A fundamental starting point when it comes to exploring the art of self-promotion is that we must have confidence in ourselves, in order for others have confidence in us. As unnatural as it may feel, we must be our own cheerleaders and our own best advocates.
Self-promotion can make many of us feel uncomfortable. It goes against the grain. We can find ourselves asking, ‘Is it really necessary for us to be successful in doing what we love?’, to try and avoid dealing with this fear inducing entity.
Truth be told; Yes, it really is necessary. The root to business success is often in the art of self-promotion. You could be nailing every aspect of business, but if you can’t promote yourself and your business then you fall short of reaching the scale of audience that you deserve to be in front of. While many of us are innately already tackling an element of this by being present on social media, how many of us can truly say that we have really mastered the art of promoting ourselves and our businesses as effectively as we should be?
For many serviced based entrepreneurs, you are your business and promotion for you and your business is often one and the same. Raising your profile will draw people to your business. Sharing your expertise and
knowledge will increase trust in your business.
The first step is becoming comfortable with your offering. You are your own Unique Selling Point and this is as a result of your own unique combination of experience, knowledge and insight. Avoiding the trap of comparisonitis means accepting what makes up your USP and knowing how to leverage it.
When it comes to leveraging your experience and expertise there are many ways to master the use of your USP in self-promotion. When we look at the communication channels that you can explore when it comes to your personal PR, they range from you directly sharing your knowledge through speaking or writing, being interviewed or profiled in various sections of the media, through to in person networking and digital social media presence.
Embrace Your Expertise
The most accessible next step in self-promotion is to get your areas of knowledge down on paper, so to speak, from which you will give yourself both an outline of the myriad of topic areas that your expertise covers as well as building a bank of content that you can use for a multitude of opportunities from your blog and social media to guest blogging or article contributions.
Start blogging regularly and start sharing this expert content and insight on your social media. When it comes to content, prioritise the value that you are able to give to your audience. What can they learn from you? Educating your audience not only allows them to better understand what you do and your value, but also that you are THE expert best placed to work with them.
Step this up by approaching independent print and digital magazines as well as like-minded businesses. This will open up opportunities for guest article contributions and reciprocal guest blogging. This allows you to share your knowledge and promote your offering to a new, relevant audience. In turn, sharing these result with the audience you already have is a way of engendering further trust.
A natural progression from this is in taking some of these areas of expertise and pitching yourself to wider print and digital media as an expert. There is a lot of space in the media world for quotes, comment and expertise to be shared. You can proactively pitch yourself as a candidate for these opportunities that could be relevant for you, but there are other ways to access real time opportunities that you can respond to, the most accessible being the Twitter hashtag #journorequest. Being in the right place at the right time to be quick enough off the mark to respond to a relevant opportunity plays a big part, but ultimately securing an opportunity like this can provide some high octane results when it comes to self-promotion and positioning yourself as the go to expert in your field.
Take the Stage
One of the most powerful ways to prove your expertise and knowledge is to do so in front of a room full of people. It can sound terrifying but speaking opportunities can really bridge the gap between your content output and an in person meet up. You have the opportunity to engage, to teach and to connect with an audience that are often very receptive to what they are being presented. You never know who is going to be in the room and what opportunities can come from these moments. The beauty of social media also allows your messages to travel further than the walls you are physically confined by.
From trade shows, industry conferences, consumer events right though to regional networking events, there is an expansive choice when it comes to determining the speaking options that could be right for you. Start at regional networking events to build up your experience but beyond that, know your value and what you will bring to an event or the transformation that you can enable and don’t hold back on the approaches you make. Reach out with your overview of discussion topics, why you’re a good fit and what you want to bring to the event. Much of self-promotion is about building a cache of credibility. Much like a ‘nod of approval’ that being placed in the media gives you, a key speaking opportunity will give you innate kudos and respect.
Self-promotion breaks down into two elements. The doing, and the sharing.
The Doing: Taking the action, getting the media results, winning the speaking opportunities, sharing your knowledge is the first step but how well you leverage all of this activity determines the impact that you can make on the audience you have already worked hard to build and attract to you.
The Sharing: Sharing your media wins, sharing your speaking credentials, sharing client results not only shows your audience how credible and determined you are but also turns your social media, website and blog into a comprehensive CV of kudos and credibility to be seen by potential clients, potential collaborators and others that may have opportunity to present to you.
Self-promotion is to be embraced, not feared. It often takes a little tweak to our subconscious programming and mindset but, you were made to excel and mastering the art of self-promotion will help you on this mission.