I almost, almost titled this one selling yourself but figured THAT could create some confusion online. So selling your skills it is. How do you sell the skills you have when the idea of talking yourself up, putting yourself out there makes you go a little green with vomit-inducing panic? I have a few ideas. And doing it without selling your soul, well I can help you with that too.
Since my recent change in circumstances to right back to when I met my husband as a 20-year-old. Life is one big sales pitch and who better to show you the way than a girl raised by a real estate agent and successful business owner, right? I’m so absolutely your girl. I thought so, let’s get started.
Know your strengths and weaknesses.
When it comes to selling what you’ve got you need to get clear on what it is exactly that you HAVE got. You need to be able to clearly articulate why your skills, your idea, is strong and worth paying for. And the only way to do this, the ONLY way, is to know it yourself. When I pitch an idea or contact a new prospective client, I like to know where I can help, how, why and if there is a need for the solution that I am pitching.
Take some time, sit down and write them out for yourself if you need too. Bring in a third-party to give their honest opinion. There’s nothing like the considered opinion of someone looking from the outside in to bring you clarity. Take the time to prepare this for yourself and you’ll immediately be more effective.
Be confident in what you know you can do.
Once you are clear on the strengths and weaknesses of your idea, of yourself, then you need to let go of any doubt, self-criticism and that nagging voice in your head that says you’re being a boastful jerk. You will NEVER successfully sell your skills without letting all of that go. You have to be able to confidently express why you are worth it. Without this you’ll be stuck somewhere in the middle. And so will what you can reasonably charge.
Deliver a clear, concise presentation that appeals to feelings.
People mostly want to know what is in it for them. Sure we care about other people but after us. Later. A little down the line. So when you are doing your presentation you will need to be able to tell people why THEY need you, why you are such a great thing for them. It’s all about them. Take that confidence in your ability and remind them why you are exactly what they are waiting for. The answer to THEIR prayers.
Know how much you are willing to give, for what price and for how long.
Now you have some idea how to put together and stand behind the promise to sell your skills, now comes the how to not sell your soul thing. Like the earlier steps in this process you need to get clear. If you work is worth a certain level to you then feel comfortable charging that. You will be asked to negotiate sometimes so you need to know when you are willing to do that.
I often turn down paid opportunities on this blog because it just doesn’t fit. Or I’d have to try hard to make it fit. I know where my line in the sand is. I also decline a lot of requests because I am asked to reduced my prices for brands I know can pay. On the other side of the coin I often work with local clothing brands for product or reduced pricing because it matters to me that they stay around. Know your own person line in the sand.
If it doesn’t feel right, don’t.
The final part of this post and probably the most important is that if it doesn’t feel right, if you have questions that can’t be answered or concerns that won’t go away, don’t do it. There’s a big difference between being nervous, or taking a huge leap of faith and going against your better judgement. If your gut says no, walk away. It’s always served me well in the past. Learn to listen, decipher what is negative self-talk and what is genuine intuition and go for it. That’s the real secret.
So what are you selling? Are you a blogger in need of an audience? An employee in need of a raise? A creative who desperately wants someone to buy your beautiful creations? Tell me all about it, I’d love to know more. I might even get the chance to share some of them here or in my newsletter. You never know right? Sell it to me.
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.