How to do marketing when you don’t like talking about yourself

Simon saying "It's not about you"

Not everyone likes being in front of a camera. Not everyone likes posting on social media. Not everyone likes promoting themselves and their work with clients.

Basically, not everyone enjoys being the centre of attention.

And yet, most marketing advice will tell you that this is exactly what you need to do – not just once but regularly!

I believe there is another way to effectively do marketing for those who find being in the spotlight isn’t for them.

Endless self-promotion is not the only option

Certain marketing experts – particularly the ones with a huge social media followership – will tell you that effective marketing depends on relentless posting. They’ll tell you that marketing means endless videos of you talking to the camera about you and your work. And they’ll do just that, making the whole thing look very easy.

I meet a lot of people who believe that this is not right for them, and don’t feel comfortable marketing like this. It’s these conversations that motivated me to write my book for people who want to do marketing differently.

What these marketing experts won’t tell you is that there are other ways to show up, even on social media, without needing to bang on and on about how great you are. The key concept behind this is: you’re not for everyone, and that’s ok.

For example… There are lots of people who want a shortcut, a quick-fix answer to get their marketing working. I imagine that such people don’t really resonate with how I talk about marketing. That’s perfectly ok with me; I’m not for those people. There are plenty of others out there who are just right for them.

If you’re still reading, I imagine that you are not so interested in marketing advice you’re seen elsewhere and you’re looking for something a little different. If so, you’re in the right place. Gather round and let’s see how this works.

You still have to market yourself and you’re probably already doing so

You still have to do some marketing. You still have to bring make people aware of what you’re offering. However, there are a lot of things that you probably already do day-to-day that you might not think of as marketing, but are. Here are a few examples:

  • Do you answer questions from (potential) clients?
  • Do you talk to people you meet about how what you do actually works in practice?
  • After reading a relevant book, blog or article, do you share what you’ve learned with (potential) clients?

This is all marketing; ‘unconscious marketing’ if you like. You are sharing ideas, concepts, information and wisdom with others. Whether it’s one of the above ways or something equivalent, you may not be focused on sales but you are telling them about your business and what you do.

You’re already doing marketing. The best bit is you didn’t even realise. So, let’s take the things you’re already doing and dial them up a gear.

Make your unconscious marketing more conscious…

You can show up for clients, and prospective clients, without ‘selling’ or ‘promoting’ your work. Next time you get a question from a client or prospect, make a note of your answer. If you think other people have the same question, turn your answer into a blog post, a social media post, or an email you can send to your mailing list.

It’s really not much more work than answering the question in the first place.

For example, this blog is a version of my answer to a question I got during a marketing workshop we recently ran for the Association for Coaching. I’ve just reformatted it a bit for emphasis and included a few more examples.

When you share your answers to common questions, you help interested people gain clarity. You’re not trying to sell anything. You’re not trying to explain how your course, programme or 1-2-1 package works. You’re simply sharing ideas and concepts with people, that are connected to the work you do.

This can be the first step to having a deeper conversation about the work you do. People who resonate with what you say will seek you out, wanting to know more.

But… I don’t want to be on social media

I hear this a lot and I agree it’s not for everyone. You don’t need social media to do marketing. You will, however, need to be meeting new people in some way – your business can’t and won’t grow if no one knows about it.

Where do the people you want to connect with hang out?

Are they at networking events, meetups, online communities? Do they gather in certain places? Do certain activities bring them together?

When you show up in these places, you can get to know them and build relationships from there.

When you create content that answers common questions, you can share it with them when it feels right to do so. Share generously and build a reputation as the go-to person for useful knowledge and new ideas.

Marketing doesn’t have to be all about you

I know it sounds almost counterintuitive but marketing isn’t all about you. There’s no need to stand in the spotlight and make yourself the mascot of your own business.

What counts is making your marketing useful, thought-provoking and interesting for your ideal clients. The more you show up with this kind of content, the more people will find it. And the more people will want to hear what you have to say.

Try writing a short answer to the next simple question you get and see how it goes. Post it, share it and get feedback on it. See how it feels to market without being centre stage.

If you want to learn more about how you can create content that resonates with your ideal client without it being all about you and social media then consider my book Reframing Marketing. It’s a 3-step plan for effective and ethical marketing that is more manageable and enjoyable. If you’re looking for something different to what you’ve read before then this is just what you’ve been looking for.

Learn more and order your copy directly from me at