7 Ways Female Entrepreneurs Can Do Self-Promotion Right

positive esteem

For some business owners, particularly women and minority entrepreneurs, highlighting personal success in front of others can be a challenge. 

76% of women say they struggle with self-promotion, and women are said to be eight times less likely than men to negotiate a salary.

In light of National Women’s Day (3rd August), Shanaz Hemmati, Founder and Chief Operating Officer at ZenBusiness reveals seven ways you can overcome self-promotion and highlight your achievements as a female entrepreneur.

She says, “Promoting yourself and your brand is one of the toughest parts of starting your business, particularly if you are a woman. As you interact with peers, practice self-promotion in a way that is humble and consistent as you continue growing and achieving greater success in your business venture.”

Here are Shanaz’s seven expert tips:

Track Your Work

Before you can promote yourself or your small business, the first step is producing work that speaks for itself. Bragging without the work to back it up can come across as insincere and arrogant. 

Earn the respect of your clients and peers by only speaking about your hard-earned accomplishments. Track your work using a work diary or performance tracker and bring it with you when presenting your accomplishments.

Make your accomplishments relevant

No one appreciates an unsolicited boastful comment, so look for opportunities to showcase your strengths in conversations. 

Peggy Klaus, author of BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, suggests making your self-promotion relevant by weaving your impressive accomplishments (which she calls “brag bites”) into “bragologues,” a term she coined for narratives that touch on your successes. 

Make sure to include relevant information in your bragolouge such as specific clients, industries, or experiences that will help your peers learn about your accomplishments in context.

Don’t brag 

When crafting your bragalouge, take care to avoid qualifiers such as “Sorry to brag, but…” or “I don’t mean to brag, but…”. These introductions let your peers know that you are about to boast about your accomplishments and regardless of your sincerity, they are likely to be received poorly. 

Instead, strategically weave your success and accomplishments into your story so that your intentions are better understood.

Stand On Your Merit

Although practicing positivity is a great way to self-promote, unfortunately, it is not always a natural response. As a species, humans often resort to rankism, the act of putting others down to build ourselves up. 

In your self-promotion, take care to stand on your own merit rather than making negative comments about others. This comes across as petty and can cause tension with your peers.

Show your Enthusiasm

Another suggestion Klaus presents is to highlight accomplishments with pride and enthusiasm rather than as matter-of-fact statements. After all, the success of your business and your career are up to you. 

As Klaus says, ”we are all entrepreneurs, even if you don’t work for yourself. You are the CEO, marketing manager, salesforce, HR director, and while you may have mentors and sponsors, and cheerleaders along the way, you’re it. The truth is: If you don’t self-promote, you won’t get promoted.”

Rehearse Your Story

In her book, Klaus suggests practicing your bragologue so that next time you are in an elevator or at an event, you can casually converse and self-promote at the same time. 

The best way to do this is to keep a running list of your top accomplishments and use them to craft brief and interesting stories to share in daily conversations. 

Make sure to choose successes that you are proud of and enthusiastic about.

Accept Compliments

Lastly, if you are in a position where your hard work and achievements are noticed and praised, accept the compliments. The inability to accept a compliment can be due to a lack of self-confidence, which has been called the “imposter syndrome” by Pauline Claunce and Suzanne Imes

This challenge is a common occurrence in those who don’t believe they deserve to be in the position they are in. If left unchecked, this lack of confidence can lead to a success handicap.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.