5 Easy Ways To Start Promoting Yourself Today
self-pro·mo·tion – noun
– 1. the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities.
If only self-promotion were as simple as the dictionary makes it sound. In reality, self-promotion will be one of the most difficult things you will face as an entrepreneur. It is awkward and feels unnatural to many, make no mistake but you will get better at it with practice and we will push you.
To put it simply: Self promotion is what will get you noticed. If you don’t sing your praises, how will anyone ever know? Outside the corner office this advice still applies: If you don’t tell your prospects why they should buy from you, who will?
The following list provides 5 simple and actionable ways to start promoting yourself today!
Luckily for us, we have the internet! Websites and social media make self promotion possible for even the most introverted professional. If you have a business, whether it’s product or service based I’m going to assume that you have a website too.
If you don’t, then we need to back up… Your website is how people will find you. Billboards and newspaper ads are expensive and very hard to track investment returns on. A website, professionally built will cost upwards of several thousand dollars – If you are bootstrapping, check out wordpress.com or squarespace.com and use a simple template. No more excuses, if you want a credible business you have to act like a credible business and get yourself a home on the web. And before you say it… No a Facebook does not count as a website. Facebook is a platform that you can not control and therefore should never depend on as the sole medium for attracting and communicating with prospects. Remember that saying: Never build your house on rented land. That’s exactly what relying on a Facebook page as a website is doing.
Back to what we were saying… As you write the copy for your About page, think of all the wonderful things about yourself and your company that you want prospective customers to know about.
- Did your product win an award? Tell us! Show us with pictures!
- Did you work with a big name company? Tell us about your achievements with Big Name Company.
- Have you ever been honoured for anything within your industry? Let’s hear about it!
- Are you the genius who came up with the idea for X Y Z? Toot that horn of yours!
The point is that your website is all about you and there is no reason why you should play down your accomplishments here.
LinkedIn was literally created for self promotion. It is your online resume and like it or not, prospective employers, partners, and investors will go there to check you out so make sure you look damn good! This is where you’re going to list all your (relevant) professional accomplishments and achievements.
- Did you work on any special side projects? Upload video, links or images to LinkedIn to share.
- Do you write a regular newsletter? Share a link on LinkedIn.
- Did you invent a new type of printer that prints the perfect poster? LinkedIn is the place to shout about it from the rooftops!
Networking is Self-Promotion’s Little Sister
Networking positively supports self promotion because it puts you in situations where you are face-to-face (it’s a good thing!) with your community. This is your opportunity to make friends and build bridges. People will always try to do business with people that they know, like and trust so get out there and shake some hands and show off your charm/knowledge/sense of humour/amazing memory for names and faces.
My favourite networking group is BNI. The group’s mission is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional word-of-mouth program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals. It’s an international group so check out their website to see if there is a chapter near you.
At the end of the day, your reputation is all you have. If you don’t nurture a positive one you will face the consequences down the road. Most industries are actually very small and players all get to know one another in time so make sure that you are always leaving the room better than you found it. Ask yourself how you can add value to a conversation and if you’re too shy to speak infant of a crowd, pull folks aside and chat one on one whenever possible.
Say Yes to The Opportunity
I hear it all the time (sometimes even coming from my own mouth); “Oh I’m not a good public speaker” or “I can’t write…” or “I just really suck at small talk so I’m going to skip it”
Yes, each of those things are difficult to do but guess what? You’ll get better the more your practice. When opportunities come your way jump on them! Speaking about your company to an audience of 3 people or 3000 people is an excellent opportunity to sell yourself and your organization. Plus, it usually doesn’t cost anything (especially if you’ve been invited to speak) and free advertising is the best kind of advertising!
The same goes for writing. If someone has offered you a guest blog opportunity – jump on it! They likely only need about 500 words which is only half a page. You should have no problem using 500 words to talk about how awesome your stuff is.
A colleague recently decided to commemorate turning 40, by making it a Year of Yes. Basically, anything he was invited to or inadvertently happened upon, he chose to say Yes to them all. What a scary thought right? Well, for some yes. For others, we may have just lit a spark… At the end of that year, he had to admit that in fact, he felt that he had honestly lived more in that one single year than he had in all previous 39! If that isn’t food for thought, then I don’t know what is!
Work Those Social Media Channels
Obviously at MAC5, we love all things digital especially social media. After all, what better way for people all over the world to create situations where they stand out from the crowd? Embrace social now. Start a Twitter account for your business, but start one for yourself as well. Even if all you do is share links to news stories that you’re reading, if those stories are on topic you’ll begin to set yourself apart and establish your feed as the go to industry insider feed.
Trust us, you can do this! You’re amazing and it’s time the world found out.
Thanks for reading!