How to Sell Yourself Without Losing Your Shirt
At our January breakfast, Laura Mignott, CEO of the experience agency DFlash, shared with the group that the best way to sell is through the connections and clients who love us.
Over the past 8 years, Laura has bootstrapped her agency from an idea in a Starbucks to working with some of the world's largest brands — including Netflix, Amazon, Samsung, Bose, and many more — all from building and utilizing a diverse network. She was recently featured in Essence Magazine about giving women of color more visibility on stages across America.
Laura’s key takeaways:
Get inspired. Putting yourself out there and selling is can be scary. Pick a song that energizes you and play that in your head. This is your theme song — use it to create the positivity and mental energy you need to engage.
Stay focused. Think of one goal you’d like to achieve. If you don’t know what you want, nobody else can help you reach it.
Network your network. You know everybody already, just ask. Facebook and LinkedIn are your friends. Pick five people you know, whether good friend or casual acquaintance, and meet for coffee or a drink.
Schedule the time. Successful networking is not random, schedule the time like you would a client meeting. Pick a day in the week when you can have these meetings, choose a nice hotel lounge that serves snacks and beverages, and set up appointments with 30-minute breaks.
Ask. What is it you want? No one is Miss Cleo. Tell people whether you want advice, a connection, or to brainstorm ideas. The consequence: you might just get what you need.
Decide your ideal client. Determine what kind of work you want to be doing and with whom. Identify clients who share your values. If you don’t make an effort to choose the kind of work you want to do, you’ll wind up doing work that is not satisfying.
Honor your value. What’s your day rate? Now triple it. Only go for projects that honor your value. The best advice is from Shonda Rhimes: Always go into a negotiation with the number you’re willing to walk away from.