You probably already know that to be successful you have to sell yourself. There’s no getting around it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or employed–you have to let people know your value. Whether you’re working toward a promotion, trying to gain new clients, or trying to land a job, your ability to convince others of your value is key to your success.
But if you’re an introvert, you may find that talking about yourself is difficult. It feels like bragging. And nobody likes a braggart, right?
If you struggle with selling your value, here are 3 things you can do to advocate for yourself and convey your value without feeling like a jerk.
Talk About Other People’s Success
If talking about yourself feels too prideful for you, try talking about other people’s success. Specifically, discuss the success that you contributed to. That person might be a client, a customer, a co-worker or a partner. Depending on the work you do, your success might manifest differently through others. For example, if you’re a copywriter, talk about how your clients were able to increase their conversions, time on site, or search rankings. You don’t have to say “I did it!” You can say, “The client was struggling to reach new audiences. We tweaked their SEO and in about six weeks, they saw a 15% increase in traffic resulting in 5% increase in conversions. They were ecstatic!”
Obviously, you’re the one that made it happen. But by framing it this way, it doesn’t feel like you’re talking about yourself and should be a little easier for you.
Use Real-Life Examples Instead of What-If Scenarios
Some interviewers like to ask questions like, “If such-and-such a situation happened, how would you deal with it?” It can be nerve-wracking to think on your feet about what you would do in a pretend situation. And losing your nerve usually costs introverts a lot. Instead, relay a story of something that actually happened. You won’t have to fish for the right answer. You won’t have to grapple with whether or not you’re giving them what they want to know. You can relay the facts as they occurred and tell the result. And if the interview pushes for a “what-if” answer, you can always say something like, “Well, since that’s how I handled the situation in the past, it’s likely I would handle it the same way going forward unless I get some new insight between now and then.”
Give Credit Where It’s Due
When you’re talking about projects you’ve worked on, successes you’ve had, or accomplishments, some people find it easy to list their strengths. Others don’t. If you’re having a hard time with it, you can start by giving credit to those who helped you along the way. You can say things like, “I was able to win an award in the third quarter last year because one of my teammates taught me how to give a presentation, and I really put her ideas to work every time I stepped into a room.” Or you might try, “Thanks to the amazing support I received from the floor manager, I felt comfortable talking and joking with customers, putting them at ease. As a result, I was the highest-selling clerk at the company. My manager’s support really allowed me to serve our customers better.”
By shining the light on how other people helped you, you’re not taking all the credit for what happened. And even though you’re not showing off center stage, your interviewer will still hear how amazing you are, and how lucky they will be to have you on their team.
It’s important to keep in mind that you have every right to own your accomplishments. You have every right to proudly share the stories of your own success. You earned it! But if you just don’t feel comfortable talking about yourself yet, try these techniques in your next interview. The more you do it, the easier it will get.