Build Confidence As a Marketer

By: Jess Bauman

Stop going through life unsure of yourself. People with low self-confidence experience more fear and anxiety than those with high self-confidence. Confidence lets you tackle even the toughest tasks while feeling good about yourself, and is linked to almost every aspect of living a happy life. The good news is people are not born confident or insecure, both of those traits are learned. You can become confident in both your personal and professional life. 

Let’s learn how: 

1. Stop procrastinating

Alarm clock with a post it note reading "later"

Often people claim that they preform better under pressure or a tight deadline, but the truth is procrastination rarely pays off. Procrastination leaves you with less time, which results in less time to prepare. Instead of waiting till the last minute try creating an earlier deadline for yourself. That way you feel the “pressure” of a tight deadline, but still have time to really do your best work.

2. Confidence comes from action

Stop overanalyzing, overthinking, and just do. Perfectionism leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads to fear. Remove the pressure to be perfect, and that allows you to take your best shot at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.

Fear Cycle: More fear leads to inaction leads to lesser experience leads to lesser ability leads to more fear
SMA Logo

Western’s Student Marketing Association puts on an annual case competition where students compete and present to a panel of judges from companies such as Microsoft, New Engen, WWU faculty, and other local marketing firms.

The event involves networking opportunities with the judges. It's a perfect resume booster and provides participants with real life experience. Experience breeds confidence. As you continue to practice and grow the more confident you will become. Experience only comes from doing.

3. Fake it till you make it

Sometimes you have to “fake it till you make it”. This only works in the short-term and will not directly lead to long-term confidence, but it may be necessary if you find yourself stuck in a fear cycle immobilized from starting a task.

Picture what your ideal-self would look like:

  • What would you do or say?

  • Would your best-self procrastinate?

  • Would your best-self fear failure?

When you find yourself too scared to follow through on an action (i.e. networking at an event, introducing yourself to a stranger, writing a marketing proposal, etc...) immediately stop thinking and act as if: you are the most confident self you have ever been, and do what that self would do.

goldfish wearing a sharkfin

4. Failure is your friend

Confident people do not fear failure, and neither do successful marketers. However, a recent survey by Linkgoal found that (31%) of respondents were afflicted by the fear of failure, a greater percentage than those who feared spiders (30%), being home alone (9%), or the supernatural (15%).

Failure should be instead viewed as a learning opportunity. Viewing it as such lowers the associated risks with making and obtaining your goals.

5. Exposure therapy

According to APA (American Psychological Association), when individuals are afraid of something, they prefer to avoid the things, events, or circumstances that they fear. While this avoidance can help minimize feelings of fear in the short term, it may make fear much worse over the long term. Exposure in a safe atmosphere to feared items, events or circumstances helps reduce anxiety and reduce avoidance. In a way this is the same thing as building confidence.

Personally, I have found that by overcoming my fears it has all around made me a more confident person. One of my biggest fears is heights, so this year I decided to get a rock climbing membership. The more I went the less afraid I became of how high up I was. Rock-climbing takes confidence in yourself and your body. You have to trust that the next handhold will be there and that you will be strong enough to hold on. Eventually I found this knew rock-climbing confidence was transferring over to other aspects of my life. In general, I began to doubt myself less.

Give it a shot

It's not always easy to gain or retain self-confidence, but it's something that everyone benefits from. In our personal and professional lives, there are many reasons why confidence is necessary. Most importantly, is that it determines much of our happiness and success.

Try some of the suggestions above and watch your confidence grow.