161: What To Do If You Hate Marketing Yourself [Podcast]

What To Do If You Hate Marketing Yourself

Do you hate marketing yourself?

The other day someone told me “I hate having to market myself. It just feels slimy – like I am a used car salesman.”  (No apologies to the used car salesmen out there – the label is well earned.)

But, a central component of any business is marketing and promotion. So, in the Company of One model – where you look at yourself as a business – marketing YOU is important for growth. 

So if you hate marketing yourself, this episode is for you.   

Be comforted. Marketing yourself is NOT what car salesmen do – well it should not be unless your goal is to have people run from you when you walk down the hall – then it can be pretty effective. 

So today we want to talk about what marketing yourself looks like. Professional, not pushy, and very effective. 

I blogged about marketing yourself or showing your value in this blog post with similar content: How to Show Your Value

What To Do If You Hate Marketing Yourself (podcast outline)

Operations vs marketing.

  • Operations are about delivering the service.
  • Marketing is about making potential customers aware of your services OR about making current customers aware of how you have served them. 

What is effective marketing? 

  • Marketing is a way of serving. Marketing should be appreciated 
    “Marketing is simply letting others know how you can add value to their lives AND reminding them how you have added value to their lives. Either way – it is sort of a method of educating your audience. Marketing, when done right, is helpful and appreciated. “ 

For example, look at the things you get in an email that you appreciate getting. Are they marketing something as well as serving?

  • We all WANT to be marketed to. We want to be informed about products that serve us or just to be aware. We want to know what others have done for us after they did it?

    Examples would be the mechanic going over the work done to your car or the software engineer having a training session to teach others how to use the code they developed.
  • Depends on industry. Used car commercials work – we know because they keep doing them. Everyone says they are annoying – but the results come in. So we continue to see them.

    Yet, you do not see the same kind of thing from other services. Home repair, mechanics, dentists, and even most retailers do a much different style of marketing. But what about professional services – which is where you are?

Professional Services Marketing.

  • Selling the person and not the product.
  • Focused on what I can do (or have done) for you.
  • Liking and respecting the person being marketing is key. (Therefore being pushy and annoying is not the way to go.)

Effective Ways To Discover how to market yourself inside your company

  • Look around at the people you respect. How do they communicate value? How do they let others know they have done their job? 
  • Look at your own people (who work for you or on your team). Who do you respect here? What do they do? 
  • How do you know what your people or team members are doing? 
  • How does your boss know what you are doing? 

Winning Methods That Almost Always Work.

  • Provide a reminder email weekly or monthly that provides some data to your internal customer (boss) about what you did. 
    • Use bullets or short summaries. It should be less than 1 page and fit on a screen so they do not have to scroll. 
    • Use any data that makes sense – numbers can really help. 
    • If you have metrics – use those as talking points. Where are you? 
  • Copy your customers on internal emails where you are announcing an activity you are doing or something you have done. This might be more detailed than your customer (boss) needs but is just FYI. 
  • Have an agenda. If you have periodic meetings (staff meetings or one-on-ones) be prepared for talking points. Do not walk in blind – but have an agenda to direct the conversation. For staff meetings, have any relevant data that pertains to what you have done. Esp for one-on-ones in which your boss may not have an agenda. (Use those emails you have sent out.)
  • Your appearance. Think about how you look – dress, posture, facial expressions, general outlook. You want to look professional and competent. The dress will vary depending on your role and the company – but in general, always shoot to dress as nice as your boss does – if that fits. 
  • Talk to your boss (often) about what they value and how you provide value to them and the company. This is a constant alignment that helps both of you stay on course. But just you talking about adding value makes you look more valuable. 
  • Find and communicate your value in numbers. See my podcast on How To Determine Your Value at Work
  • Get involved with the larger conversation. Attend those larger meetings that you might otherwise skip where different teams are talking strategy or connecting. These might be internal committees or teams you get invited to. My initial thinking is to skip them. But the networking and understanding about what else is going on can be helpful. You can decide which ones to ultimately skip – but some can add value to your personal brand. 

How to market yourself beyond your company.

  • Update your LinkedIn Profile. See my youtube on Linked In Best Practices. Like and subscribe while you are there. 
  • Work your contacts. Stay connected to others who you might not talk to often. See my podcast Growing Your Influence Through Managing Your Contacts
  • Grow your network strategically. Get tips from my blog post How To Use LinkedIn to Work a Town.  
  • Get involved where your industry leaders are involved. Connect. Join associations and get active. Volunteer to help. But be strategic and make sure this is a place where leaders connect – however you might define the leaders in your field. 
  • Post to social media such as LinkedIn. 
  • Create content in your field. Blog posts, podcasts, etc. (I can help you here if you want to go this route – contact me)


There is no need to hate marketing yourself. Marketing is simply letting others know how you can add value to their lives AND reminding them how you have added value to their lives. Either way – it is sort of a method of educating your audience. Marketing, when done right, is helpful and appreciated. 

Click here to listen now. 

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Links mentioned in this episode to help you market yourself:

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