You! Yes, you! You know exactly what I mean with the headline, right? Self-promotion is a pain in the ass for most of us.
Blowing your own horn just doesn’t seem socially acceptable, and we don’t want to seem like self-interested bishes, now do we?
But then there’s the other side of things; the world today is of the sort that if you do not make a number of yourself, you will find moving forward in life a lot more challenging. Whether it’s about getting a job, finding a partner, or having a blog, you want (oh yes, you do!) people to take note of you.
Because if they don’t… well, it’s likely they’ll just walk past or even over you. I understand this is a very bleak description of a world to live in for introverts and the shy kind. But fret not, there are ways for all of us to self-promote without it feeling uncomfortable.
On my previous post on blogging mistakes one of the points was ‘not promoting your work’, and there I promised to dive deeper into the issue. So, here we are, on a quest to find ways to self-promote without the impostor syndrome kicking down the doors.
Here’s a handy list of simple ways in which you can start your self-promotion journey without any guilt. Start by implementing couple easy ones, and then start adding points from this list and watch your blog grow, grow, grow. I’m sure you’ll find at least 2 ways that you can get started with right now.
20 x How To Self-Promote Without Seeming Like A Twat
1) Promote other people
One of the easiest ways to promote your work is by first promoting others’. You can do this on Twitter by re-tweeting others’ posts, and on Instagram by sharing their photos on your Stories with an encouraging message.
This creates a chain reaction and very often the people you have promoted, do the same to you in return. This works in blogging, at work, and among friends.
2) Don’t be pushy, hone your ‘sales speech’
Pushy sales tactics may work in car sales, but when it comes to online marketing, at least in my case, it sets my teeth on edge. A softer approach with marketing can be much more efficient.
Instead of saying “BUY THIS!!” you could start by explaining why you love the product/service so much. And then point out how that same product/service could greatly benefit your followers.
The point is to serve your followers. This builds trust, which is the foundation of promotion.
I can feel all dem introverts coiling back right now. Not to worry! Networking doesn’t need to mean attending an actual networking event and awkwardly trying to push your persona into strangers’ conversation in mid-sentence.
Networking can be done online and offline, and you should do it online as well as offline. If talking to a stranger feels like too high a wall to climb, make note of the people you find relatable in events, and send them an e-mail or a DM later on.
You can never lose with networking. Even if you don’t find your next best friend, you might just find the person who catapults you into unimaginable opportunities and success.
4) Give valuable ideas
… for free!
It may sound like shooting yourself in the leg, sharing your expertise for free, but it will pay itself back.
For example, if you sell online products or creative services, you could have an e-book available on your site for free. When people realize that you really know what you’re talking about, and find the resource helpful, they will return and purchase the next product.
5) Build reputations
Reputation is a thing that can make or break you, and in these fragile times with nazis roaming governments and climate change causing incredible and dangerous weather phenomena, the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” doesn’t hold true anymore.
Your reputation is one of your most valuable bargaining chips. So, making sure that it reflects you and is genuine and likable, takes you a long way. Your reputation doesn’t need to be flashy, colourful and loud. Instead, calm and neutral can appeal to people just as much, or even more.
When your reputation is sound, people are happy to recommend and promote you. They can do so without fear of any controversy or backlash.
6) Develop your expertise
The ability to learn throughout our lives is one of our biggest assets. Make sure you don’t lose your childish enthusiasm and curiosity when it comes to learning, because whether you notice it or not, we learn something every single day.
When it comes to self-promotion, you need to be willing to learn. Whatever it is that you’re an expert at is going to change and evolve as time goes by. And you need to stay on top of the game. When people know and trust you for your knowledge on a specific subject they will be willing to pay for it.
7) Get references
References displayed on your home page are a great way for brands and people, who want to collaborate with you, to see that you are trustworthy and up for the task.
Every time you get a collaboration ask the brand or their representative for feedback on how you did. Another option is to ask for recommendations and referrals from your friends and family.
Other bloggers’ recommendations also look good because of their industrial focus, and if you know someone who has a company, you could suggest a little favour for them in exchange for a published referral.
8) Be reliable
This is a must! If you feel like all other points are a bit too much for now, you must nail this!
