How to Sell Yourself Online without being salesy

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Your Marketing Mastermind®
Total Genius™

Attract Paying Clients Who Value You

Can you ATTRACT people that value you and want to pay you? 

Yes, the exciting news is that you actually you can.  Success is so much more than just money, status, and power.  True success is an inside job – but not in the way you think.  True success happens NOT when “you’ve finally made” – whatever your definition of “made it” is. True success happens BEFORE you actually reach it.  


First impressions are everything in your life and business.  It’s the difference between meeting the people you want to meet, dating the person of your dreams, and landing that big client – or not.  It’s why networking exists – so you can “put your best face forward” and interact with people, hoping to build valuable connections.

But life is not a networking event.  And first impressions are, for the most part, not made when you want them to be made.  First impressions happen when you or your business enters someone else’s space.  It’s made through your website, it’s made when you are driving in your car singing at the top of your lungs while the person next to you – your future husband that you haven’t met yet – looks over and starts laughing.  First impressions are made when a future client happens across your Twitter feed after the person in front of you in traffic cuts you off and you tweet “F*ck you B*tch!”

Yes, first impressions are everything.  And if you are not prepared, they will impact your success in both life and business.  And this is why I’ve discovered what I now call “The Barneys Lightbulb Moment”.


I stepped into the elevator from the parking lot. Mirrors – of course – so I could fix my makeup and hair as I zoomed up to the first floor.  The door opened and the bright light hit me like a spotlight. Open, bright, shoppers browsing and employees smiling but looking welcoming, not intimidating.

I walked in and took a deep breath. Expecting snobbery – me in my jeans, flip flops- and this was Beverly Hills! But instead, I got warm smiles, REAL people, and beautiful designer products.  Not once did I feel judged – like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” AFTER she had the riches – that was me – in my jeans and flip flops and being treated like a queen.

But then I noticed something else. It was the shoppers.  Regardless how they were dressed – jeans, flip flops, messy hair – they held themselves in a different way than most people do in everyday life.  They stood up straighter, they held their heads straight (what a concept), and acted in a way that attracted respect. (note I did not say “command” – because of their kind and calm demeanor, posture, and self worth, they actually attracted respect.)

The friendly sales person said “What a great day outside! Your dog is adorable!”

I felt like I had just “come home.”

What a concept.  To act in such a way that you attract respect.

I learned a lot that fateful day that I discovered Barneys.  This valuable lesson can be used in your life and business to increase your presence, your self-worth, and your potential profits.   This, I believe, in actuality, is secret behind achieving success. 


In fact, you don’t attract who and what you WANT - in your life or your business. You actually attract WHO YOU ARE. 

More than just a “woo woo” concept - there, in fact, is an “energy of success”. It’s the embodiment of those that know the “secret”, of a person’s internal values. It’s the conviction people that have it, exude in everything they do - from the way they act, the way they speak, and how they TREAT THEMSELVES in their lives and their businesses. 

In fact, this “energy of success”, is the scientific and biological difference between those that succeed in their lives and those that suffer from self sabotage and depression.

You don’t have to be born with the energy of success. In actuality, there are a few simple things you can do right now to alter the course of your ability to attract respect and create your own energy of success.


Watching those people that day made me realize the power of presence; holding my head up straight and shoulders back (believe it or not, most people don’t).  I learned that “showing up” as my best self – even when just shopping – is fabulous!  And people reacted to that confident presence positively.

Acting in such a way that attracts respect is more than just feeling confident.   It affects how people see you, which will impact your future relationships – business and personal.  Your presence affects your mindset and your health, which will affect your ability to handle tough situations, possible failures, and the overall results you are able to produce.  Your first impression and presence could be the difference between meeting that person that could be your biggest future client.  Or not.

The most important first impression is the impression you make to yourself when you are alone.

You have one chance to make a first impression that “preparing for them” just isn’t realistic.  The best way to “be prepared” is just to BE that confident first impression.  The reality is, the most important first impression is the impression you make to yourself when you are alone.  It’s having enough self worth, self respect that when you are at home alone, you still hold your head above your neck, straight, you stand up tall, shoulders back. As I heard Jordan Harbinger of “The Art of Charm” say the other day on Pat Flynn’s podcast, hold yourself as though a light is coming out of your chest.  And do it every time you walk through a door. Not just the doors at the networking event but every time you walk through any door at your house!  BE the first impression you want to be when it counts, and you’ll instill a belief of confidence and personal value in your brain – for when it counts.

When you make that presence a part of your everyday existence, the easier it will be to show up in your life and business in such a way that attracts respect, attracts people, and attracts customers. And actually, it’s just a great way to instill and reinforce your self worth to yourself.


