Published on 27th February 2017
We are delighted to welcome Melissa Lewis from Style Confidante as a guest blogger. Melissa is one of the Ambition Elite Partners who works with us to provide further support to our clients, in line with each organisations' culture and diversity goals.
One of the main hurdles I see women encounter getting to the next level is being unable to market their skill set. How can you step up if you are unable or unwilling to back yourself? Here are 5 tips so that you can market your talents and be valued for what you do.
1. Know where your strengths lie
How will someone else know you’re the ‘go-to’ person in a certain area if you don’t even know? Have you ever sat down and written down what your talents and strengths really are? It may surprise you. It’s not necessarily even part of your background training or study or part of your job description. Perhaps it’s something that’s evolved over time. Perhaps it’s a passion that you’ve pursued and now mastered. Forget the CV jargon and really know what you do best. How can you commercialise something you can’t even name?
2. Own it
So many women are either afraid or embarrassed to talk about their strengths. Some say they don’t want to appear arrogant. Others say they don’t feel worthy or experienced enough (hello, imposter syndrome – this one is a post of its own!). Remember this – knowing what you are good at and claiming it is not boastful or embarrassing, it’s authentic. How liberating to be able to hone in on your skill set and be able to accurately express what you do and why you do it so well. And whatever your do, delete the word ‘just’ from your vocabulary. I can’t even tell you the number of times a fantastic achievement by one of my clients has been preceded by the word ‘just’, totally downplaying her worth. Take pride in what you do. How will others know to respect your skillset and value what you do if you can’t?
Know exactly what you’re worth. Whatever your role, make sure you know the going rate. This may be as simple as asking around. If you don’t have the right connections in a particular industry, network, network, network. There is no way you can confidently commercialise your talents unless you know exactly what those talents are worth. This is relevant whether you are an employee, a freelancer, a consultant or own your own business.
4. Don’t take no for an answer
As much as ‘selling yourself’ may be a foreign concept for many, the reality is that to stand out we always have to be marketing our skillset. Whether this is in a job interview, trying to gain a new client or putting your hand up for a promotion or pay rise, don’t let the conversation end without the other person wanting more. How? See points 1 and 2 above. Know what your talents are and own it.
5. Become your brand
Personal branding has a massive role to play when it comes to commercialising your skills. You’ve identified your unique value proposition, you know its worth, but don’t forget the packaging – YOU. Here are some important questions:
- Is your website / LinkedIn / online presence up to date to reflect your skillset?
- Is the way you dress and your professional style an accurate presentation of your capabilities?
- Does the way you communicate, whether on the phone, in person or by email, accurately reflect your skills and qualifications? (For example, do you have a professional sounding voicemail message? Do you follow email etiquette when you communicate?)
Maybe you need these strategies to totally revolutionise a talent you’ve been giving away for free until now, or perhaps to break into a new industry, or perhaps you might just need a gentle reminder to back yourself and you’ve forgotten exactly how. These five tips are not difficult to implement but the rewards are boundless.
If you’re ready to step up and stand out for all the right reasons, join the exclusive 3 day program for savvy educated women called ‘Women Who Lead’ on 7th, 8th and 24th March.
If you’re ready to be empowered and take that next big step in your development, contact Melissa for a no-obligation chat, call