How To get Visible Without Feeling Like a Fraud

Spoiler alert - your good work does not speak for itself.

Period. Why not? People are bombarded by a million other things. This gets in the way of them seeing your work / hearing your voice / noticing your contribution. 

Learning to get visible and get out of your comfort zone are MUST HAVE skills in today’s world.  

And… we get that this stuff isn't easy for many women – we’ve been there! 

Promoting ourselves can feel icky, inauthentic, game playing, arrogant or even aggressive. This is because we’re breaching social norms (more HERE link to promotion part 1). Our fear of being seen as arrogant means that we under-pitch our self-promotion. Stepping into the spotlight can feel exposing, vulnerable and fear inducing. 

And yet it’s essential that we find ways to make our work and achievements visible. 

Increasing your visibility sends a message about the extent to which you value yourself and are confident, makes your work and ideas available to those who can use them, and helps you to manage and influence your reputation in your organization.

There’s a bigger picture here too. Alongside networking, self-promotion is one of the key enablers that allow women to progress and to thrive inside organisations.

If we want to shift the dial on more women in senior positions across all industries and sectors (which we do right?!) then this is a skill we need to get more comfortable with.... AND we need to stop penalizing other women when they do it.

The more we practice the easier it feels – keep reading for our tips on HOW to get more visible in a way that feels authentic to you.

So how can we start practicing authentically self-promoting?

Here are some tips for planning and crafting your own authentic self-promotion. 

1.    Reframe self-promotion simply as communication and getting more visible  – getting your work, your services and the great things you are doing visible for others to use them, enjoy them, benefit from them. By self-promoting you are simply communicating about your great thing.

2.   Focus on Service –connect what you are sharing to how it benefits others, the learning that is useful for others, the bigger picture purpose of your organisation. This moves away from centring on ‘me’ and may feel more comfortable as you develop your self-promotion muscles.

3.   Identify what do you want to be known for (hint: your brilliant work !!) What piece of work are you proud of, that you want others to hear about? What story do you want to tell? 

4.  Identify what is valued in your company, what is rewarded? Numbers? Profit growth? Customer satisfaction? Connect whatyouhave contributed to these areas that are valued in your company. What are the pain points in the business at the moment – how are you solving them?

5.  Clarify what’s your contribution to the team's successes and focus on showing this stuff! Use ‘I’ in your descriptions, updates and storytelling!  When you’re telling your story, explain clearly the result or progress towards the result that you have achieved - how it adds value to the business, how it benefits to those you serve – i.e. why they should care.Don’t be afraid to share your small wins as you go - you don’t need to wait till a project / job / iniative is complete before you share it! Tell the story as it unfolds. Take people on the journey with you

6.   Explore who needs to know? Who needs to hear about your contribution? Who do you need to get visible with? Who needs to see you/ get to know you/ hear about your work?

7.   Brainstorm how can you get in front of them? What opportunities are available for you? How can you make it known to them? Can you arrange coffee? Join a meeting and get an item on the agenda? Plan an informal water cooler moment or walk past? Offer to host the shop floor tour or board presentation? 

8.  Tell the whole truth– no lies of omission about yourself! Share what is your contribution ('this is what I specifically did...'), as well as acknowledging and valuing others' contributions- give credit where credit is due – that includes to yourself! If your team have a great success, talk about that, and talk about how your leadership and steering enabled that to happen. 

9.  Find role models who you see self promoting really authentically, and watch what they do. What can you learn and use in your own way?

10.  Dial up your self promotion gradually. This may feel more authentic and trigger less adverse reaction that going full tilt. 

It gets easier, and feels more 'you' with practice - Keep experimenting and learning as you go!

Over to you – coaching prompts and next steps:

1.       What emotions do you feel when we say ‘self-promotion’ and ‘visibility’? What’s that about for you?

2.       Do you recognise the belief that 'my good work should speak for itself'? How’s this helping or hindering you?

3.       What’s the value of self-promotion for you – why could it be important for you?

4.       Who needs to know about your brilliant work?

5. What’s the story you want to be telling about yourself? What do you want your reputation to be? What is the story you want others to be telling about you? 

5.       How can you experiment/ practice telling this story this week and what YOU contributed to the success, the learning, the progress?

6.    Who else can you credit? How can you own YOUR contribution too?

7.     What’s your best next step?

Further resources: 

Eleanor Beaton's Fierce Feminine Leadership podcast

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action,  Susan Jeffers 

Playing Big, Tara Mohr

Catalyst Collective blogs on self promotion , courage and heat experiences 

We'd love to hear what you experiment with, and how you get on - let us know!

Want to go deeper? 

Join us for How To Get Visible Without Feeling Like a Fraud

In this action -packed webinar you’ll learn how to get visible and have a greater voice, in ways that feel natural and authentic to you.