By Concetta Rand, Chief Revenue Officer, iFundWomen
You hate to brag. We feel you. Every day we talk to entrepreneurs who tell us they would rather work on their business than focus on selling. So they avoid putting their accomplishments out into the world their and that holds their businesses back.
Research shows that whether it's touting our own performance or estimating our abilities, women lag far behind men. We also know that women who are overtly confident pay a price. But if you don’t promote what you’re doing no one else will. There's no question it’s a tricky tightrope to walk.
When women step up to solve problems, we add a critical perspective. When our businesses are constrained by a lack of funding, everyone loses. Our silence has a real financial cost - from delayed promotions to smaller salary increases to lower fundraising amounts.
When it comes to raising money for your business, bragging is table stakes. So what’s the secret to mastering the art of the brag? How do those who may be more introverted get comfortable with touting your accomplishments and claiming your seat at the table?
1) GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME
Mindset matters. Instead of ‘bragging’, think of it as a means to an end, and that “end” is growing your business. Recognize that if you don’t start talking, no one else will. And you owe it to yourself and your business to get the word out about what you’re doing.
2) OWN YOUR STORY
Your pitch is critical. You need to love it and own it in order to sell it. Write out your pitch using our script template and practice constantly - with friends, in front of a mirror, to strangers, and to your phone while recording yourself. Flexing your brag muscle like this will inevitably increase your confidence and your ability to share your successes with others.
3) ASSEMBLE YOUR CHEERLEADING SQUAD
It can be daunting to put your accomplishments out in the world. If a post hits social media and no one likes, did it even happen? Take a page from some of the women who served in Obama's White House and enlist a friend – or 5! – to amplify your accomplishments. Take an advertising approach to your news – frequency matters. The more people who talk up your campaign and goals, the more likely they are to break through the clutter.
4) DO THE WORK UPFRONT
Crowdfunding requires you to put yourself out there over and over again. Do that in whatever way is most authentic and organic to you, but be sure to prepare ahead of your campaign launch. Your campaign is not a one-and-done sort of thing. It's not something you set and forget. It’s a marathon – not a sprint – and you need to keep your all-out media plan going all the way to the finish line. Be thoughtful in planning what channels you’re going to use and how you’re going to make them work for you.
It comes down to this: it’s not bragging if you’re really invested in what you’re doing. And if you’re not willing to invest in your business, why would anyone else be?