Growing up, I was taught bragging was bad.
So how does someone who was taught not to brag or for that matter, talk too much about themselves suddenly become good at self-promotion?
First up we have to get ourselves in the right mindset. We need to understand that bragging and self-promotion are different things.
I’m sure we’ve all met a serious bragger at one time or another.
You know the type – they rave on about how great they are and according to their take on events, they are brilliant at everything. They name drop all the time. They brag about how much money they make. They often dominate conversations. There can even be an element of putting other people down in their bragging.
Self-promotion is different.
As a blogger, self-promotion is also essential.
No matter how great your content is, it won’t matter if no one is reading it. People need to know you exist and how you can help them.
I openly admit I have a LOT to learn on this topic. Unfortunately, my own self-promotion has been well below what it should be.
It’s been rather hit and miss at times and I have learned a lot of lessons the hard way!
In saying that, here are some of the tips I have uncovered so far.
Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Any compensation I receive does not affect the price you pay.
The occasional bursts of self-promotion won’t do the trick.
You need to be consistently promoting yourself.
The method you use is completely up to you and will vary depending on your business, brand or what it is you are promoting. Just make sure you are getting your name out there regularly.
When I first started my blog, I waited for a spare weekend to do promotional work. I quickly learned this simply isn’t consistent enough.
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Make promotion a priority
When you are a blogger or writer you tend to focus on the writing and content creation part of the work.
If something urgent comes up, self-promotion is often scheduled further down the to-do list or sidelined completely. It’s put off until you have more time.
This is a big mistake.
It’s not just about writing the blog post but about promoting it as well.
Make your self-promotion a priority because the success of your business or brand depends on it.
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Have a clear message about what it is you do
Make sure you can confidently communicate what it is that you do. Your explanation should be reasonably brief, yet to the point. Mostly it needs to be interesting.
Many people swear by having a prepared elevator pitch. Instead of saying, ‘I am a blogger’. You might say, ‘I run a website that helps people with such and such.’ Go into a bit of interesting detail. Preferably something that will pique their interest and leave them eager to find out more.
One day I was in the kitchen at work, when someone asked me about my blog. I had a quick chat with them but it wasn’t until I got back to my desk that I realized I hadn’t even mentioned the name of my blog. Realizing my mistake, I quickly sent them the link from my computer.
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Be diligent with follow-up
If you have been talking to someone about yourself or your business and they ask for further information, make sure you follow up straight away.
Send, call, or write to them with the information they requested.
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Know your stuff
I have a friend who works in the finance industry. She has been working in the mortgage business for at least 10 years. When she talks about mortgages, you know straight away that she really knows her stuff.
If you are in a similar situation and an expert in your field – make the most of it. You are in the best possible position to promote yourself.
Needless to say, this can be a lot harder for people when they are first starting out. The truth is you are still ‘learning your stuff’. You are literally a huge sponge, soaking up knowledge and information as you go.
While this is an exciting and thrilling stage, it can also feel somewhat daunting.
If you can specialize in a particular topic even when you are first starting out, by all means, do. Work towards being an expert in that niche.
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Exaggerating a little bit is OK
Notice I said a ‘little bit’.
Just to be clear, exaggerating is definitely not lying.
Lying is unacceptable. Lying will jeopardize the trust you are building with your customers and contacts.
When I worked as a Personal Assistant within a large sales team many years ago, I would occasionally overhear a salesperson blatantly lying to their customer about what a particular model of equipment could do. It was cringe-worthy.
Though the salesperson may have scored that one sale, they were also setting themselves up to be cut off from any repeat business.
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Say it with authority
Have you ever been at a party and heard someone talking about a particular topic and known what they were saying was not completely accurate?
Yet everyone around them seems to be mesmerized by their story.
This is mainly because they believed in what they were saying and were communicating it with passion and gusto.
Obviously, from a business perspective, your aim is to know what you are saying is correct.
Just keep in mind, the way you say it has an impact as well.
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Tell people the good stuff
When people ask how you are doing, tell them the good stuff.
Grumbling and whining all the time isn’t the best approach (particularly when social media is involved). If you need to vent, save those conversations for your closest friend.
Highlight the positive as much as possible.
Self-promotion is an important part of having an online business and online presence. Promote yourself with integrity and you are off to a good start.
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