As a small business owner, you need to let people know about your business any way you can. Self-promotion is among the most economical and effective ways to accomplish that goal. After all, who better to tell others about your business than you?

But if you happen to be naturally shy, or if you have a negative image of self-promoters, you might find the idea of self-promotion distasteful. The first step toward overcoming this obstacle is convincing yourself it’s okay to sing your own praises.

Some small business owners feel if their products or services are good enough, others will promote their business for them. In some cases, that’s true. However, for the vast majority of small business owners, self-promotion is necessary for their company’s survival.

Don’t Hide Your Light

No matter what, some people won’t be receptive to your self-promotion. Don’t take it personally. Most customers and prospects expect you to toot your own horn as long as you can back up your claims and aren’t aggressive about it.

There’s nothing wrong with letting others know about your accomplishments. They separate you from the competition. And they’re what customers use to make their buying decisions.

Providing customers useful information about your business helps them make more informed choices. And that leads to greater satisfaction with their purchases.

Are You Sold on Your Business?

If you still feel uncomfortable about promoting your business, ask yourself “why.” You may feel your products aren’t worthy of promotion, or your customer service doesn’t deserve to be celebrated.

Whatever the case, you’ll never feel completely comfortable about promoting your business until you’re confident it offers value not found elsewhere. Once you reach that point, self-promotion feels more like sharing and less like selling.

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Choose the Right Audience

Keep in mind that not everyone fits your customer profile. Promoting yourself or your business to the wrong audience is a waste of your time and theirs. Worse yet, your self-promotion could come off as annoying and self-serving. That’s a risk you never want to take.

Remember, people like buying from people they like and identify with. So review your sales pitch with a Golden Rule lens — if you’re treating others the way you’d want to be treated, you likely aren’t coming across as pushy or conceited.

When you promote your knowledge, skills and ideas, you give others something to cheer for and a cause to support and follow.

Debbie Allen, Author, Success is Easy

Promote What Your Customers Value

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be all things to all people. So be selective about which benefits you promote. Focus only on those that offer customers the biggest rewards.

And that means you may have to concede some ground to your competition. For instance, some competitors will beat you on price. But that might not be the biggest issue for your customers. Do your higher prices accompany superior quality? If so, your customers may not mind paying a little more for your products and services.

If you can claim lower prices and your products or services are of equal or even higher quality, then by all means, compete on price.

Your customers will tell you whether they’re more concerned with higher quality or lower pricing. Explaining how you meet those expectations isn’t self-promotion, it’s proving your value.

And when you consistently deliver on that value, you’ll likely gain a loyal customer who will be just as eager to share your story as you are.