There’s no other way to put it: selling can be tough. Most of us would rather spend our time doing really productive things like Buzzfeed quizzes or taking bets on just how long it takes a colleague to figure out you’ve dyed your hair blue.

But alas, reality is not that of a hit NBC show set in Scranton PA, and in order to get a business off the ground, or to find work in a new field, you have got to sell. So how do you go about it without forcing it? How do you sell your business or yourself without seeming desperate, awkward, and completely lost? Well, don’t worry, you’re not me on a date. Those things can dissipate, and here’s how.

Believe in Yourself and Be Yourself

Do you check off either of these boxes?

  • You started your business because you love it, you know it’s a great idea, and you know it will help people.
  • You are legitimately passionate about what you’re doing.

Great! You’ve got this. By believing in yourself and allowing yourself to be a bit more vulnerable in doing so, people will have an easier time forming an emotional connection with you. And when there is a stronger emotional connection, people are more attentive to your ideas.

Never try to be someone you’re not or act scripted—you’re not Meryl Streep, you will not win an Academy Award. There are tips for presenting (you can find some of ours here), but the most important thing is to be behind your idea and yourself 187% (not an actual stat, I just like that number).

Be Informed

Know what you’re selling or what your goal is. By knowing the ins and outs of what you are trying to sell, you will form a strong sense of trust and allow the conversation to move in a more natural direction without having to “prove” anything. Think about it—the most knowledgeable person in Lord of the Rings is Gandalf. Frodo trusted his life with Gandalf. So who would do well with an online shop selling staffs? Gandalf!

People are also becoming more public about what they think of businesses by using review sites. Take advantage of this feedback to not only maintain trust with existing clients, but to also tap into a broader potential customer base. See what people love about your offering and where you can improve.

Engage and Connect

Do not just preach. There are already enough people doing that. Instead, demonstrate value with concrete results and examples. On average, people spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook and Instagram. That is 50 minutes a day where you don’t actually have to be face-to-face to sell, but rather you can do so behind the protection of a screen—and your wit. Because your social media and website are an extension of your personal brand, amplifying each goes a long way.

Pro tip: make sure you a) have a website and b) it’s up to date! Once you start selling your product or service, you need to be ready customers to find you. Sign up here or check out this list of profession-related domains for inspiration.

As well as engaging online, it is also important to be a go-getter and get the heck out there. Participate in events that you actually find interesting and care about so that you can connect with people in a more palatable way. You’ll meet people with common interests and already have something in common to get the conversation rolling.

By following these tips for selling, you won’t feel sleazy. You will instead feel empowered to be your best and most confident self. Be the Beyoncé that you know you can be and sell it with swagger (more tips on that here).

First things first, need help setting up a site? Check out our Weebly templates. We’ll get you set up in minutes.

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