I really struggle to sell myself

I really struggle to sell myself

Today I want to talk about a phrase that I often hear: “I really struggle when it comes to selling myself.”

Every time I hear it, I just think: “Ouch, no wonder you’re finding it difficult!”

You see, to me the idea of needing to sell yourself, feels like such a lot of pressure. In fact, I would hate it if every time I needed to attract and enrol a new client, I had to go out there and “sell myself”.

Watch the video or scroll down to explore.


There are a number of reasons why “selling yourself” feels so difficult, including:

1. You’re making it all about you.

Thinking you need to sell yourself makes you the central focus instead of the client. This triggers all kinds self-talk around, for example, “I need to be perfectly presented. Do I look okay? Am I saying the right things? Am I acting the right way?  Will people like me?” It’s like being at school or starting a new job and having that pressure of wanting to be liked. The harder you’re trying to be liked, and the harder you’re trying to sell yourself, the less likely it is that you are being your authentic self. In turn, people are actually less likely to warm to you.

2. It relies on your personal sense of self-worth.

The idea of selling yourself to get clients requires you to have a very strong sense of your own personal value and self-worth. I don’t know about you, but particularly in the early days of my business, I didn’t have a particularly high level of self-worth at all.

Based on my personal experience I know it’s totally possible to feel a bit rubbish, and not 100% value yourself as an individual yet still get clients and make a phenomenal difference to the lives of those clients. In my case, the more I worked with clients, and the more I saw them get results in their businesses, the more my self-worth and confidence grew naturally – but I didn’t need to “fix” my self-worth before I could get clients.

3.  It makes it harder to get clients.

Of course, if a client is going to buy from you there does need to be a certain element of rapport and connection, but if you’re too focused on selling yourself and getting people to like you, the danger is that you end up with lots of new friends and people who think you’re a really great person, but actually not enough clients to show for it. Your client doesn’t always have to want to be your new best friend; they just need to be able to recognise that you can help them achieve the result that they want.

It helps to remember that they are not actually buying YOU.

Thinking you have to sell yourself can make business more painful and more difficult for you, and distract you from focusing on what the client does want to buy.

What is your client really buying?

When a client says “Yes, please” to working with you, there are things they’re saying yes to which are probably a lot less connected to you personally than you might realise.

The end result. The main reason that most people will buy from you is because of the end result – the transformation, the change, the difference – that they believe you can help them to achieve. This will be a lot less connected to how much they might like you or buy into you personally than you might think.

The big vision. Ideally you’ll have a shared vision of how great your client’s life/business/relationships/happiness could be as a result of you working together. They’re embarking on a journey towards that vision with you as their guide, and your clients will be buying this vision, whether your work together will get them all the way there or whether it’s just a stepping stone on one part of the journey.

Your process. Knowing that you have a clear process — sometimes called a signature system, or your unique proprietary method — gives your potential client a real sense of security, a sense that there is a plan at hand, and that there is a structure that has been designed to help them to get to their end result.

For example, when clients join me to do my Get More Clients Saying Yes! programme, there’s a clear structure to that course. We start with mindset. We then move on to the ideal client and captivating introduction and go on to exploring the whole sales process. We look at knowing what you’re selling in terms of packaging and pricing, attracting clients to you and the sales conversation. We also look at handling tricky concerns like “I can’t afford it” and “I need to think about it,” and how to wrap up the details of this transaction so that the client doesn’t change their mind, cancel, or not pay the invoice.

There’s no “Hey, why don’t you turn up every week for eight weeks, I’ll figure out what you need as we go along and let’s see how it goes” . Instead the message I’m giving is “Don’t worry there’s a plan. I’ve got experience of this and I’ve done it many times before and I know what works, and I’m going to take you through it so you get the same end results that other people have got, which is to get more clients into your business.”

Your confidence & conviction.  Your clients are also buying your confidence, your sense of conviction that you really can help them, and your compassion. Again, these have got nothing to do with you because the focus of your intention sits within the client. When this focus is sitting with you instead, it’s very hard for you to be genuinely open and expanded and able to connect with that client in the way that they need.

To make your conversation flow and make getting clients more comfortable, you need to move that focus away from you and onto the client.

