Why You Need To Promote Yourself

michelle 1.jpg

“Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

What does this mean? When you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur, or you have a side hustle, you have to promote your work. If you don't get paid this is just a hobby. I don't know about you, but I like to make money. I love paying my rent and bills on time. It's a great joy for me. So, to do that, I need to work and get paid. Then something happens in my brain (and most likely has happened in yours as well) that makes you feel like you don't want to annoy people by promoting yourself or you don't want to sound too salesy. Well, we have a disconnect here, my friends. So, how are we going to fix that? Please think about all the stores and brands that you follow online or commercial that you see. They have no problem selling themselves. That's literally a part of being a business. You have to make sales, so you have to promote. We don't get upset when we see a commercial for McDonald's or a billboard for a car dealership. That's never a thought we have because that's what they do. Why is it such a problem when a small business owner promotes themselves?

michelle 2.jpg

I was listening to Rachel Hollis's podcast a few weeks ago, and she mentioned how she would never stop mentioning her book “Girl, Wash Your Face” and asking people to buy it. She said she has never once gotten a complaint from someone saying that she talks about her book too much. She mentioned that it takes about 13 times for someone to hear something for them to take action on it. She was right. I listened to a good number for podcasts over the past few months and in her book has been mentioned in every single one. I would have the thought to buy it, but I usually listen to podcasts while I’m in the shower so, by the time I’m out and dressed, I completely forgot about it. When she brought it along with that stat, I immediately went and purchased the book.

People know I'm a photographer. I don't know they have forgotten that facet of me, but sometimes people need a reminder. Sometimes your social media post will appear on someone's timeline at the exact right moment when they are finally ready to purchase. If you continually held yourself back from promoting your services, there's a good chance you are missing out on people who are prepared to buy from you at that moment. Because of your lack of posting you were not visible and making putting yourself in a position to be on the forefront of someone’s mind.

I read the 12 Week Year at the end of December, and it helped me schedule out the tasks I need to do to hit specific goals. I set myself a goal of hitting X amount of dollars in the next 12 weeks. I knew to achieve that I need to do more in-depth promotion and reach out to past clients. I said the first week of January I would be promoting my retainer services. I did that, and I booked two new retainer clients. One of them was someone I've worked with in the past when I reached out to her via email and one came from my social media post. My goal for the second week of January was to promote weddings. I'm not typically a wedding photographer but it is something I do enjoy doing so I made a post online, and I received an inquiry because a former bride of mine tagged her friend in that post. None of this would've happened if I did not actively put myself out there.

I would love for people not to be so scared to share their gifts with the world and most importantly, be firm in their pricing and ask for what they are worth. On the flip side, I would love for people to respect people’s pricing. There are so many ways that you can support someone without having to hire them. You can share their social media posts on your timeline. You can tell your friends who are looking for what you are offering. I love that so many people are out there working for themselves and taking hold of their dreams and doing what they always wanted to do. I want to see people succeed and make money from their gifts. Please, don't be afraid to promote yourself. You deserve to make money.

📍The Wing in Dumbo, Brooklyn // Michelle, creative director of Baremade Studio