Getting over your fear of marketing
Is there a Latin name for fear of marketing or self-promotion?
We’ve got glossophobia for fear of public speaking, something that afflicts a surprisingly high number of us, me included!
This lovely word derives from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning tongue, and φόβος Phobos, fear or dread.
But a reluctance to put ourselves out there and promote our businesses seems as if it deserves its own word.
I spent my day on Sunday at the Cranleigh Lions Classic Car Show & Autojumble, interviewing exhibitors for a new audio podcast series for the Cranleigh & District Lions Club.
It was a delightful way to spend the day, accompanied by my eldest daughter, who helped out as my runner (and took some incredible photos).
The highlight of the day for me was speaking to 82-year-old former international rally driver Rosemary Smith, author of Driven. Talk about an inspirational character!
Rosemary was the first and only woman driver to win the Tulip Rally outright, beating all the male drivers to the finish.
She took my questions in her stride, sharing her passion for motorsports and some amusing anecdotes from her career.
If only every interview were as straightforward.
Earlier in the day, I got chatting with a neighbouring exhibitor, who had brought along a stunning vintage fire engine.
He told me the story of this vehicle, where it was based and how it came into his possession. The story was particularly interesting to me as the fire engine had spent a large part of its life at the Gloucestershire factory where several of my relatives worked.
But when it came to asking him to tell his story for the podcast, he quickly shook his head and refused.
Later in the day, I was chatting to a local business owner I know, and she was also reluctant to talk with a microphone in hand.
Now I’m not the biggest fan of being on camera. The very presence of a video camera will have me second-guessing not only every word that leaves my mouth but also my facial expressions, posture and eye movements. It’s hard work to act natural.
But speaking into a microphone is the same as speaking, with the presence of the microphone an incidental feature.
I guess that’s easy for me to say, as host of more than 600 podcast episodes, a guest on countless more, and with a hundred hours or so of radio broadcast experience under my belt.
For someone new to this medium (as I once was), I appreciate it’s hard work.
But as business owners, we must realise that we are the only ones who will promote our businesses. If we don’t do it, we can’t expect others to do it on our behalf.
That makes getting over your fear of marketing and self-promotion an essential ingredient for business success.
It means leaving your modesty at the front door as you leave for work each morning.
It means extending your comfort zone by a little more each day to share your story and promote the value in what you do.
It means getting comfortable in talking about yourself and what you do, free from the fear that others will judge, ridicule or ignore.
This gets easier with practice, I promise. That practice can only begin with a conscious decision to get started.
The more practice you get, the better you will get at writing, speaking or appearing on camera.
Expect your first few attempts to be dreadful or, hopefully, average.
When I listen back to my earliest radio interviews and podcast episodes, I cringe. They aren’t so cringe-worthy today, although I’m always looking for ways to improve.
What I can’t accept now or in the future, as the owner of two businesses, is the option is not doing something every single day to shout about each venture, reach the right audience, and attract more of our ideal clients.
So if you feel a fear of marketing is holding you back, make yourself a commitment today to push through that barrier and get started.
If you need a little help with that, or someone to hold you accountable to your plan for the next 30 days, please do schedule some time in my calendar for a chat.