What to focus on instead of “selling yourself”

1. Your ideal client

By getting absolutely crystal clear on your ideal client and their pain, their problems, their desires, their emotions, and as much about them as you possibly can, you create an emotional connection and a sense of really wanting to deeply serve. The more clear and specific you can get, the easier it is for you to emotionally connect to this client, and to start coming from a place where it’s all about serving them, instead of all about you and how you feel and behave.

2. The value you bring

Do the work to connect to the actual value that you bring to your clients. This is very different from valuing yourself personally. It is about valuing the work that you can do for the clients and the transformation that you’ll bring to their lives.  Like I said earlier, you don’t have to have high personal self-worth to recognise the profound value you can bring to others.

3. Communicating that value

When you can clearly communicate and articulate the value of the work you do, your client just “gets it” and understands how you can help them. You feel a lot more comfortable because you’re no longer struggling and scrabbling to find the right words, as you increasingly realise that it’s not really landing for the client. It also leaves space for you to focus on showing that conviction and compassion. People don’t always have to have to “buy” you as a person, but they do need to feel that you understand, that you’re listening, and that you care.

Within my Get More Clients Saying Yes! programme, I take people through a process to help them deeply connect with the value they bring to their clients, so that they can feel very confident when talking about it, and very confident about their pricing. And you don’t need to have had paying clients to be able to connect deeply to the sense of how your work can make a difference and bring transformation to somebody’s life.

Working on these three things: your ideal client, the value you bring to them, and how to communicate that value means you can let go of the need to sell yourself and become much more authentic, comfortable, and in flow.

To get started with a step-by-step process for your sales conversations, why not sign up to my FREE 7 Steps to Yes! bite-size video series?

I’d love to know how this article sat with you. Have you been feeling awkward about sales because it feels so uncomfortable to “sell yourself”  Has this article changed the way you feel about that?  You know I always love to hear from you so please share in the comments below.

"THE 7 STEPS TO YES" Watch these short videos and start to fall in love with sales

Please leave a comment as I would love to hear your thoughts


  1. Hatty Hilton on November 13, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    Great video Catherine, thank you so much. So helpful to turn the focus away from us towards the coaching itself, I’d never thought of it before but now it makes perfect sense!

  2. Diane on August 5, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    This takes some pressure off. Thanks

  3. Rebecca Mcintosh on August 5, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Catherine what you were saying Has really helped me, I have had a couple of enquires my first and was a bit nervous about calling them , and now i feel much better about it so thank you.

  4. Marie Allen on August 5, 2020 at 11:59 am

    You packed some really valuable insights into this short video and this has helped me a lot in the process I am going through in changing my website and the way I communicate with potential clients. Many thanks Catherine, Marie

  5. Annette Shaw on August 5, 2020 at 11:42 am

    I totally resonate with not making it about me. It is much easier promoting the value they get and removing the pain of workplace bullying. I do relate some of the experience I had when I was bullied and this is to let any potential client know that I get and that I know what it is like. Other than that it is about them!

  6. Louise Reynolds on November 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Yes love your style Catherine and the way in which you bring such insight to the sales process

  7. Elaine Mikesell on September 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I have been going through your Sales Bundle on FEA. I really like your style and approach to sales. I have been struggling to increase my client base and really need to improve my effectiveness in guiding them through their decision process. Your approach resonates with me the most. Cheers.

    • Catherine on September 18, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Elaine
      I’m so glad you love my approach and thanks for taking the trouble to comment to let me know. If you want to learn more I’ve got a (free) live online training this week. You can register here: http://www.catherinewatkin.com/heartcentredsales. Maybe see you there! With love x

  8. Helen on September 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Wow! Amazing, thanks Catherine, that was so helpful.

  9. Karen J on September 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks, Catherine – this really landed on an “owwie” for me, today!
    I’ve read and seen all of this before, of course, but today, the way you expressed “It’s not about ‘selling your Self’, but about connecting to your clients” landed differently.

    • Catherine on September 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Karen, I’m really pleased to hear that it landed differently for you today – that’s a big “yay!” from your future clients who will thank you for connecting to them and selling from your heart x

  10. Alex Palmer on September 5, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Really helpful video – many thanks!

    • Catherine on September 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks Alex – I’m glad you liked it!

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