One of the hurdles stopping working women from getting to the next level is being unable to market their skill set. But how can you step up if you are unable or unwilling to back yourself?
Here are five tips that can help you to better market your talents and be valued for what you do.
Know where your strengths lie
How will someone else know you’re the ‘go-to’ person in a certain area if you don’t even know?
Have you ever sat down and written down what your talents and strengths really are? It may surprise you.
It’s not necessarily even part of your background training or study or part of your job description.
Perhaps it’s something that’s evolved over time.
Perhaps it’s a passion that you’ve pursued and now mastered. Forget the CV jargon and really know what you do best. How can you commercialise something you can’t even name?
So many women are either afraid or embarrassed to talk about their strengths.
Some say they don’t want to appear arrogant. Others say they don’t feel worthy or experienced enough (hello, imposter syndrome – this one is a post of its own!).
Remember this – knowing what you are good at and claiming it is not boastful or embarrassing, it’s authentic.
How liberating to be able to hone in on your skill set and be able to accurately express what you do and why you do it so well.
And whatever your do, delete the word ‘just’ from your vocabulary.
I can’t even tell you the number of times a fantastic achievement by one of my clients has been preceded by the word ‘just’, totally downplaying her worth.
Take pride in what you do. How will others know to respect your skill set and value what you do if you can’t?
Know exactly what you’re worth. Whatever your role, make sure you know the going rate.
This may be as simple as asking around. If you don’t have the right connections in a particular industry, network, network, network.
There is no way you can confidently commercialise your talents unless you know exactly what those talents are worth.
This is relevant whether you are an employee, a freelancer, a consultant or own your own business.
Don’t take no for an answer
As much as ‘selling yourself’ may be a foreign concept for many, the reality is that to stand out we always have to be marketing our skill set.
Whether this is in a job-interview, trying to gain a new client or putting your hand up for a promotion or pay rise, don’t let the conversation end without the other person wanting more.
Become your brand
Personal branding has a massive role to play when it comes to commercialising your skills.
You’ve identified your unique value proposition, you know its worth, but don’t forget the packaging – YOU.
Here are some important questions:
- Is your website / LinkedIn / online presence up to date to reflect your skill set?
- Is the way you dress and your professional style an accurate presentation of your capabilities?
- Does the way you communicate, whether on the phone, in person or by email, accurately reflect your skills and qualifications? (For example, do you have a professional sounding voicemail message? Do you follow email etiquette when you communicate?)
Maybe you need these strategies to totally revolutionise a talent you’ve been giving away for free until now, or perhaps to break into a new industry, or perhaps you might just need a gentle reminder to back yourself and you’ve forgotten exactly how. These five tips are not difficult to implement but the rewards are boundless.