All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Self-Promotion’

Brand Booster: Self-Confidence vs Arrogance

Just the other day a client gave me a compliment by letting me know how our work had made such an impact on their personal world and in their business  culture.  I was touched.  I was also proud.  I had to take a moment and step back to check in on my mentality.  Was I buoyed too much by the compliment and patting myself on the back? If so, was I running the danger of letting my ego run away with the compliment and hijacking it to my brand detriment?

In brand development, I always say that everyone must be able to receive and distill compliments well. The practice serves so many various purposes.

However, there’s a fine line between taking compliments well and taking those same compliments and becoming arrogant as a result.   The former is so attractive to your brand.  The latter is awful for your brand.

The trouble: It’s so easy to run the risk of the latter.

As my mentor, James Espey,  says “Confidence without arrogance” is the goal in life and in business.  He’s certainly lived that humble and successful life for years.

What’s a person to do?  The number one rule is to stay self-aware.  Much like I do my best to do, stop and think to yourself:

  • Did I really hear the message that was meant to come with that compliment? 
  • How can I use it in a humble way to boost my self-confidence?

After all, self confident brands win.

If you’d like to discuss this topic or any related topic regarding how to market and sell yourself in a healthy and authentic way, please drop me a line.  I’d love to connect and discuss.

 

 

 

Branding Basics: When to Bring On Your “WOW”

It’s always scary to stand out and shine.  No doubt about it.  I’m always working on ways that I can live what I teach, ie, shine and “wow” folks with my sincere and genuine brand.  Most days it is easier for me.  Some days it is a challenge.

Why?

Because I don’t want to seem overbearing and scare folks- or worse yet, be seen as the “weird” (and wild?) one that always has to do things differently.  I can’t say anyone has ever really given me the impression that this is their impression, perception or thoughts about me.  Yet, it still shows up every once in a while for me.

Why?

Because I’m human and as humans, we all have illogical fears that our ego uses to mess with us- ego keeps us from seeing our own greatness.

Here’s an example.

One of my clients went on a pitch with 3 other colleagues.  Let’s call her Jane.  Two of her colleagues pitching with her were partners (service partners).  One was another senior employee, much like Jane.  Jane was involved in the pitch initially because she knows how to shine and “wow” prospective clients.  The two service partners- not so much.

Here’s the deal- when it came time for Jane to step up and shine and wow during the pitch- what do you think she did?  You know the answer because we all do it at some point or another.

Jane (who was sequenced to speak third after the two service partners) backed off her pitch and did not “wow” or shine.

Why?

She didn’t feel right outshining and out”wowing” her fellow senior colleagues.  She didn’t want them to look bad and be better and maybe overbearing.  Makes sense, right?  So instead Jane backed off and delivered a rather uneventful pitch when her turn came around.

The company didn’t win the pitch.  On top of that, on the debrief the two service partners told Jane all the things she could have done better during the pitch.  Never once did they look at their own lack of “wow” or take ownership for themselves.  That’s pretty common, though, right?

The beauty of all this: Jane had enough self-awareness to know exactly what she didn’t do AND to know what she would differently next time!  That’s the key: to stop and look at your actions and brand and ponder, “why”?  I guarantee you next time she won’t make the same decision to lay low and not shine.

Here’s the deal:  when you allow rank, seniority, family order to take the front seat, you lose your personal power to shine and sell your brand well with integrity. Your voice is not being heard and your brand is not resonating.  You are stifling yourself.  You are not helping the company any, either.  We must respect rank and order- so don’t go rogue.

However, just because someone is your senior, does not mean you can’t mentor them and act in a way where they can learn from and follow you.  Leaders are everywhere and all ages. You just have to be brave enough and step up.

What does this mean for you?  Step back and consider:

  • where are you playing it safe and coming from fear in your career and life? 
  • where is your brand not shining because you don’t want to “show off” and shine?
  • where is your brand not shining because you don’t want to offend your senior colleagues, boss or hurt your family members?

Remember, in the end your actions likely will have the opposite impact than you want:  contributing to lost pitches, babying family members who could learn from you and not leading/guiding your colleagues to their own success and that of the company/business.

Hard to do? Of course.  Branding is simple, yet not easy. However, I’m your biggest cheerleader. You got this.  Call or email for support.  I’m always here.

Who’s The Greatest?

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There are many days when I’m so proud of myself. I pinch myself at the thought that I get to do such great work and be of service to so many awesome professionals.

Yet, I’m careful not to be too over the top about it.   I don’t want to make others feel bad or seem snooty. And that’s coming from me- the one who teaches this stuff!

After all, it’s important to be humble. Or is it?

In the world of brand development, it is important to self-promote in a healthy way so others notice you. The problem is that human nature and our egos dictate that we stay humble and not “bragg” too much.

However, we end up being the best kept secret, our self-confidence low and our dreams, just a little bit out of reach- always. This is all because we couldn’t self promote well.

On the passing of Muhammad Ali, I kept going back to one thing: his phrase, “I’m the greatest”.

Who do you think was the first person to say Ali was the greatest? Do you really think it was someone other than him?

It was often said that Ali started that phrase, “owned” it and then others believed him, too. The rest is history.

What does this mean for you?

  • Do you own your greatness? If not, why?
  • How will you self-promote in a healthy way and stay humble?

After all, perception is reality. If you believe it, utter it, it will become your reality and others will believe it, too.

 

TOP 3 MISTAKES LAWYERS MAKE IN MARKETING THEMSELVES

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As a former securities lawyer turned personal branding expert, I can tell you I get the pain of practicing law, juggling family and having to be seen and heard in an effort to market your practice. It’s not so easy being good at all things, all the time.

