Humblebragging – the art of selling yourself without the big headedness

Humblebragging

Humblebragging

 

Picture the scene: you’ve spotted a new contract that’s perfectly suited to your experience and skills, so much so that you could have written the contract requirements yourself. You know there’s a whole host of other contractors probably sat there thinking exactly the same thing, so now is the time to act.

 

But how do you go about letting the prospective client know you’re the contractor for the job, without sounding like a jerk? Jenny Winslow, Senior Marketing Executive at Intouch Accounting shows you know to blow your own professional trumpet, without making a racket.

 

Let’s start at the very beginning

If you were the one looking to hire a contractor, where would you go for information about that person? Your LinkedIn profile and personal website hold the most value when it comes to self promotion, so ensure both (should you have them) are up to date and showcasing your skills, talents and latest work.

 

It’s your space to use as you please, so state the facts and what you brought to previous positions. Afterall, this information is the ‘bait’ on the hook which will catch you an interview.

 

Gauge whether a personal shout-out is appropriate

Once you’re in an interview, timing is everything. If the interviewer asks you specific questions about a previous contract or skill, you then have free rein to talk about anything and everything to do with it. You will be expected to show passion for your previous work and pride in your achievements where you’ve excelled, so don’t ever feel embarrassed about letting your interviewer know this.

 

But remember! Whilst it’s good be proud of your work and achievements, gushing about them unprompted can make you sound arrogant. Wait until the time is right to showcase your talents, or you could be seen as steering the interview without meaning to.

 

One-upmanship

When promoting your self worth, it’s important to focus on your own personal development rather than demonstrating how your skills outweigh those of your peer group. Whilst most Limited Company contractors work solo, you will be expected to work well with the client, so resist the urge to showcase how much better you are than other contractors, as this will expose a lack in ability to work as a team.

 

Have a wingman

If you heard someone singing their own praises you’d change the channel pretty quickly, but if someone else was doing the singing you’d be more likely to listen. Especially if the singer was someone with a position of authority, such as an organisation’s MD or Project Manager, that had personally worked with a contractor.

 

When a contract is coming to a close, be sure to ask your client for a testimonial which you can share on your LinkedIn profile or personal website. Word of mouth recommendations are powerful tools, so be sure to ask for one.

 

Finally, don’t talk yourself down!

Whilst being too enthusiastic about your skills can make you sound big headed, being too quiet can show signs of shyness, a lack in confidence or even disinterested in the contract or industry as a whole.

 

To find that happy medium, make sure you make balanced statements that highlight both your strengths whilst acknowledging your flaws. Whilst you might be the rock star of contracting you are also human, so celebrate your wins where appropriate and accept your failures within reason.

 

Like this kind of advice? Our Personal Accountants offer unlimited advice and support on all areas related to Limited Company contracting. If you’re missing that level of personal service from your current account or want it from the offset, speak to us today about becoming an Intouch client.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Five things you might be doing on LinkedIn to lose clients…

You could be about to lose clients and not even realise…

As a successful contractor that knows the importance of a well nurtured LinkedIn profile, you’ll no doubt be a regular when it comes to updating your information and communicating with past and prospective clients.

 

But what if your current activity was doing more harm than good? Jenny Winslow, Senior Marketing Executive at Intouch Accounting highlights the top detrimental management methods contractors are guilty of using and why you may need to adapt your strategy today!

 

1.Organisations do not want to hear your stance on politics

With Brexit, the recent change in Prime Minister and the upcoming US election, it’s hard not to have an opinion on what’s going on and how you think it will affect you. Whilst you may consider yourself to be a clairvoyant political mastermind, your LinkedIn feed is not the place to air your thoughts on what the recent developments mean for everyone.

 

Your prospective clients care about your skills, experience and dedication to your professional field – not whether you believe Mrs May is going to do a good job. So save your political views for your other social profiles, or amongst your friends.

 

2. Don’t ignore inmails

Almost everyone is guilty of ignoring direct messages, but regardless of who the person is or the reason for their message, they have still taken the time to reach out to you. So out of professional courtesy we should all respond, even if it means letting them down.

 

You never know who this person may know or the real reason for their outreach, so ensure you treat every incoming message as a possible introduction to a new organisation.

 

3. Resist selling before you show the goods

It’s always exciting when a prospective client accepts your connection request and is open to hearing about who you are and how you can benefit their organisation. But whilst it’s easy to get carried away, resist the urge to relay your professional life story to them the moment they accept your request.

 

Allow them time to look at your profile and to understand who you are and why you may be of value to them. You could even ask what they are looking for in particular so you can tailor a more focused message to them.

 

4. Remember what LinkedIn is really for

LinkedIn’s purpose is for professional self promotion, seeking new employment opportunities and general business-oriented social networking. But once in awhile a funny gif, cheeky news story or non work related item may appear in your news feed.

 

Whilst the odd ‘like’ or ‘comment’ may be harmless and a good way of showing your personality, too many actions could damage your reputation. The same can be said for reacting to anything that could be seen as inappropriate or offensive.

 

There are other social networks which are more appropriate for relaxed behaviour, so be sure to think twice before clicking that button.

 

5. It’s not all about you

Whilst your LinkedIn profile is about showcasing your skills and experience, it’s also worth remembering that it’s not all just about you.

 

Use LinkedIn to it’s full potential, by networking with potential clients, any organisations that you find interesting or would like to work for, or even other contractors. Join groups that you can contribute to and share information with. The more you appear to others as a valuable resource within your chosen field of expertise, the less you’ll have to sell yourself to prospective clients.

 

Final thoughts

LinkedIn is truly a fantastic tool and it’s hard to imagine the professional world without it. So what are you waiting for? Log into your account now and see where you can improve and who to start connecting with. Your next contract could be just around the corner…

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.