Are You Afraid to Put Yourself Out There?

Are you shy? Do you consider yourself to be a private person?  Do you hate marketing because you feel exposed and prefer not to be the center of attention?

If so, you are not alone. But if you are also an entrepreneur or partner, you are probably sabotaging your marketing investment, and you have a higher chance of your business failing (or suffering from low revenue).

What can you do?  Is there a way to attract clients and stay shy or private?

The answer is maybe. In any case, a mind shift needs to happen.

You might be surprised to hear that I am extremely introverted (a nicer way to say I am shy). And I am fairly private, but only with certain things.  Yet I have hundreds of thousands of followers and thousands of customers.

So here are some random thoughts about how I handle and cope with “putting myself out there.”

  1. I hate being a best-kept secret.

Many of you are “best-kept secrets.”  This does no one any good. What’s worse is people who are a bit more extroverted will end up helping your clients even if they are not as good as you.  And that should make you mad enough to get a little braver.

  1. I hate it every time I have to push the SEND button to send that email to thousands of people.

Yes, it scares me every time I send an email to masses of people.  I’ve learned many things from having many followers; namely, you can’t please everyone. And if you are pleasing all of your clients, you are either too cheap, vastly underutilized, or not marketing hard enough. In all cases, you are definitely leaving money on the table.

You haven’t really become an entrepreneur if you haven’t received negative criticism.

  1. Am I selfish?

I could make a case for me being selfish when I DON’T put myself out there, because then I am hiding my skills from people who could really use my help. I don’t want to be selfish. I want to help as many people as I can. So therefore, I need to be putting myself out there.

  1. I can control what I keep private.

I choose to keep my religion and politics private.  That way, no one can judge me for those things.  I’m fine if you want to use those in your own marketing; just know in some cases, it will limit your clientele.

  1. It’s not bragging if it’s a fact.

You should be proud of your experience, education, certifications, and memberships.  Put those out there to build your credibility.

Better yet, get others (like us and your clients) to brag for you.

  1. I used to be afraid of asking for testimonials.

I have a feeling that many accounting professionals are somewhat afraid of their clients (or maybe simply people in general – it’s more common than you might think). It could be the lack of control over what they think or when they will pay you. Otherwise, why are so many of you reluctant to ask for testimonials?

Please do ask your clients for testimonials, and display them prominently. You might be afraid of their words, but most of them will think you walk on water. Even if they don’t, you will be able to take care of any issues that arise so you can correct the problem and keep the client happy.  Plus, you might get valuable feedback that will allow you to become even better at what you do.

  1. Get your ego out of the way.

There are a lot of ways to do this, but for me, what works best is to put myself in the shoes of my clients. When I focus on others, I don’t focus on myself.  That gets me out of the way of myself!

After all, there are 7 billion of us. It’s not like the world is going to suddenly start looking at you.

  1. But what if I get too many leads?

A LOT of you use this for an excuse!  If you get too many leads, you can pick and choose your clientele.  I can’t think of a better world.  The top movie stars like it; why wouldn’t you?

You can also share them with your peers and friends. You can even sell them and keep a finder’s fee.

But really, when I hear this excuse, I think there must be something else that they are afraid of.

  1. So what are you really afraid of?

Only you will know for sure. It could be success itself. One powerful exercise is to ask yourself what’s the worst that will happen if your fear comes true. Keep asking the question until you drill down to get to the root of the fear.

Only when you can get past the fear of putting yourself out there will you be able to become successful at marketing so you can earn the level of revenue you desire.