Over the years, here’s what I’ve discovered are the top three mistakes lawyers make in marketing themselves.

  1. We don’t think we need to market ourselves

This is a very common problem. Often we feel that because we are professionals and rely on our intelligence, we don’t feel we should have to “sell” ourselves. How tacky, right? The hidden problem is that we often don’t know how to, or are uncomfortable to, market ourselves.

Here’s how I distinguish the two concepts for lawyers. There is healthy self-promotion and then there is bragging.

Healthy self-promotion is always about the other person. How are you a stand for them being better? 

Self-promotion is fine if it means you are explaining your uniqueness, raising awareness and thereby, explaining how you can help your target market.   How else will you let people know what you do and how you can help them live a better life and run a better business?

Bragging is when you no longer care about helping others, but looking to gain praise and be better than others. Bragging is what makes us feel nauseous and uncomfortable when we are the victims of it.

If you have a strong personal branding strategy and self-promote with the intent of helping others, then you can never be accused of bragging or boasting because you have kind, compassionate intent behind your self-promotion strategy.  In other words, you are working towards a cause bigger than yourself.

  1. We don’t spend enough money, or the right kind of money, on marketing

Oftentimes in law firms, we are given an annual marketing budget. We are also given free reign to spend it as we see fit. I often see lawyers taking their, say $5000, marketing budget and going to a conference with it.   Sometimes it just so happens to be a conference with lots of golf involved.

Don’t get me wrong- I go to lots of conferences and I love playing golf. The two concepts work well together.

However, they only work well when they are part of a deliberate, marketing plan that is based on your well-developed personal brand. This means you know who you are, what your story is, how you will share your story and where your target audience is found. Maybe all this means that you go to a conference and play golf. Maybe it doesn’t.

  1. We give up too soon

So here’s the saddest part of it all. This is the part that should never have to happen. What do you suppose happens when the marketing budget is gone, and we find that the conference and golf did not net any new clients- year after year?

Or maybe you’ve seen situations where associates have spent eight years doing great billable, substantive work. They have not spent much time on business or personal development. Then one day it happens- they are made partner. Oh happy day! Right? Not always. Oftentimes, they end up sitting in front of me in tears (men or women). They are panicking because they don’t know how to bring in revenue and clients, as is often encouraged and/or required of new partners.

This is when many lawyers throw up their hands in the air and “give up”. They claim in exasperation that marketing themselves “just doesn’t work”. Or maybe they say that they will never be good at it because they are introverts.

I say that doesn’t have to be the case. Step back and spend time and effort on knowing yourself, your brand and what drives you to be a contribution as a lawyer.

To start, ask yourself:

 a) Why did I become a lawyer?

b) At the end of the day what emotional value do I bring my clients?

c) What am I all about (hobbies, passions, and community service) as a PERSON, not as a lawyer?

I realize that time is a precious resource. However, this is one area you don’t want to short-change yourself by not giving it proper time. This is true whether you are an associate or a partner, solo or in a larger firm.

Until you can say that you have done so, then you won’t be able to say with any degree of certainty that your marketing efforts did not work.

Top 3 Factors That Block Healthy Self-Promotion

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I feel compelled to resurface the conversation regarding the difference between healthy self-promotion and bragging.  I initially raised this distinction in my blog post in 2013 and wrote much on it in both my books. However, most recently I spoke at an event and had another question come up regarding this topic.

 

In particular, the person said she found in her experience that most everyone was always bragging and rarely self-promoting.  Fair enough.  Before I address her issue, let’s go over the distinction as I see it.

Recall, that healthy self-promotion is always about the other person. How are you a stand for them being better? 

Self-promotion is fine if it means you are explaining your uniqueness, raising awareness and thereby, explaining how you can help your target market.   How else will you let people know what you do and how you can help them live a better life and run a better business?

Bragging, is when you no longer care about helping others, but looking to gain praise and be better than others.  If you have a strong personal branding strategy and self-promote with the intent of helping others, then you can never be accused of bragging or boasting because you have kind, compassionate intent behind your self-promotion strategy.  In other words, you are working towards a cause bigger than yourself.

Here’s the problem.  Several factors impede our ability to be able to distinguish between self-promotion and bragging. Here are the top  3:

Cultural biases– in many cultures, we are taught to be self-less and not talk about ourselves.  The purpose is to be of service and about others.  However, the actual impact is that we mute ourselves, never let others know who we are and, if we run a business, can’t put ourselves out there to grow the business and serve others.

Lack of Self-ConfidenceMany of us don’t love/like ourselves enough to be able to self-promote well.  We do not believe our lives are unique or that anyone would care.  We don’t feel like we are worthy of being seen and heard. We also don’t feel like we are worthy of others.

Fraud– I can’t tell you how often I hear clients say to me that they feel like frauds. They may be the best at what they do, but they are so worried that their best is not good enough and that they will be “found out”.  I often felt that way when I was practicing law.  For me,  the actual practice of securities law was unnatural and was not my calling or purpose in life.  So even though I was good at it, I always felt a bit out of sorts. Like, I was having an out of body experience each day.

When any one of these factors block our ability to distinguish when others are self-promoting and not bragging then we end up skeptical and jaded.  We act that way around others.  We treat others like they are out to get us. Plus, we  sell ourselves poorly.  None of this is a healthy personal brand.

Try on that people really care and are in business to serve us and make our lives better. Then start treating your own business that way and go out there and self-promote to be of service to others.

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.