Many times in life we think success, wealth, happiness – the things we strive for – is outside of us.  We think it’s “on the other side”.  That one day we will achieve and suddenly “feel successful”.  And the reality is, when that time happens, IT’S STILL YOU!!!  You still have to get up at the crack of dawn when you don’t want to, you will still have bad days, and you will still have those negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough.”

It’s called being human.  So the important lesson that I learned was that this aspirational place called Barneys in Beverly Hills-  which for so many years I thought was “out of my league”, was actually just a store, with great people and a beautiful environment.  All I needed to do was change my thinking.  Of course I belonged there.  I actually could afford things (cheaper things but I was there for the experience not the pricey clothes).

So when you are thinking of “someday” when you hit your income goal, or for whatever goal or version of success you had, ACT LIKE THE PERSON THAT IS ALREADY THERE.  How would you be, act, and operate in your life and in your business as a successful CEO?  Would you be laying on the couch whining about your lack of money?  Or would you be busily working at your computer getting clients and networking with power players?   How would you treat the barista at the coffee store?  Like just some worker getting you coffee or like someone grateful for your success so you want to inspire them with a “yes, success is possible for you too.”


You don’t have to go to Barneys if that’s not your thing, but you should surround yourself with people that are already at a level you want to achieve.  Your friends are great – and important – but in whatever area you want to excel at, you need to be around people that have already achieved that.  Iconic thought leader Jim Rohn said that you become the average of the five people you hang around most.  So if you want to be a fitness pro but you need to lose weight and get in shape – you need positive role models to boost your knowledge of getting in shape, to give you an example of what to reach for, and to learn the mindset it takes to become a fitness pro.

This may mean going to networking events you previously avoided, getting in touch with some of your key contacts in your network that you felt stupid contacting before.  This means getting out of your comfort zone.”  Yes, I said it.  Surrounding yourself with greatness may seem scary at first, but when you do lesson two – acting like you’re already there – it won’t be as bad as you imagine.   Up-leveling your surroundings is an important factor in achieving any level of success in both business and life.


In order to increase your success in business and life, it is to your benefit to have your own version of “The Barney’s NYC Lightbulb moment”.  It’s up leveling your expectations of yourself and your internal being so that you can be present in your life, attract respect, and become the first impression you otherwise have to “try” to be.

Do you have to go to Barneys to have a “The Barneys Lightbulb Moment”?  No.  But you do have to know that if you are a success-minded entrepreneur, your level of expectations of yourself, others, and your future success is limited to what you already know.  But in order to understand the true meaning of “The Barneys Lightbulb Moment”, you have to know that thing is probably not in your current scope of thought.  Yes, you have your version of what success looks like, but to get to where you want to go – if your dreams are bigger than what you may already know –  the feeling, the experience, the way of being, and the possibilities, are something that may exist outside of your current knowledge.

Honestly, my Barneys lightbulb happened and it did change my life.  I later became the Marketing Director of Rodeo Drive.  It was fabulous to be amongst the red carpets, the luxury, the amazing events like making it snow on Rodeo Drive while horse-drawn carriages paraded down the street.  Magical.  But I really didn’t relate it to my business until I was introduced that idea from someone else.  They saw the connection “like a lightbulb” on top of my head.  And that one idea was total genius.

Have you had a Barney’s Lightbulb Moment?  Whether you have or not, I invite you to sign up for the free class to get you and your business Positioned to Sell - to attract your tribe of raving fans who want to learn from you, respect you, and buy from  you.

Know that your Barneys moment is out there.  And it’s waiting for you to discover it if you want it.  Hire a coach, do something outside of your comfort zone, commit to achieving your successful life – whatever it takes, and you will find your Barneys Lightbulb Moment.  It’s not just a breakthrough, it’s a discovery of your true potential and possibilities in life.

Client Communication

How to Identify and Attract the Right Audience


Shana Yao is CEO and Your Marketing Mastermind® of TOTAL GENIUS™, She is the Editor and Chief of The Business Luminary Magazine, and works with high achieving clients to empower them to own their expertise so they can make a bigger impact in the world, with a signature business that reflects their personal style.

Driven by purpose, her mission is to build Luminary Leaders of tomorrow to light up the world with change and innovation. Her focus around the areas of holistic health, personal style, and mental clarity, are based on the belief that true success is found in becoming the person you are meant to be in life and using that to empower your business. For it's the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience that fulfills your life and creates true, everlasting success. 

She is an award-winning Business & Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. 

Join her and other Luminary Leaders, lighting the world with their holistic and powerful businesses at the The Business Luminaries.