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How Powerful Client Attraction Starts With Fearless Self-Promotion

Aug 17, 2007
Most of us have fears: fear of water, fear of the dark, fear of flying. We know these fears can hold us back from enjoying life and accomplishing great things. We also know we're actually safer when we relax and let go.

As a copywriter, I find many business owners suffer from fear of selling themselves. They read the copy. They realize they sound great. And they panic.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote some copy for a business owner Marvin. My copy was hard-hitting but honest and down-to-earth. He's really good in his field, so coming up with benefits was easy.

What wasn't easy was convincing him to run with the copy on his duller-than-dust website.

"It's, well, sales!" Marvin said.

"That's the idea," I replied.

"It makes me sound really great!"

"You ARE really great. I've seen your work."

Finally, I showed the copy to a friend who needed Marvin's services. She was ready to pick up the phone. Then I showed her Marvin's original website. She made a face. Boh-ring!

She hired Marvin and told him why. Marvin was about 90% convinced.

I understand where Marvin was coming from. When I created my first website, I practically begged people to go away. Selling myself? No way.

But when I began revising my sales pages, and people began buying, I saw the light. People who buy from me are smart professionals. Many have advanced degrees. They are not the type to be suckered in by a snake-oil sales pitch.

And now I encourage clients to understand what good marketing copy can do for a business.

Let's face it, most of us were taught, "Don't sell yourself. Don't brag. Don't toot your own horn." And in truth, there's no need for hype and absolutely no reason to exaggerate what you can do.

But clients want to buy from strong, confident business people. If you have nothing to brag about, why are you in business?

Alas, many of us experience a form of copy shock when we look at a page dedicated to selling ourselves.

"Is that really me? I don't want to exaggerate," we say.

Let's get real: the whole idea of hiring someone to promote ourselves is to, well, promote.

So, let's sell! Get excited! Share the good stuff!

When I'm finished with a copywriting project, I advise my clients, "Show a trusted friend what your hired gun copywriter has written." You can do this too.

"A little strong isn't it?" you'll say nervously.

Almost always, your friend will say, "Not at all. That's really who you are. Very accurate."

"Not too sales-y, is it?"

"Not hardly. This is what I'd call gentle persuasion. Get a life!"

A few iterations and you're no longer afraid to sell yourself. Soon you'll be plastering "My business rocks!" posters all over town. And you'll believe it.
About the Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., wrote the 7 Best-Kept Secrets of Websites that Attract Clients, Increase Sales and Create a Community of Raving Fans.
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