A win-win way to get visible without self-promotion?

One common dilemma I hear in my conversations with women in business goes something like this: “I hate self-promotion BUT I need to get known, otherwise clients can’t find me!”

It’s particularly challenging for the “heart-centered” entrepreneurs who “just” want to help others, make a difference, and maybe save the world while they’re at it.

So what do you do if you know you need to boost your visibility but find self-promotion icky and awkward?

Here’s a tip from the host of a successful Meetup group, which I’ve borrowed and added to.

Build a supportive network of fellow business women and start exploring ways to collaborate. By which I mean actively looking for ways to help each other out while helping yourself, and doing this in a spirit of generosity and service. I know that when I start off a coffee chat by asking my contact, “So what can I do for you this week?”, the response is always warm and positive.

So for instance, Annie and Lin might have an arrangement where whenever Lin is running a workshop, Annie and her tribe turn up to show support. This boosts the numbers in the room and makes Lin look good.

If Annie wants to go one further, she could offer to be the MC for the occasion and introduce Lin, thus elevating Lin’s status in the eyes of the audience. There is something about being introduced by another person (especially if it’s professionally done) that instantly puts you on a pedestal and makes you look like an authority figure. The vibe is different when you stand at the front of the room, greet everyone, introduce yourself, then launch into your presentation.

And Lin would reciprocate by doing the same for Annie when it’s the latter’s turn to host a live event.

An easy low-fuss way to get around self-promotion discomfort.

What do you think?