Whether it comes to your photography services, or educational services if you’re a qualified Moment Design Teacher, there’s a certain element to running a business that many struggle with – self-promotion. There’s just something inherently awkward about telling people how you could help them. It might make you feel like you’re bragging, or the act of promoting might simply make you doubt your abilities, whatever the case, sharing the things you offer is just one of those things that feels sticky for many people.

If you really think about it, the whole problem is pretty illogical. You offer something that you know will make people’s lives better, and yet you feel guilty about promoting what you do. Maybe it makes you feel selfish, like you’re demanding everyone to look at me, me, me. Or perhaps it can feel like you’re taking advantage of people by trying to steal their attention.

The sad part is, I know that deep down you really want to help your clients and offer them something of great value, but without self-promotion, they will never even find out about it. You might even put out an announcement when you launch a new service, and then feel desperate when no-one seems to give any notice, and thus you feel like you’ve failed at promotion once again.

Here’s the thing. Most people get bombarded by announcements. Their inboxes are full to bursting with announcements for new ways to spend their money. Which is why most people tend to ignore those emails.

Feel-good self-promotion

There is a better way to effective self-promotion, however, and it is consistently providing unique value around the product of service you want to promote. If you do this, not only will you end up with clients who are true fans, but you’ll also notice that self-promotion starts to feel good. No more icky sticky feelings of guilt, no more doubting if you’re good enough.

You could correlate this process to the Attention phase of Moment Design, the phase I find to be the most important. Attention is the way you set the stage and invite your muses to the experience with your own tone, body language, and demeanour. It’s where you help them overcome their own personal walls in order to jump into the moment.

Feel-good self-promotion works in much the same way. You build trust by showing how warm the water is, inviting your potential clients to jump in. The steps to guilt-free self-promotion that will make you feel truly good about the process are pretty simple.

1. Provide consistent value
2. Learn what your clients need

Ways to provide consistent value

The ways you provide value to your current and potential clients varies depending on the product or service you want to promote. If you’re a Qualified Moment Design Teacher and want to promote your workshops to other photographers, and good place to start is blog posts and newsletters about how Moment Design can help them be better photographers. You could brainstorm a gazillion topics around how photographers and their businesses would be better off if they learned this simple technique. You could post videos of sessions you do, client testimonials, tips on how to adapt the technique for different types of shoots etc, etc. Anything and everything that will give your potential clients a clear sense of the value you provide, and builds their trust over time.

If you’re a Moment Design Photographer, wanting to promote your services to new clients, you could provide value by giving clients tips on how to prepare for sessions, how to dress for sessions, showing them testimonials from past clients about how meaningful their sessions were, and of course, using your blog and newsletter to consistently share work that truly moves your clients.

What your clients need

The simplest way to learn what your clients really need is simply to ask them. At the end of every blog post and every newsletter you send, ask what your clients and potential clients are struggling with. In the next post, cover those issues. When you consistently fulfil your clients’ needs they will end up trusting you and be more than willing to learn what else you can do for them.

Listening has power and grace. When you are genuinely interested in the people you want to serve, you’ll realise that connecting to what’s most important to them is the key to selling your services to them. You don’t pitch and talk about what you’re selling, you talk about the things that they care most about, and connect what you provide to that.

Is what you do making someone else’s life better?

I know it is. I know that because you are a part of this community you are the kind of person who thrives on creating beautiful moments for others. And if that’s the case, then it’s really your responsibility to go out of your way to make sure that they know about what you do. Otherwise, you are actually doing a disservice to your clients.

Marianne Taylor is a Certified Beloved Teacher, former Director of the Beloved Collective, the creator of Beloved Magazine and founder of Her Lovely Heart.