Self-promotion is positive though many people do not think of it that way.
Can you believe it’s September? How did this happen? I did accomplish many of my summertime goals, yet the continuing presence of the pandemic shortcut others. How about you? And, what does this have to do with understanding why self-promotion is positive?
Unfortunately, it is September and as people shake off the exhilaration of summer activities (I am a Chicagoan, after all.), it’s time to take the temperature of your business….to think ahead to 2022.
Not everyone understands why you must learn to promote yourself – and this is crucial whether you are an entrepreneur or a corporate employee. It has nothing to do with arrogance or showing-off tendencies. Rather, it has to do with giving, putting your best foot forward and, yes, drawing attention to the good you do in the world.
It helps you conduct a check on yourself and your company. When I say ‘self-promote’ I am definitely not saying share everything about your life or your business, create someone you are not, air your grievances or hold political or religious sway.
Self-promotion is a way of drawing attention to what you care about, how you give back, sharing the good you and your company are doing; making yourself part of the conversation in groups related to your work so you can educate and inspire.
As a business owner, it is crucial. People do business with people and the more authentic you are, the more prone they are to do business with you.
I learned this early on in my career. And, because today’s work environment is filled with evermore competing factors that minimize your individual knowledge and capabilities, if you do not keep them front and center, you are not building a community that works for you.
Self promotion is one way to do that. Here are the five most compelling reasons I’ve found to keep plugging away at creating a persona that gets noticed.
- Self-promotion enables the smallest companies to appear huge. We used to say that Foremost Sales Promotions, Inc. (my first venture) was the little company that thought it was GM. We merchandised and advertised like the ‘big boys’. We were so successful at it that eventually we had to declare as a franchisor.
- Social Media makes it imperative to be in the game. Today, small businesses have the advantage of a big presence on social media, on a small budget. A well-thought out marketing strategy and communications approach brings you personal and professional value. Your lack of appearance is noted if you are not on Linked In, don’t have an Instagram or Pinterest account or show up on Facebook or Twitter. Social media requires you to be there, albeit not necessary to be everywhere – and that is whether you are consumer-oriented, B-B exclusively or a corporation serving both consumers and business.
- Self-promotion helps people get to know you. This highlights the importance of only using pictures that illustrate a point you are making, show you in a positive light, bring your personal self into the discussion. I was leery of using social media at first. However, I soon became a believer when I saw my business start to grow, more visitors come to my website and more women business owners asking for help. And, the more I showed of myself, the more people wanted to join my community.
- Authenticity (now a much overused word) helps you shine and showcase that you are someone people can know, like and trust. None of this happens unless you pay attention to an overall strategy that dictates how you self-promote. If you have others creating publicity or posts for you, be sure to provide a framework that does not deviate. Identify messaging points and delineate words that cannot be used. Monitor the posts and control other media that receives your information so that you are not creating an impression that doesn’t sit well with your intended audience. (This last is good to remember for all aspects of your business.)
- Guest interviews on podcasts and YouTube videos are powerful self-promotion tools. You don’t need your own podcast to take advantage of interviewing as a strategy to self-promote. Find podcasts that are geared towards your audience and put yourself out there as available for interviews. Podcasters are always happy to entertain interviewing you if you fit their criteria. If you do have a podcast, use it to your advantage and find guests who can be clients for you or help promote who you are.
About Gail Zelitzky
Since 2000, Gail has coached women business owners in all stages of growth to make the leap to the next level. Recognized for her practical, no-nonsense approach, astute perception of challenges faced by business owners, and her strategic and creative approach to problem solving, Gail consistently produces extraordinary results that are at the core of her success as a consultant. Her passion is creativity and resilience, and champions innovation for business owners.