Can you thrive without ‘selling’ yourself?

By Justine Clay



When I work with my clients, hands down the biggest issue that they have is with the concept of ‘selling’ themselves.  I’d like to share a concept that changed the way I market my business.  Effective marketing is less about ‘pushing’ your services, but rather ‘pulling’ your ideal clients towards you.

The easiest way to start pulling your client towards you is shift your mindset from ‘selling’ to ‘serving’.  

If this idea appeals to you, I’d love to share some suggestions about how to incorporate a ‘service’ mindset into your business practice.

1) Stop ‘networking’ and start ‘connecting’

I understand why people hate networking.  Random networking is kind of like going on a blind date.  Sure, something awesome could come out of it, but most of the time you wish you’d stayed home with a good book.

So here are three tips to network more effectively:

  • You went out on your own to work on cool projects with cool clients, right?  So, think of networking as an opportunity to meet great peopls.  Connecting with potential clients, collaborators, resources and referral partners is an organic process that can happen at any place and at any time – you don’t need to go to an event.  It could even happen in line at the supermarket! (that’s how I found my amazing assistant).
  • Go where all the cool people that you’d like to work/collaborate with hang out.
  • Be genuinely interested and interesting.  Imagine that your at a dinner party, and you’d like to be invited back.
  • Know whom you’d like to meet and what you’d like to share with them.  A lot of people are reulctuant to approach people because they don’t know how to talk about what they do.  Which brings me to No. 2.

2) Create a non-pitchy pitch

In order to build relationships with people who will support and champion your services, you need to be able to describe what you do in a dynamic, concise way.  You need a pitch. 

Your pitch should:

  • describe how your skill/service is unique
  • speak your ideal client directly
  • address to your ideal clients’ struggles?
  • communicate the results they will get from working with you

Dont worry, you’re not going to recite your pitch verbatim (that’s bad networking etiquette), instead you’ll use it to hit the highlights and start an interesting conversation.

3) Practice ‘authentic marketing’

There was a time where marketing was pretty low of my list of priorities (newsflash: it should be at the top of our lists), so I’d like to tell you what cured me: creating content that is helpful to others.  Most of us fall into the trap of describing what we do, what services we offer and what our process is.  Not only is this ineffective for getting new clients (they’re not interested in process, only results), most of us feel terribly uncomfortable marketing this way.   Once your marketing goes from self-serving to serving others it immediatley becomes more interesting and effective.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t also promote your work or product. Just remember the 80/20 Rule.
80% conversation and 20% promotion.

As the holiday season approaches, what better time could there be to give your service based approach a try? Will you let me know how it goes?

Happy Thanksgiving!!