Selling yourself is tough work.  I do not recall any fine arts courses in college that was offering to teach me the art of selling and packaging Me Inc.  Selling yourself is especially hard in this era, when clients have attention spans the size of tweets.  It is downright brutal when you consider that to be wildly successful, your mind-set must include a bit of Jeffery Gitomer, Les Brown, Dr. Phil, Donald Trump and Daniel-o-Son (Karate Kid) at times to move things forward.  Wax on, Wax off anyone?  Keep in mind; you still must stay abreast of the competition, your product/service line, your industry while also managing your emotions and those of your internal team.  It gets so bad that you turn to updating Hootsuite as a stress reliever.  Social media never tasted so good!

Tricks to selling yourself when the selling gets tough

The tricky part of selling yourself in the “new now” is also applying everything that you learned in that awful webinar six months ago where they promised you that you could also become a Personal Branding Astronaut.  In the interim, you felt more like a Girl Scout selling cookies at the entrance of a grocery store or pulling your cookie-filled wagon door to door.  I have nothing against webinars or “big ideas”, but staring at the computer screen hoping for an email from a potential client for days will certainly affect one’s judgment.  Ouch!  In the interim, I have compiled a few ways that have helped me and others stay sane in an often-insane world. These tips are industry agnostic and have helped me stay focused when I needed a pep talk to endure some uncertain times.
  1. Today is the most important day of your week.Go to work and avoid the unnecessary distractions that will kill your productivity. Stay focused on building your brand continuously (what makes you different), and your network.  Be in your office everyday by 8am at the latest.  In the beginning, I worked seven days a week.  Hold on, I still do (kind-of-sorta)!

    Photo courtesy of
    Photo courtesy of
  2. Write Thank you notes- A minimum of one per day. With the lion share of communication these days, being text, email, chat, Skype, Social media posts, etc… it will be a pleasant surprise for your prospects/clients to receive an actual letter.  A letter with an actual stamp is also known as snail mail.  Keep the notes in your bag, car and office.  When is the last time you actually wrote a letter?  It may surprise you.
  3. Pain, Power & Fit Say these three words aloud a few times each week, so they begin to swim around in your DNA.  They will serve as a sort of litmus test to help you determine if you have a real “opportunity”.  Does the client have real pain?  Do you have access to power (decision maker)?  Is your solution a fit?  If you are unsure, not sure or confused then you have more work to do ASAP.
It is by no means easy but you do not need easy, just possible.  

Devin C. Hughes, The Chief Inspiration Officer is a speaker, leadership coach, personal branding aficionado, and frequent eclectic thinker.  He works with a variety of individuals and organizations, providing real-world strategies for real-world challenges.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to facilitate conversations as a catalyst for meaningful personal and organizational change.  He is a graduate of Colgate University; he lives in Southern California with his wife and four daughters.  His website is  He is available upon request for consultation.