How to Sell Yourself (in Order to Sell a Service)

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You’ve started a business. Congratulations! If you want that business to be around this time next year, then it’s important to understand that your work has just begun. Starting now, you’re going to have to sell yourself. Simply selling a service will never be enough.

It’s time to take a fresh look at how you can be a powerful saleswoman, by forging the strongest possible connections—by selling yourself to those people who care about what you have to offer. If you only sell a service, you’re probably looking at a collection of one-time transactions. If, however, you sell the idea of you, what you stand for, the difference you’re making…then you’re more likely to build a loyal following.

If you only sell a service, you’re probably looking at a collection of one-time transactions. If, however, you sell the idea of you, what you stand for, the difference you’re making…then you’re more likely to build a loyal following.

How to Sell Yourself in Order to Sell Your Services

Your business cannot exist in a vacuum. It’s going to need loyal customers, deep-rooted support and reasons to keep them coming back.

Are you ready to be irresistible? And take that magnetism to the farthest corners of your community, your country or the globe?

Let’s get started.

Sell Yourself

You may have heard that people don’t buy from corporations; they buy from people. This is why an accomplished salesperson can work anywhere, selling just about anything. She knows how to connect with people, emotively and with empathy.

And since you are running a small business, making the majority of decisions on your own, you are your business. Your values are your business’s values. When you make lasting connections with the people in your target market, you can be sure they’ll see you in your business operations.

When you make lasting connections with the people in your target market, you can be sure they’ll see you in your business operations. Click To Tweet

Here’s how you can sell yourself (and your business).

Be Clear About Your Target Market

So you’ve got to sell yourself. You know that. But to whom are you selling yourself?

Believe it or not, this matters. Many small business owners overlook this crucial element. You’ve got to know the pain points, know the emotions that are going to cause action, know what their common objections will be. Know what they want and need, and then you can use what you know—and who you are—to make deep, meaningful, person-to-person connections.

Know what your target market wants and needs, and then you can use what you know—and who you are—to make deep, meaningful, person-to-person connections.

Embody Your Product or Service

It can be easy to forget that you’re not selling a product. You’re selling you, and when people buy into you, they will buy the product as a result.

Be well-versed in the benefits of what you’re selling; but more than that, be the product that you’re selling. Sell you.

Be well-versed in the benefits of what you’re selling; but more than that, be the product that you’re selling. Sell you. Click To Tweet

Be Clear on the Problem You’re Solving

Part of really knowing your target market is knowing the pain they’re in, and what the problem is causing that pain. Let them know you understand the difficulties the problem is causing—that you empathise with their situation.

Then, present your unique solution.

This solution should be one that illustrates a better way of life…a way of life without the problem and without the pain.

Package Your Services

You’ve heard the real estate mantra Location, Location, Location. You may have also heard from culinary professionals that it’s all about the presentation. Two companies can sell identical services, but one will be more successful because it packages its services in a way that highlights what its ideal customer values.

Determine what’s most important to your target market. Then package your services in tiers that climb from the smallest amount of that value to the highest…with that value always being the prominent factor.

For instance, if you know they value a professional appearance, create a basic fashion service that offers the design of two outfits (one for business and one for pleasure)…all the way up to a package that provides an entire custom career wardrobe.

Package your services in tiers that climb from the smallest amount of value to the highest.

When you understand what they need—and demonstrate that through choices like the packaging of services—then you’re selling you and everything that comes along with you.

Appeal to Their Emotions

Consumers do not make decisions with their heads; they make decisions with their hearts. And when you summon up an emotion that’s important to them…well, you’ve got them in your corner.

Take the American Subaru ad campaigns, for instance. They appeal to dog lovers by telling stories of a canine family. What do dogs have to do with Subarus? Nothing, really. But the car manufacturer is tapping into an emotion that will be memorable for its specific audience—an emotion they will remember and attribute to Subaru.

Consumers do not make decisions with their heads; they make decisions with their hearts. Click To Tweet

When you appeal to your target market’s emotions, they will fall for you…and therefore, everything you’re selling.

And an interesting side note: The Subaru commercials starring dogs do not air here in Australia, which probably means marketing studies have shown different results regarding what’s important to consumers in each region. In Australia, the emotive factors seem to be adventure and family.

When you appeal to your target market’s emotions, they will fall for you…and therefore, everything you’re selling.

Use Social Proof

When you’re hungry and looking for a place to eat, are you more likely to stop at a café where the parking lot is full? Or one where only one or two cars are parked?

I suppose the long answer would have to do with how much time you have to wait and what time of day it is…however, the short answer is that most of us will dine at the restaurant where the largest number of cars are parked.

This is one form of social proof. A lot of people are there, so it must be good. Create a following, and people will want to buy into you.

Providing testimonials from your customers, promoting word-of-mouth advertising, and amassing lots of followers on your social media accounts…are just a few more ways you can provide social proof to boost your profile.

Create a following, and people will want to buy into you. Click To Tweet

Create a Strong Brand

When you’re selling a service (or yourself, really), there’s no tangible product for people to look at, or test. They won’t be able to hold it in their hands or watch a video of others using the product.

