It’s easy to feel like you are bragging when promoting yourself. How do you garner visibility and feel good about doing it? We asked female business owners and entrepreneurs to share lessons learned from their own efforts driving visibility that supports their business goals.
Provide visible value
If you have a solid product or relevant content, it will speak for itself. And the more useful content you have, the louder it will speak in your favor. Alison May Public Relations founder and CEO Alison Maloni encourages female entrepreneurs to “write blogs, become contributing writers, be guests on podcasts and share their knowledge on social media.” You know you’re an expert in your field but no one else does unless you show what you know. Plus, an additional channel to highlight your product or service means an additional creative outlet, which helps compartmentalize and organize your thoughts.
Pick your battles
As much as things improve, there will always be some who discount you for being a woman. Unless we inadvertently enter a parallel universe where gender bias has ceased to exist, it will remain an issue for us. “Being able to recognize these situations early will help you cut your losses quickly and continue to move forward,” says Taylor Roberts of Movers Chicago. Picking your battles is not nihilistic; it does not mean there’s nothing we can do about inequality. It’s a matter of discerning whether to spend time and energy on anyone or anything that undervalues your work.
Curtail the “street bazaar” mindset
Most likely, not many people realize the exact amount of labor and expertise that goes into your work. Only you know how much elbow grease and brow sweat comprise your bottom line. Alicia Hough of The Product Analyst never markets herself as if she is “a product on the street bazaar” because she knows her “skills and job expertise are not for the public showcase.” Providing real, concrete results and amplifying the testimony of those you have helped will bolster your reputation and garner respect a lot more than commoditizing yourself or your brand for public visibility ever will.
Take yourself seriously
You are your best asset—make sure you’re learning and growing just as much as your colleagues or employees. Suzanna Lam of Dream Music Productions recommends that you “devote time for self and personal development” alongside your career. You can transfer this idea to your own life in several ways. Physical and mental self-care, like a weekly bubble bath or doing a crossword puzzle in front of your favorite television show, almost always makes you feel better. Sharpen your mental acuity and stay on top of the game by reading industry publications and keeping up with what your competitors and friends are doing, without letting it sully your perception of your own work. Challenge yourself AND let yourself rest. You deserve the rewards that come from both endeavors.
Support other women
After carving out time and energy to support yourself, you can support other women as well. When women uplift each other in business and in life, we facilitate our collective upward mobility. “In the age of more women being highly visible, successful entrepreneurs,” says Leah Frazier of Think Three Media, high-powered women may still find themselves “dimming their light” and letting jealously take over. It does not have to be this way. Men can “stick together like lions in a pack” and so can we. We are Lionesses after all! Share content from women in your industry and throw congratulations and well wishes their way when appropriate. A rising tide of female empowerment lifts all boats.
You’re a trailblazer and you know it, but there are better ways to command visibility than simply stating it. Be generous with valuable content. Let something go if it won’t earn you the respect you deserve. Move the spotlight away from yourself and onto your proven results. Keep hustling and expanding your mind but take a deep breathe every once in a while. Pay it forward. Finally, know this: it’s not bragging if it’s the truth!