You can be the best at what you do, but what’s the point if no one knows about it.
Meet Muhammad Ali. A legendary boxer, master self promoter and combined the greatest sports figure in history. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was”. His personal branding wasn’t just about the sport, he was a voice for millions of African-Americans and his vision — one which he clearly expressed — was one of the main reasons for his wild success and the key reason to why millions of people rooted for him.
Now look around. Through every door and each click of the mouse you come across yet another shameless self promoter; celebrities, entrepreneurs, friends and most public figures you come across just want to talk about themselves; engage in some form of self promotion. Without doubt personal branding is a necessity in today’s competitive world and a requirement for success.
Self promotion is a double–edged sword. If wielded right it can help you quickly near your goals, but there are many areas where you could go wrong; ones which can ruin your reputation and even get you labeled as human spam. So let me introduce you to a few tips in the craft of successful self promotion.
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.
Self confidence is a key part of being a successful self promoter; put yourself out there. The real you — not what people want to see. That’s how you get discovered. You can be the best at what you do, but what’s the point if no one knows about it. Learn to ask people for feedback, comments, retweets, endorsements or anything else — it will at least get you the opportunity to present your craft.
If you’ve got something to share; get genuinely excited about it! Get so excited that other people want to be a part of it; people tend to naturally like things which are promoted with passion and enthusiasm. Why else would you be doing it in the first place? Remember that self promotion is not bragging about yourself — think of it as sharing the impact of the work you’re doing.
While you do this keep in mind to help others, listen to their stories and volunteer for their projects; if you do so they too are more likely to reciprocate and listen to you. Promotion is easy when good will is abundant.
While simply being yourself does help, it’s also necessary to take a strategic approach when promoting yourself on social media or other professional networks like LinkedIn. Try to follow concepts like the 5–3–2 Rule of Social Sharing, know how much of your own content to share without looking like an attention hog.
Personal branding is not just about marketing or being a salesperson, the fact is it’s something you earn as a result of hard work and all self promotion does is make sure you get there.
Now let’s talk about promoting your own products or services; to me self-promotion and promoting your own creations or might I say products are one and the same. If anything promoting your own products always leads to some form of self promotion. Look at Steve Jobs; a genius at creating powerful and seductive brands. He defined himself by the things he designed. The way he created and promoted his products, going from design to the product launch was simply amazing! Which in turn built up his persona; which in it’s essence is genius personal branding.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
There may have been a time when just begin true to yourself and carrying on with your hard work would have automatically yielded success. But it isn’t today. Doing this now would just have you watching, as people who simply take the time to promote their successes push forward in a blur.