How To Sell Yourself and Your Work Without Selling Your Soul
Selling is about communicating the value of a person, idea or product in such a way that the ‘buyer’ can’t afford to be without it, and then showing them how they can take steps to acquire this value – through purchase, hire, signing etc.
Once you are able to convey the value you are offering, the deal should close itself.
Usually when you’re selling an idea or an ‘intangible’, you’re selling yourself. Does your audience trust you to deliver the performance you promise? Will working with you as a teacher/coach/collaborator lead to results?
When you’re selling yourself, you should be delivering a message that is persuasive, authentic and memorable in the minds of your audience.
Many people face resistance when it comes to selling. They get stuck with asking for money. If you can reframe the idea into agreeing on an outcome people want and then help them achieve that outcome, selling stops feeling ‘scammy’ and becomes a natural part of that process.
We engage with, buy from, hire and invest in people that align with our own values and worldview. Subconsciously our brain is constantly running the mantra “people like me do things like this.”
For the tribe to align with you, they need to know who you are and what you believe in. You should be able to communicate this through your written/spoken message and in your actions.
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why model helps you clarify:
WHY you exist (the change you want to make in the world)
HOW the way you show up and work towards this change
WHAT the products, projects and work you make to implement the change
Sinek emphasises the importance of beginning with the WHY.
As an artist this follows the idea of real leadership. As you articulate your vision of the future and why this is your mission, you establish who you are and the values for which you stand. By boldly putting a stake in the ground you invite people who share or are inspired by your vision to join you.
Next, you identify HOW you show up in the world and work towards your vision.
The WHAT you do is the way you interact with your tribe. It’s the work you invite them to share – some of which may be offered as a gift, other parts are available to purchase.
This informs the way you ‘sell your work’ because once you’ve communicated your purpose (WHY) to your audience and you’ve established HOW you do what you do, WHAT (product or service) you sell makes complete sense.
You can be confident that you’re not ‘selling out.’ Instead, you’re inviting your audience to invest their trust, attention and money in your work. This is the way in which you offer to help make that change the audience has already agreed they want. Your work moves everyone towards their shared vision of the future.
We feel happiest when our brains resonate harmoniously with others.
You offer a vision of the future [WHY] and invite like minded people to join your tribe.
You identify HOW you show up in the world. (Artist / Designer / Doctor / Teacher)
You communicate WHAT you’re going to do to move the tribe towards the vision and how they can support it.