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How to promote your services and products in the education space without feeling icky or salesy

By Josh Chernikoff

Selling and promoting your business can all bring up fears and doubts, even in the best of entrepreneurs. There’s just something about putting yourself out there and exposing yourself to potential rejection that keeps people stuck. It’s easy to start thinking:

Am I actually good enough to sell this? Is my product good enough? I don’t want to annoy people or appear pushy or salesy… Am I just gonna get laughed off the stage or this platform or out of this principal's room? 

Many of the entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs I work with have experienced some form of imposter syndrome. Wondering if they’re good enough, looking at the competition and thinking there’s no space for them, not wanting to post or comment online in case they offend someone or someone shares a negative comment, and ultimately struggling with networking and promoting their products because they don’t want to come across as pushy or vain. So if you've been battling with these doubts, or something similar, know that you're not alone. 

Imposter Syndrome is a very real thing and it happened to me too. It is something that I struggled with a lot. When I started in the education space, I had no experience at all. In fact my experience in tutoring began and ended with the fact that I had had tutors growing up. That was my qualification for starting my tutoring company. And this was my very first business, so I didn’t have any business experience either.Networking was hard in the beginning because I wasn't even sure that I actually belonged in the industry. I had to face these fears head on and believe in my vision. I had to believe that I didn’t need to have tutoring experience to be able to hire awesome tutors and provide a great service to parents and students. I had to believe that I could do this.And what happened to that business?

I grew Flex Academies over 12 years. We served about 25,000 kids and families each year in our after school programs. We were even featured on NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC. And I sold the business and had a successful exit. On the outside, that’s the definition of success. Most people looking at that would think I had all the confidence and that I must have done it without any fears or doubts along the way. But as you now know, I had plenty and I had to learn how to push past the fear and do it anyway.That’s why in this blog, I’m sharing 5 of my best tips to overcome Imposter Syndrome and start promoting your business effectively, so you can get more leads and sales and feel good about it.

1.Get Fully Sold on Yourself:

If you’re not sold on yourself, your services and your products, then no one else will be. So if you’re struggling to promote, then the first step is to get “fully sold” on yourself. This means taking a good look at your offers and getting really clear on why you believe in them and how they will truly help others. Think about this: if someone has the problem you solve, but you’re too scared to share how you could help them, then they’d stay stuck… but if you shared it with them, you could be making a difference in their business or their lives! Getting fully sold on yourself also means taking a look at your own skills and experiences and realizing why they make you special; and how that can help others. This is about accepting your journey, seeing the progress you've made, and knowing that your way of looking at things is your strength. You have something unique to offer. When you're confident in yourself, and in your offers, people can feel that. This strong self-belief is what will help you connect with people genuinely and make your business journey more successful.

2.Clearly Communicate Your Value (without being salesy!)

Many entrepreneurs have great products and services, but they’re not good at telling others why they’re great. When they try to communicate the value, they waffle too much or they want to present a long powerpoint presentation that bores prospects to death. The key to getting your ideal clients to say YES, is being able to clearly communicate your value in a natural way. My favorite tool for helping entrepreneurs to sell (without being salesy) is to create a signature solution. Your signature solution is your unique method or approach to helping someone get a desired result. It’s a clear concise roadmap of exactly how you will move them from point A to Z. The power of a signature solution is that nobody else in the world has the exact same framework so you can stand out, and it is clear and easy for people to understand how you can help them. They’re not left guessing, they “get it” because they can see it visually represented in a roadmap. Another thing I always tell my clients is to get clear on WHO you are talking to. You should know exactly WHO you help and understand them better than anyone. E.g. If you run a non-profit organization and you need a bookkeeper… who would you choose to work with: the bookkeeper that ‘just helps people with their books’ or the ‘bookkeeper that specializes in helping nonprofits’. Obvious right? So when you know WHO you serve and talk to them, you don’t even have to “sell them,” they’ll just want to work with you!

If you create content around your signature solution and your ideal client, you’ll stand out and capture people’s attention and have them reaching out to learn more about how to work with you.

3.Become a thought-leader in Groups and Communities:

Joining groups and communities that share your interests and have similar goals or challenges, is a powerful way to connect with your ideal clients. Answering their questions and providing value will help you to stand out and position yourself as a leader. It’s a great way to attract your ideal clients. What better promotion for yourself - or your product- than being thought of as an expert or a leader amongst your peers?!

4.Focus on Authentic Connections over Spammy Outreach:

Many people know they need to do lead generation to increase their sales, but they don’t know how to do it. A lot of sales guru’s preach that sales is a numbers game and that you just need to reach out to as many people as possible. But reaching out to people that have no idea who you are brings out the nerves and the fears: “What if I am being spammy? What if I annoy them? I hate being rejected!” What if instead you focused on building relationships and making genuine connections. Most sales people talk about the ABC rule: Always Be Closing. But you don’t have to be a pushy salesman to make sales. I say the rule should be ABL: Always Be Listening. By asking questions and listening to your ideal clients, you’ll understand them better and you will be able to build a genuine relationship. When you listen and hear about the challenges that they face, you don’t need to push your offer on them but instead provide them with value… and before you know it they’ll want to know more about how they can work with you. Which brings me to…

5.Stop Chasing and Have People Reaching Out To Work With You: 

The more you focus on creating genuine connections, participating in groups and sharing your content, you are positioning yourself as a thought leader. You are making yourself an expert in your field. When you do this people go to your profile to find out more about you and your services/ product. And this is where having an optimized profile becomes important… because this makes it easy for them to see and know exactly how you are able to help them. Your profile will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you in selling if it’s set up strategically like a sales funnel. Your profile should make it easy for ideal clients to learn about what you offer, and how to take the next step. And the best part, when your profile starts working for you, you don’t have to chase anyone to work with you, because they’ll be reaching out to learn how they can work with you!

Want to learn how to turn your LinkedIn Profile into a sales funnel? And have more leads and clients reaching out to you enquiring about your products and services? Join my FREE LinkedIn Profile workshop to learn how to optimize your profile to stand out from the crowd and start booking more sales calls! We'll focus on practical steps to make your LinkedIn profile a useful sales tool, showcasing your expertise and attracting relevant connections. It’s time to elevate your LinkedIn strategy and open doors to opportunities in the education industry. 

Spots are limited. Join HERE.



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