No one likes a braggart. We’re socialized to believe that modesty makes us likable. That’s why showcasing one’s achievements is the part of personal branding that a lot of women are uncomfortable with. But if you don’t brag a little, how will people in your network know about the cool things that you’re doing? They won’t, which is why a little bragging is an essential part of your personal branding strategy. If you write killer copy that gets results, your next client won’t know unless you brag a little. Personal branding is about standing out and talking about your accomplishments is the way to do that.
Does Bragging Make You Nervous?
To get started on your self-promotion journey, it may help to identify why self-promotion makes you nervous in the first place.
- You don’t want to invite unwanted negative attention.
- You lack self-confidence and feel like a fraud boasting about your accomplishments.
- You don’t want to come across as arrogant and unlikable.
- You don’t see your accomplishments as worthy of being promoted.
While these are valid fears and concerns, there are bigger things at stake if you don’t. Let’s look at why you should absolutely self-promote:
- Your competition is doing it.
- People won’t remember what you’ve done; you have to remind them.
- It helps people get to know you.
- Your next job or client may be on the other side of your post.
Choose your audience and content wisely
My mom used to tell me, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Nothing could be truer when it comes to showcasing your achievements. There’s a way to showcase all of the cool work that you’ve done without being obnoxious. Take this example: “I’m the best in the business because I get results for my clients.” It might be true and the numbers may back you up, but it feels arrogant and self-congratulatory. Now compare that “I’m fortunate to work with the most amazing clients and together, with the help of my team, we’ve achieved some amazing results.” This feels less like bragging and more like showcasing your accomplishments.
Bragging to the appropriate audience will make all the difference in how it is received. Posting about a promotion on LinkedIn is to be expected and will likely be positively embraced because that is the type of content that audience is used to receiving. In addition, telling people how you accomplished something in addition to the accomplishment can also impact the reception. For example, if you converted a record number of website visitors with your killer copy, then telling your audience how you achieved this is less like bragging and more like helpful information to your audience.
Be transparent about your setbacks
Get buy-in early on. Documenting a project, journey, or goal from the beginning will help you get buy-in from your audience. If they feel invested in the work that you’re doing, sharing your success won’t feel like bragging at all. When you do so, your wins will be even more celebrated because they’ve been on this journey with you. For example, if you’re working with a new client, document the journey and obstacles along the way. That way, when you post about the amazing results you got from your client, it won’t feel like bragging— simply sharing a well-deserved victory. No one wins all of the time. Success is usually followed by a variety of setbacks. Share those setbacks with your audience, too. Doing so will communicate transparency and authenticity. Also, talking about your setbacks makes you relatable, and people will connect with that.
Let someone else brag for you
The best way to showcase yourself is to let someone else do it for you. What someone else says about you will come off as more authentic and objective than anything you’ll say about yourself and your audience will give it more consideration. Encouraging clients/customers to write reviews about you online or asking a boss or colleague to endorse you on LinkedIn are good ways to let people in your network brag for you. Keep in mind there will be certain stories that you can only tell yourself and will need to come from your perspective. For example, only you can tell the story of a month-long job search that ended victoriously in a promotion. But if you delivered results for your clients, they may be the best person to tell that story.
Good Opportunities to Brag About Yourself
- When you switch industries or careers
- When you get a promotion
- When you led a successful project
- When you speak at a conference or other event
- When you start a business
Showcasing your accomplishments is a necessity. The better you get at it, the more opportunities will come your way. Knowing how to showcase your accomplishment without alienating your audience is a skill that every woman needs to take her career to the next level. Leading with humility and transparency will make showcasing your accomplishments feel natural and relatable.