You dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. You dreamed of success and freedom. You maybe even dreamed of glory.
These are all reasons being an entrepreneur is so attractive to many.
Many of us are not comfortable tooting our own horns. Self-promotion, especially the “shameless” variety, is often seen as baldly transactional—and sometimes downright slimy and sleazy.
Used with grace, however, the art of bragging can do wonders not just for the bragger, but also for the people who may genuinely benefit from his or her work.
Had Steve Jobs not diligently promoted Apple’s smartphone, then modern society as we know it would have remained in the dark ages of “dumb” phones. There were several precursors to the iPhone, to be sure, but their creators didn’t blow their horns loud enough for the public to take notice.
Self-promotion is especially important in online marketing.
Promotion of some kind is present in any endeavor. After all, it’s how you create your brand. However, when it comes to online marketing and promotion,, it really needs to be taken to a different,more strategic level.
Going viral is essential if your blog – and business – are to rise above the din of online marketing from companies and businesses around the world.
Mindful promotion is critical to the survival and growth of your business. It’s one of the most effective ways to get more business.
If your work is any good – potentially making the lives of many pain-free or even just a little better – the world deserves to know about it. Keeping it to yourself, because you’d rather shrink like a violet than peddle your own wares, is a disservice to humanity.
If you’re still queasy about singing your own praises, know there is a right way to self-promote and these suggestions might help…
Many people glibly toss about too-good-to-be-true job titles: article ninja, social media guru, rockstar developer. While they sound professionally impressive, they also sound pompous. These titless are (presumptuous) interpretations, not facts.
Especially if you’re not really viewed as an expert by your peers, exorbitant claims such as these would put you in a defensive position right away. (Just exactly who anointed you to become a guru?) In the words of popular entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk, “99.5% of social media experts are clowns.”
Show, don’t tell.
It’s easier for your audience to buy your expertise if you sell it with stories. For an individual, quote the number of your social media followers (citing facts) and share how you achieved those numbers. Maybe you exploited the viral power of hashtags, or you dug deep into your keyword research to better understand your audience and build epic content based on this enlightened understanding.
For a company or business, try letting your awards, public numbers, patents, or even past customers promote your authority for you. You can do this graphically, with video, or even through testimonials.
When you approach self-promotion in this manner, not only will your listeners learn a thing or two from your experience and leverage that for their improvement, they will eventually come to the conclusion that you are indeed an expert.
Promote an idea or a cause.
Maybe you’ve written entrepreneurship articles about how to ditch the 9 to 5 and pursue a dream business or location-independent career. Certainly, you can take photos of yourself in your shop brimming with shiny new things, or in exotic locales where your location-independent career has allowed you to go.
Alternatively, you can tone down the preening poses and “money shots.” Instead, talk about finding your passion and following it whatever the cost. Then,you can relate your own experience with the photos not to elicit envy (OK, maybe just a bit of envy), but to illustrate to your audience that living such a life is possible. (Remember: show, don’t tell.)
Genuinely help others.
It’s not uncommon for those who have achieved stratospheric success in their business to write about it. And then, maybe they’ll run a contest or promo of some sort with the intention of scoring a captive audience, just so they can promote their new business books. If done adroitly, this practice can work. But if it backfires, the aftermath can be messy.
But rather than tell your audience what they want (which is really what you want), what if you found out what they actually needed?From there, you can determine where your interests and their needs intersect and find a channel to serve them, ideally in a way that feels natural to you.
Audiences can easily sniff out pretenders. Once outed, you will lose all credibility. From there, starting anew becomes that much more difficult.
Perhaps that is the root of promotion that really works to increase business visibility and, hence, augment business growth. Authenticity – with all the flaws and humanity that come with it – is relatable. And, as such, it is much easier to maintain.
Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):
Juan Pablo Bravo; Irene Hoffman; Hum; Romualdus Jurgaitis