How to effectively toot your own horn

How to effectively toot your own horn, and promote yourself and your business without looking like a complete self promoter is something that so many of us grapple with.

Do you find it easy to toot your own horn?

If you’re like a zillion other business people I know, then your most likely answer is going to be no. And that’s a perfectly normal answer.

Learning how to promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging is not always the easiest thing to do. If you feel uncomfortable you are not alone.

It seems a bit braggish to be boasting about how wonderful you are. Braggish – is that even a word?

Nothing more annoying that those people who pop up all over the place telling you how wonderful they are, full of their own importance and it’s all about them. You know the kind I mean. Very rarely share anything about anyone else, just tell you all about themselves. They kind of tend to be the same in real life too – never stop to take breath or ask anyone else about how they are doing.

On the other hand, you kind of have to admire the size of their ego and the fact that they are totally oblivious to anything but themselves, their own needs and wants.

SO – how do you tell people how wonderful you and your business are without coming across as being full of ego?

Well, here’s the thing.

I have spent a great many years working in the not for profit sector. Most people in this sector are amazingly giving and generous with their time and knowledge. They do what they do for others, rather than themselves. Sure, they may get paid, but the wages are paltry compared with the corporate world.

I crossed from corporate to not for profit and now into the world of self employment.

I always found it very easy (and I still do) to promote a charity or a cause that I am working for. That’s because I only work with nice people and causes I believe in.

It’s very easy to ask for money for others. It’s easy to ask for support for a charity.

When it came down to promoting myself, that was a whole diferent kettle of fish. I had one major stumbling block.

The difficulty was…..

Making the ask for myself. When I first returned to Australia, I needed to let people know that I was looking for business locally.

It was not easy.

Up until that point, I had never needed to ask for myself.

I felt uncomfortable actively telling people about my own credentials and successes. It felt like I was bragging. I’ve never been particularly good at the me, me, me thing.  In my business successes I’ve always put my achievements down to whole teams efforts, crediting those working me for their contributions.

Then I realised that all these people I have helped, people who said they admired my work, were actually very willing to help me move ahead in my business.

The problem was…..

They did not know I needed help.

What I had to do was ask. They were not mind readers.

Ok, I had to do a little bit more than ask.  I needed to be clear about HOW they could help me and be specific about WHAT I wanted them to do.

I found LinkedIn a truly valuable tool for helping promote my business skills.  It was a place people could look me up, and the recommendations, honours and awards on my profile did the horn tooting for me.

Click here to grab a copy of our 8 Top Tips for using LinkedIn

I also honed my  pitch, so that I could quickly explain

“Dragons Sisters can help you to connect, convert and sell. We do this through strategic communication and a proven formula of Smarketing – strategy, sales and marketing.”

The team at Dragon Sisters has many talents, but it all boils down to helping clients with connecting, converting and selling.

To understand more about what it takes to connect, convert and sell  Click here to grab your copy of our FREE e-book on How to Create Engagement with Strategic Communication. It’s packed with engagement tips and information to help you succeed.

Once I started to express exactly what we do, the business stared to flow and we’ve not looked back. In fact, it’s rather nice to be in the position that we have many repeat clients and lots of word of mouth referrals.

To  each and every one of the businesses we’ve worked with – THANK YOU! It’s been a great pleasure to help you move your businesses forward.





Pricing Your Services

Pricing your services.  One of the most important items you’ll ever need to consider as a service provider that’s self-employed

Getting your price point right is crucial to your business success.

It’s also the area that can give you the biggest headache…believe me, I know this from personal experience.

The million dollar question!

What price should you charge?

Depending on your industry and qualifications there are some standard rates….but, the real dilemma is this…

Making sure you are charging what is right for you. For your business. Not just going with what is considered standard or the going rate.

Working in the corporate world, there are things like awards, employment contracts, and benchmarks against which salaries are set. So as an employee you don’t really need to think about this stuff too much.

But, once you step out on your own, it’s a lot different.

It can be a minefield…lots of traps to fall into and mistakes to make.

One of the most common ways is by comparing what everyone else in the marketplace is charging. But let’s be real….in the service industry, it’s really quite hard to compare.

You’re not here to be a copycat.

Being in business for yourself means doing things your way. Doing what’s right for you…after all, isn’t that why you’re working for yourself?

This may not be what you want to hear…but if you’re just starting out unless you already have a stellar reputation and following, you’ll probably need to start off at a lower price.

This does not mean undervaluing yourself.

A far better way of figuring out how to set your fees and charges is beginning with a basic price point and building from there.

The tricky part is always working out your personal basic price point. Downloading this handy tip sheet will help you enormously..

Once you have the basic (minimum) price point from which you need to operate, you can actually use how you price your services as a way to grow your business.

That does not mean you are going to be working at the minimum price point.

It’s about giving you a realistic figure from which to build. You need this baseline so you can be ready to implement an effective pricing strategy.

An effective pricing strategy will help ensure that you are charging what you is right for your business.

A pricing strategy involves:

1) Your selling sequence (how to position services; how to position pricing)

2) Your target market (who you sell to now and who you want to sell to in the future)

3) Your competitors (making yourself competitive other than through pricing)

4) What the market will bear (this is the exciting bit that moves you into the premium price point!).

But it all starts with the basic fees.

No matter what line of business you’re in how you work out your service fees are exactly the same.


Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.