How to talk about yourself without bragging

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Marketing Tips, Reflections, StoryBrand

Many of our clients struggle with figuring out how to talk about themselves and their business in their marketing. Whether it’s on social media or an about section in your website, people end up in two camps. The camp where they never talk about themselves… so much so that you have no idea who is even running the social media account. OR the camp where all they do is talk about themselves and it starts to feel a little like they’re bragging. 

We have to show people that we are experts in our fields, but we don’t want to sound pompous and arrogant. So how does we toe the line between radio silence on anything personal and bragging about everything?

Let outside sources do the talking for you. In essence, talk about yourself without talking about yourself!

Here are four great ways to do it: 

Testimonials.

This is my absolute favorite way to show your authority and expertise. Collect reviews and testimonials people have left you on Google or Facebook. If you don’t have any, ask your favorite clients to write one up for you. Include testimonial collection as a part of your workflow so you’re always collecting new ones.

In the StoryBrand community, we’re always looking to frame testimonials as problem, solution, success statements. What problem was the client facing, what solution did you offer them, and how did that help them succeed. If you have trouble collecting them, consider offering to write them for your clients and ask them to approve them before use.

Stats.

Numbers can be a great way to talk about your authority and success. Some examples: years in your field, years in business, number of people you’ve served, money your clients make, number of locations, etc. If a prospective customer knows you’ve served a large number of people or that you’ve been in business for a certain number of years, they may begin to trust that you are the expert and that you know what you’re doing.

Be careful when using exaggerative words like “millions” or “thousands.” This could work against you if your audience feels like you’re bragging. Be specific as possible.

Awards.

If you’ve been given an award for your work or in your field, make sure you talk about it on your website! Because an award is given to you by an outside organization, it can hold power when talking about your expertise and authority. When your customers see that a third party is validating your work, they will feel confident in you and your work.

Make sure to only mention awards that are pertinent to celebrating your work and earning the customer’s trust. If you are a real estate agent, you may not want to talk about the award you got for “Best Karaoke Singer.” While you (and I) are impressed, it has little do with your customer’s journey of buying a house. Better to leave that award as a fun fact during conversations!

Certifications.

Your credentials (whether degrees or certifications) may be very meaningful depending on your profession. Doctors, therapists, lawyers, etc… We want to know that they have a degree in their profession. If you have a certificate that is pertinent to your work, make sure you mention it. Perhaps you’ve been certified as a business coach or a yoga instructor. Mentioning your certification will let people know that you’ve been educated in your craft and are ready to help them.

Again, only mention what is pertinent. If you are marketing yourself as a lawyer, but also have a certification in yoga, don’t talk about your yoga certification. It doesn’t have anything to do with what you want to be known for. 


Use these four options to your advantage. Mix and match them to help tell the story of your authority and expertise without having to brag about yourself. Your clients will want to work with you because you’re awesome and great at your work. That being said, they’re more likely to believe you if they’re hearing it from an outside source in one of these four ways. 

About the Author

Strategy & CEO at Stratos Creative Marketing | + posts

Julia Block is the CEO of Stratos Creative Marketing, helping business owners make sure their marketing strategies all work together to produce results and revenue.

0 Comments

More from our blog

Three Reasons Why your Website is not Helping you Connect with your Ideal Customer

Businesses understand that a website is an imperative part of their marketing. And if it is less than three years old, probably looks pretty nice. Most likely it includes a home, about, and a smattering of other pages. The problem is that most businesses stop there....

A Guideline To Photoshop & Editing Ethics

Over the past few years I have travelled more than in the rest of my life combined. My husband and I hit 12 new countries and several states in the past 4 years (pre-covid) and, by the end of it all, mastered our own travel groove. Our tested and approved method is to...

What PAIL Month Means to Me

On October 2nd, 2018, I heard the four most devastating news a mother could hear. “There is no heartbeat.” My husband and I had gone to a routine ultrasound, excited to see our firstborn son on the screen. I still remember how we held hands and laughed as we strolled...

Fonts and Wineglasses

Imagine this. You have arrived at a beautiful vineyard, with the goal of experiencing their delicious wine. You take in everything around you as they ready your glass. You are anticipating the smells and colors and flavors. When the server arrives they set before you...

Three Tips for End-of-Year Marketing Planning

It may be September, but Q4 is just days away. Often these last three months are the biggest in terms of growth. However, because we get busy with day-to-day operations, we don’t take time to strategically plan for our end-of-year goals. As a former...