When I decided to dive head first into my business, I was PUMPED. I couldn’t wait to share my gifts with the world and really help people succeed. But there was one aspect of the business that really didn’t sit will with me – self-promotion.

Logically, I knew that people wouldn’t know who I was, what I could do, or how I could help them unless I gave them a gentle nudge and told them. But try as I might, I kept imagining myself as one of those people dressed up in a giant hot dog uniform handing out flyers and free samples that inevitably get tossed out into the garbage… metaphorically speaking of course.

The truth was, I felt like the hot dog guy because my mind was associating self-promotion with inauthentic and pushy marketing.

If you’re feeling like this, then know that you’re not alone! The trick is to recognize that in order to share your expertise with the world, you’re going to have to learn some new skills and self-promotion tips.

Here are my top tips on how to work that self-promotion muscle without all the overwhelm and fear.

How to Tackle Self Promotion without Feeling like a Fraud // Amanda Crowell

How To Tackle Self Promotion Without Feeling Like A Fraud

1. Make Mistakes

I like to say that there are 27 mistakes between you and your breakthrough… so get busy! Those mistakes aren’t going to make themselves!

Every self-promotion tactic you use won’t work. Sometimes your great idea really will be just like the hot dog flyer that gets thrown in the trash. That’s okay! The next time you know what not to do and you’ll be wiser for it.

imposter syndrome millennials

2. Think Like a Scientist

To learn your way into promotion, come at it from a lens with which you are more comfortable: that of a scientist!

Piggy-backing on point 1, use the mistakes you make to learn your way into better marketing. Test out different methods, take notes on your results, and tweak until you come up with something that works. And don’t get your ego all mixed up in which one is going to be the one that turns out to have the best results!

Think about the scientist in her lab- is she freaked out and afraid every time she tries a new proportion of one chemical over the other? NO! She’s just following her intuition and her prior knowledge into further and further expertise. That process is the point, to her. That’s the tone to strike with your self-promotion experiments as well!

Related: How You Are Cursed By Your Understanding

 3. There’s No Such Thing as Wasted Time

It can be discouraging when you put your all into something that falls completely flat. Believe me when I say this: I’ve been there!  If you try something that doesn’t work, don’t let it paralyze you!

First of all, you’ve tried something new and innovative and that is to be commended. Well done.

And second, trying that one new (terrible) idea will break you of your fear of those mistakes! One of the hardest parts about starting anything new is the paralysis that comes from being afraid to make a mistake. Once you’ve made your first mistake, you’ve effectively opened yourself up to some truly great new ideas.

Those 27 mistakes standing between you and your major breakthrough don’t happen consecutively. It’s not like you will just fall on your face again and again… there will be wins! I can promise you that. And these mistakes definitely won’t happen without any learning in between… Rather, the learning will bloom like flowers on a tree in springtime.

All of this is to say: The mistakes, my friend, are the path to the success you seek.

Related: Failure Is My Friend

Getting your Great Work in front of new eyes can be challenging, especially when this kind of promotion is completely new to you. Rather than worrying yourself into paralysis, I urge you to take my challenge:

How quickly can you get through YOUR 27 mistakes?

 Join us in the Great Work Community!

About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. She is the author of Great Work, the host of the Unleashing Your Great Work podcast, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.