The short answer is yes, and with some fine tuning, your self promotion can be both appropriate and successful. Self promotion that makes you seem egotistical, arrogant, or overly cocky can damage your reputation. There is a difference between cockiness and confidence though, and for successful self promotion, you have to be confident in your work, while remaining humble. Let’s talk about getting your name in front of prospects without damaging your reputation.
Share Your Work, and Demonstrate Your Expertise
The goal of self promotion is to demonstrate that you are in fact an expert of your space, and that you are a reliable “go-to” in terms of your service area. For example, when someone thinks about shopping for insurance, I want them to fully understand that I will explain all the details for them so they feel good about their purchase, and are educated in the product they are buying. I want them to understand that that level of service is something that they will not find with some of my competitors. Display your work to your prospects. Let them know that you were successful on a project. Focus on the “why,” your purpose in your niche, and talk about where you made a difference, and how you differ from other professionals in your space. Stay relevant, and keep your postings up-to-date with the ever-changing times, and always stay one step ahead of your competitors when you have an opportunity to. But, at the end of the day, don’t scream in arrogance from the rooftops, but instead talk about how you enjoy benefiting others and how you are a trusted resource.
Promote Your Partners
Speaking of benefiting others, promoting your partners is a great form of self promotion. Let me explain; you have to treat your partners the way that you want to be treated. If you have a partner that has a great service to offer, and they are your “go-to” professional when it comes to their work, tell your network about how they helped you and explain how they could be a great asset to to work with. Tell the world about how appreciative you are to have your partners around, and they will likely be inclined to return the favor. Make it easy for them to promote you in return, by letting them know about your publications to help their brand, and mentioning that them sharing it will help the visibility. If you publish a blog or promotional advertisement for the companies or professionals you partner with, they will definitely be more inclined to share your posts to their own networks.ow you’ve made a mutually beneficial promotional relationship. Congrats!
Showcase Your Work, Every Step of the Way
I know it sounds unorthodox, but you shouldn’t just be showing the end result of your work – you need to show your audience the entire process. People want to connect with real people, and showing that you have a process or a routine demonstrates reliability, and builds trust. Now people don’t have to wonder why or how you’re as good as you claim to be, because they can witness your work first hand. Make videos or use visuals to your advantage here, because touching on image sensory is key. Have a positive attitude in the media you produce as well, because it goes a long way.
So, you’ve got your name in front of your target prospects, you must be ready to take on the world, right? Not quite, because promotion takes maintenance. Establishing yourself is a fantastic start, but you need to consistently update your posts and publications. It’s important that you have boundaries for yourself established, because if you don’t, too many posts will make you seem like the high school guy trying to get the girl, throwing rocks at the house outside of her bedroom window. Keep your posts on a regular schedule though, and make sure they are still jam-packed with engaging content. You want your audience to see what you’re doing, but it needs to be both relevant and interesting. A good rule of thumb is that if you’d find a post or publication useless, invasive, or annoying yourself, then don’t put it out for the rest of the world.
You Are the People You Surround Yourself With
This is a concept I truly believe and many others are in agreement with. People tend to look for others with similar ideals, interests, and aspirations. You need to understand your market space or target audience, and reach out to them in a way that will win their following. Speak their language, and try not to put up a facade. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.” You have to be an industry expert, and show people that you deserve their following. If you get professionally published or get the chance to network with highly respected individuals, display that to your audience. Let them know that you dominate your space, but again, try to leave the arrogance out of the equation here.
Active promotion can be tiring, and can wear you down if you spend a considerable amount of time working on your brand. Luckily, we live in an age where passive promotion is now mainstream, and accepted almost anywhere. Think about an email signature for a moment… More often than not, you’ll see a back-link to the company’s website, or a promo for a mobile app or something similar. That’s a no-brainer: it’s free, it’s easy, and it’s constantly promoting you by passive means. If you’re not already using promotion through signatures in your email, I suggest you get started now. Also, throw links to your networks on your website, and vice-versa, so that if a person finds one of your networks, they actually find all of them in one shot. Other than that, you can take advantage of things like local magazine publications or fliers if you are a small business, or trying to get your foot in the door with a professional publication, which will again, give you credit and a professionally tailored article in the meantime.
Self promotion is accepted in today’s world, but you have to remember not to overstep your boundaries. Stay respectable, professional, and humble. Demonstrate that you are an industry professional, a go-to for valuable information, and a trusted resource in your space, and you will build a following that cannot be matched.