Are You Afraid of Being Braggadocious?

In order to master sales, you have to be able to confidently tell people about what you do.

A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of attending the NAWBO Columbus “Good to Great” Program.  It was a wonderful opportunity to connect loud kidwith some fabulous local women business owners who are committed to success.

Each table at the event focused on a different business building topic.  I was lucky enough to have the fabulous Tonya Stalnaker-Tigget of Speak Our Language at my table leading a discussion on “How to Toot Your Own Horn.”  Tooting your own horn is something that many women business owners struggle with.  It really is unfortunate because so much of your sales and business success depends on your ability to “toot your own horn” or at least demonstrate the value that you have to offer.

We often worry about looking like a braggart or making others feel bad because they’re not as successful. Or, we may feel like our successes aren’t big enough to toot.

Can you relate to any of that?  If so, you are definitely not alone.

Here’s the thing: you can’t wait for others to toot your horn for you.  You have to stand out and let people know what you’re up to and the value that you bring or you’ll fade into the wallpaper.

Here are 3 tips for tooting your horn and promoting your business (without sounding like a jerk):

  1. Don’t be shy about sharing your accomplishments.  Make a list of your business AND personal accomplishments and sprinkle them in your bio.  You have a story that is inspirational to others and that story just might inspire them to do business with you.
  2. Be creative and engaging.  Don’t just say, “I’m a _______” and leave it at that.  Tell a story, ask an engaging question, make up analogy or a cool title and explain how it relates to what you do so people truly understand what you’re talking about and grasp how extraordinary you are.  For example, Tonya introduces herself as “the live version of Dora the Explorer for adults.”  That grabs your attention much more than saying, “I teach people how to speak another language.”
  3. Let your confidence, passion, and enthusiasm shine through.  When you talk about yourself and your services your energy is contagious.  If you come off as unsure of yourself or disinterested, the person you’re talking to is going to feel the same way about you and your services.

I would love to hear your favorite tips for tooting your horn.  Not a natural  horn-tooter?  That’s ok, too. Please feel free to share your comments below.

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About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. I agree that it’s important to toot the horn – without sounding totally self-absorbed. Like your idea of creating a story that helps explain who you are and what you do – great tip!

  2. Tiffany I particularly like Tip #3. I think that positive energy is contagious! It is also very effective in sales.

  3. My favorite tip I always give my client is if you are worried about being a braggart, there is no way you will be one. Braggarts don’t know or care that they are bragging, it’s part of who they are. Therefore, if you see the qualities in a braggart that you don’t like you won’t take on those qualities. Just follow Tiffany’s 3 tips and you’ll be great!

    • Thanks, Jessica! It’s just like when my clients are concerned about being pushy in sales conversations–if you’re not normally pushy, you don’t have to worry about it.

  4. Heidi Alexandra says:

    Love this reminder and I love that Tonya introduces herself as “the live version of Dora the Explorer for adults.”
    In the spirit of this post I will add that I just won an award in my city for Entrepreneur of the Year :-)

  5. Love that word Braggadocious! and I agree, we need to celebrate and share our successes. I’d love to add something to the mix because I see many women not wanting to do this because they have low serotonin, and women make less than men! They’ll have low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, “who am I to be doing this” and anxiety and won’t feel confident enough to toot their own horns. There is much we can do nutritionally…real whole food, gluten removal and the amazing amino acid tryptophan!

  6. I like the creative title and have seen some tht you can’t resist asking for more information about. Remember the old saying “He that doesn’t toot his own horn, said horn doesn’t get tooted.”

  7. Tiffany, growing up in the Deep South, it was considered “tacky” to toot your own in any way so I really had a hard time with that when I first came into online business. After several years, I’ve realized a balanced approach is the way I feel comfortable sharing my accomplishments. In other words, I don’t mind sharing something I’m good at if it helps my client with their *own *accomplishment. :)

    • Exactly, Betsy! That’s the main reason I teach my clients to come from a place of service. We all stop worrying about ourselves when we’re focused on helping someone else.

  8. These are good tips. This is one area where I still back off. Many of the items I am still involved in today just seem to be too much and I fear people will feel ‘OMG, I would never get the time of day from him.’ So I just don’t talk about it.

    • Very interesting, Mitch. The other way to look at is that others might be inspired by your accomplishments. People need to others to look up to so that they can believe in their own dreams.

  9. Tiffany – I’d like to think that if you’re worried about being to “braggadocious” (love that word), that you won’t be because you care and are conscious of how you’re communicating … but then again, that’s not always the case!

    I love the idea of sharing your success in the form of a story, or sharing your success by talking about your clients instead of yourself … and to be yourself and share your excitement and passion.

    I have always felt that if you’re being real, you’re putting others first, and you’re in love with what you do, you’ll be okay!

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