Always deliver what you promise and within the time frame. It’s the least you can do. It’s also a sure way to ruin your reputation if you do not, because word of mouth moves much faster now with social media in the game.
Another aspect of being reliable is to make sure you ‘live as you preach‘. If you blog about sustainability, don’t do H&M or Primark hauls; or if you vouch to be a vegan, perhaps prepare for the backlash when you eat a steak dinner at the next blogging event.
9) Learn to be proud of your work
It can seem hard, but you can teach yourself out of that impostor syndrome. Because honestly, would you create what you do, if you thought you couldn’t create it? Of course not!
Take the leap, put your ideas / products / services / blog posts out there and trust that it will all be just fine. Blogging community is probably the most encouraging and supportive industries in existence, so don’t be afraid!
When you’ve done it once, it’s a bit easier to do it again. And then again, and again, and oops, suddenly people recognize you and support you. And remember: don’t confuse self-promotion with self-interest! They are two completely different things.
10) Be real
Being yourself is always going to be a better option than trying to pretend something else. Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not that great of an actor.
If you’re in any way pretentious, unsure, or all the way fake, it will shine through and will easily result in people questioning your motives. And you don’t want people questioning your motives if your aim is to promote your work and persona.
There’s no reason to try and pretend, you are just fine exactly as you are and there are always people who love you. We’re not here to please everyone!
11) Be effective in your communications
It’s always polite to ask a potential collaboration partner how their family is and how their travels went, but if you don’t wish to leave the situation empty-handed, you may have to direct the discussion towards a more business-like lines.
But nailing a conversation then and there isn’t enough. In order to make sure that they remember you, contact them couple days later via e-mail and thank them for the great conversation. Also, make sure you tag them on your social media and interact with their posts. This way you keep yourself ‘visible’.
12) Ask for feedback and use it
By asking feedback from all, family, friends and colleagues, you can construct an image of what perhaps isn’t working for your benefit, and where you should be directing more effort.
Just 3 pieces of constructive criticism will take you a long way.
13) Surround yourself with like-minded people
Blogging is a great industry, because it’s probably the most supportive and encouraging industry in existence. So, you’re already part of an amazing community of like-minded people.
But make sure you interact and engage with them! This way you ensure that they will do the promoting for you, rather than family and friends who don’t necessarily understand what you do.
14) Be energetic about your passion
Being excited is totally okay! Just like aknowledging your strengths and skills, getting excited about them is a great way to promote yourself. Who wouldn’t want to work with passionate and excited people?
15) Don’t force it
One rule, I learned the hard way, is that if you’re not sure about a blog post, don’t publish it! Your sixth sense is always right, so if you’re hesitant, it means that the quality isn’t there.
Always remember, when it comes to content: quality over quantity! If you feel uninspired, have a break. You’ll come back twice as inspired.
16) Collaborate, collaborate collaborate
You can never work with other people too much. Anything counts as promotion, whether you collaborate with friends, brands, strangers, your dog, it’ll all be great promotion and they will share your work (well, perhaps not the dog…)
17) Go above and beyond for your clients
Making it clear for your clients and collaboration partners that you can be trusted to do the work, and do it well, is the biggest favor your can do to yourself.
And bringing even a little bit of extra to the equation is likely to pay you back double in promotion.
18) STOP belittling yourself!
Even if you can’t quite manage to look at your own work and go “Damn, I’m good!“, then at least, please, stop telling yourself that you suck! You’re lying to yourself, and it needs to stop RIGHT NOW!
19) Be persistent, don’t give in
Blogging doesn’t have many quantifiable facts about it, because it consists of unique people that can’t be labelled. But there’s one quantifiable fact, which is that for all your hard work, around 20% of it will pay back.
But those 20% are usually more than worth the 80% of work that you put into it! So, simplified that means that for a 100 collaboration e-mails you’ve sent to brands, around 20 will answer. But you couldn’t work with all 100 brands anyway, right?
20) Never stop learning and developing your skills
This is inevitable, since blogging is an ever changing industry and there are new promotional platforms popping up like mushrooms in rain. You don’t have to know them all, but staying alert, and being curious about new things will take you very far indeed.
You’ll never have the whole truth, but you do have all the information right at your fingertips that you need to succeed. ♥
photos: Angie ♥
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