Nearly everyone has heard this at some point. Whether you’re actually selling, going for a job interview, or casually networking, this idea has become doctrine. “Sell yourself” has become one of those empty phrases like “be yourself” or “do your best”, but with far worse connotations.
Because it feels awkward. It even sounds uncomfortable. When you hear “sell yourself”, you likely here “brag, talk a lot, and keep doing it until it works” in the subtext.
But the thing is, the problem isn’t with selling. The problem is that you think selling is something it’s not.
I promise, selling yourself doesn’t have to be slimy. It shouldn’t be.
To be sure, I’m still a novice at this. But as a full-time freelancer, I’ve had to sell myself to strangers nearly every day. Through my journey, I’ve noticed the “selling” we see in movies and TV shows is a bizarro version of actual selling. It’s vastly different. Yet it seems familiar at the same time. In fact, some principles of “normal” selling and “slimy” selling are exactly the same. It just comes down to how you define your terms.
From here I’ll compare slimy selling vs. honest selling. In fact, let’s just call it selling. Here are the big three.