part of the project, you developed and introduced an innovative model for measuring some pertinent thing.
Make sure all these achievements appear in your bio.
Additionally, you can create a portfolio of your most successful, pertinent projects. In showcasing these, you show a potential client your competence, instead of merely claiming it. Just make sure that the items you include are pertinent to the work you do for clients now.
This is How
If you have been hiding your light under a bushel, consider doing any or all these things.
Not letting people know how you can help them, will prevent you from getting the chance to do so. But showing prospects what you can do, you let them know how you can make their lives better, their jobs easier.
Choose one of these ways listed above. Don’t brag. Just let your light shine.