And so, they will turn to other factors for decision-making. They will make conclusions based on how your personal brand makes them feel. They will determine whether or not they trust you, using the messages your brand is sending. They will look to the reputation you’ve built and their perceptions based on the words, actions and visuals your brand uses.

They will decide if they can connect with you on a deeper level, and they’ll use your personal brand to gather the information for making that decision. A strong brand that truly represents your values will ensure that you make the right kinds of connections. And in doing so, you will sell yourself and your business—which is the secret to success!

A strong brand that truly represents your values will ensure that you make the right kinds of connections.

Are You Ready to Sell Yourself?

If you’ve been focussed solely on selling your service, you’ve been missing out on all that could be. It’s time to start forging long-lasting, loyal business relationships that will weather all kinds of storms. It’s time to start selling YOU.

Have you struggled to sell yourself? Or are you a pro with some super selling tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you – make sure you share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments below! 

More on the topics of selling and business success: 

  1. Secrets to Selling – this workshop covers everything you need to know to successfully sell online and offline
  2. Why You Need to be Spying on Your Competitors to Achieve Business Success
  3. The Top 10 Mindset Qualities You Need to Embrace to be Successful in Business
  4. The 10 Most Important Tactics that will Set Your Business up for Success

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34 Comments

  1. Kate

    Fantastic read and a great reminder of the importance of selling yourself not the product.
    Building rapport and then being able to closed a sale depends on this. Thanks for the share

    Reply
  2. Rina Mittiga

    Very valid points. BE your brand and embody what you stand for .
    People need to feel your energy to connect with you.?

    Reply
    • Nadine

      Excellent main take away message: BE the service that you are offering to others and make it clear HOW your product will alleviate the pain point of others. Thankyou, very good to remember ????

      Reply
    • Marnie LeFevre

      Feeling your energy is so important, great point Rina. We have to be aware of our unconscious messages as well when we sell. 🙂 d

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    “Determine what’s most important to your target market. Then package your services in tiers that climb from the smallest amount of that value to the highest…with that value always being the prominent factor.”

    Excellent advice. I think customers like to compare options to choose what’s best for them rather than just having the one option. Plus a package deal reduces time spent quoting.

    Reply
    • Marnie LeFevre

      Customers do like to compare options, I agree Lisa. The trick is knowing what is enough and what is too much. 🙂 Mx

      Reply
  4. Anna Howe

    I especially loved the quote ‘are you ready to be irresistible ?’ I also loved the section about connecting through emotion. I have been watching a few small business’ that do this so well.
    A great article, very informative

    Reply
  5. Sonia Chapple

    Be a product of the product is what I took away from this. People don’t buy into the brand … they buy into you so be authentic !!!

    Reply
  6. Meliss

    Great article.

    The most important part for me is selling you and being the person you need to be for your avatar.

    Solving your prospects problem.

    Reply
  7. Cassidy

    For me I resonate with emotion and connection, it’s a huge part of my business and crucial for my clients to trust, connect and feel themselves with me. People definitely use emotion to decide whether to buy my services so it’s great to read how important this is in selling. Great read, thanks ladies!

    Reply
    • Marnie LeFevre

      Emotion plays a huge part in sales, glad that resonated for you Cassidy! Mx

      Reply
  8. Pauline Deas

    A timely reminder of how important selling yourself is in order to sell yourself and your product. We’ll all need strong relationships with our customers in the new year to gain sales after the Christmas shopping frenzy.

    Reply
  9. Michelle

    Such a comprehensive article on all the critical aspects of running a small business – as a sole operator brand loyalty specifically stands out for me. Need to stay authentic on all levels of interaction. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Marnie LeFevre

      Authenticity is huge when you sell Michelle. Glad you agree 🙂

      Reply
  10. Keryn Rose

    Thanks Marnie for sharing this. I found it an easy read. Twas clear and concise.

    For me it was a beautiful reminder of the importance of me in my business.

    Reply
  11. Carolyn Tranter

    Thank you for a great article.
    As a service provider knowing what problems I can solve for my clients helps me in so many other areas such as identifying my target market

    Reply
    • Sam Newman

      I really enjoyed reading this article. Selling and promoting myself is something I really struggle. Thank you Marnie

      Reply
  12. Vanessa Czoloszynski

    Great read Thank you! The main thing I have taken from this article is the believe in yourself, you are your brand!

    Reply
  13. Sarah Kuhne

    It can be so daunting when you feel like people are buying you, and not just your service. Sometimes I find it helps if you separate the two and you package your service up and you quantify what people receive that also doesn’t revolve around just you. This helps to build more of a business that will survive long-term, and not just a time-for-money service-based business.

    Reply
    • Anna Gratte

      Congratulations Sarah! You’ve been randomly selected as the winner of the Fempire t-shirt! ??? We’ll send you an email shortly with details on how to claim your prize.
      – Anna (Fempire Team)

      Reply
      • Marnie LeFevre

        That’s so exciting Sarah! Congratulations! Mx

        Reply
  14. Jess

    The idea that we are selling ou ideas really resonates with me, as a personal trainer I am trying to resonate a culture like atmosphere in my gym which has been lacking, in order to create this I will have to sell a thought and a idea, not just myself or a product

    Reply
    • Marnie LeFevre

      Beautiful insight Jess, thanks for sharing. Mx

      Reply

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