Whether you are celebrating your first paycheck, just landed a huge client, or managed to catch the eye of an investor, highlighting and promoting your achievements is crucial for the upward growth of your small business. However, for business owners who are women, announcing personal success to peers can be difficult. In fact, studies show that women who are pursuing career success have the hardest time with self-promotion. This lack of attention brought to your business can limit opportunities for partnerships and investor backing. According to Pitchbook, less than 10% of venture capital backed companies are led by women because of the perception that women are less competitive than their male peers. This systematic misunderstanding makes self-promotion a must for any woman who is starting or growing her business. If you are struggling with promoting your recent wins, try using these tips in conversations with peers partners and learn to naturally celebrate your hard work.
1. Stay Relevant
Find ways to highlight your accomplishments naturally in your day-to-day conversations rather than throwing in an unsolicited boast. Peggy Klaus, author of BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, suggests that professionals weave well-crafted stories into a larger narrative narratives to make any self-promotion relevant and interesting to peers.
2. Keep Track of Your Work
Highlighting work that is not yours or is exaggerated is the easiest way to lose the trust of your peers. As you produce impressive work that speaks for itself, track your progress. Use this history of hard work to earn the respect of your clients and peers.
3. Stand On Your Merits
When you share stories of your success, only comment on your own merits rather than highlighting negative information about others. This can cause tension with your peers which could burn bridges for connections in the future.
4. Rehearse Your Story
As you produce impressive work, keep a list of your details about your wins and use it to create an interesting narrative that is ready for daily conversations. As you craft new stories, rehearse then by yourself or with a close friend so that you will be prepared to share when the opportunity presents itself.
5. Avoid Adding a Qualifier
Before you jump into self-promotion take care to avoid using qualifiers like “Sorry to brag, but…”. This simple start to your story will tell your peers that you want to boast about your achievements and can cause them to lose interest.
6. Accept Compliments From Others
Lastly, if your accomplishments and work ethic are noticed by your peers and you receive their praise, graciously accept them. Many entrepreneurs, especially women, suffer from imposter syndrome, or a lack of self-confidence in a specific position and it can lead to a success handicap in your career.
Self-promotion is one of the trickiest parts of getting your business up and running. As you make connections with other entrepreneurs, approach highlighting your success with humility and so that your business venture can achieve greater and greater success.