Recently, I was chitchatting with a potential client about their website and they said, "I never look at my website because all forms of self-promotion make me cringe."
I found this so interesting!
You see, I don't really think of websites as self promotion. I mean, I totally understand how it could feel that way. Afterall, if your service is your name and has your pretty picture on the home page, I could see how it could feel like a big advertisement for yourself. It's not a giant leap.
However, I think of a website as a store front for a service based business. If you're a coach, writer, designer, teacher, or creative, you most likely don't have a brick and mortar place for customers to walk in and do business with you. Yes, you can invite them to your kitchen for tea, but it's not quite the same.
A website gives a space for people to land and learn more about your business and what you offer. It's the equivalent of walking into a brick-and-mortar store.
When I walk into Whole Foods, I don't immediately think, Geez, Whole Foods is really into self-promotion by offering all of these unique, organic items for sale.
Instead, I think, Mmmm what over-priced deliciousness can I buy that will taste like flavor country in my mouth?
Similarly, when people land on your website, very rarely are they thinking Oh, look at all that self-promotion she's doing here.
What they're actually thinking is a version of, How can this person help me?
This is equivalent to, Yum what can I eat here?
Allow me to circle back to the cringing. "All forms of self-promotion make me cringe."
Likely, if the idea of looking at your website or posting on social media make you cringe, I'm willing to bet a hundred chocolate-caramel-covered-mocha beans that you're not focusing on the right person.
Now don't take this the wrong way, but cringing is a sign that you're focusing on yourself. We don't often cringe when our attention is focused on helping others. Cringing is a helpful signal to let us know that we've slipped into comparison, self-judgment, or down right self-abuse.
Not to worry, you can use that icky feeling to let you know that you don't have to see your website (or social media or blog posts) that way. You can view it differently.
When you turn all of your attention away from you and toward how you can help, serve and benefit your clients, there is no cringing. It actually feels really good! The attention is off of you and onto the person your business is really about, your potential customer.
So next time you feel a little cringey, use that feeling as a gentle reminder to shift your attention away from what your website/post/newsletter means about you and toward how you can provide more value to your people.