Self-Promotion Shameless and Otherwise
In today’s world of reality television and the social media celebrity no one is surprised to see a person shooting a selfie in the middle of a baby shower without tagging the baby they are there to celebrate. As entrepreneurs we have to be our own marketing department, public relations, and sales teams so it is also not uncommon to see someone taking a photo of their food before they eat it to keep their feed populated with regular content. Where do we draw the line on the self-aggrandizement?
In the end it may come down to statistics. If you spend more time promoting the work you are doing than doing the work, you are certainly going to yield a larger audience, but a far less intimate relationship with them. On the other hand if you spend much of your head down and never take a moment to share your work then you can’t really expect anyone to be there when you finish it. We have to measure our progress based on the goals we want and that will help guide our behavior.
Perhaps it is not so much that you are humble, but instead don’t feel comfortable taking the spotlight. That is okay but just as there are some entrepreneurs who don’t feel comfortable with spreadsheets, they have to either delegate/hire, or learn to cope.
The case for growth:
Spending time and energy on self promotion may be what you are best at. There are those of us who are best as figure heads and speakers even though we may not be the most creative or prolific. Talent comes in many forms. As marketer this takes the shape of gaining awareness, being interested in the results of actions and measuring the growth of the audience.
You can have the best content, product, or art in the world but if no one is around to see it then no one can be around to buy it. If you want to be in business as a creative you must have this function embedded in your operation one way or another.
How To Approach:
Be proud of the work you are creating. You may not feel comfortable talking about yourself, but at very least you can talk about the concepts and quality of what you are doing. Be willing to shift the focus to how excited you are about your projects or content versus how excited you are about yourself.
Integrity here is key, if you are making mountains out of molehills and trying to exaggerate your work or accomplishments this is unethical. However, to speak plainly about your efforts and accomplishment can still be effective at bringing awareness to your work.
It is no better to diminish your excellence than it is to embellish it. We have come to a place where few find a binary between one large group of people seeking only to expand steal the lime light while others are fearful of it. Neither is the course we should find ourselves on.
It is always good to check in with your motives and ask if you are seeking attention for a specific purpose, or non specific purpose. A purposeful marketing plan is one that is more likely leave you with success because the reward is not in the number of eyeballs, but the number of conversions. If you are growing a brand or seeking to establish a profile for yourself you need to know what you will do with the attention when you get it. Not only will it help you maintain personal integrity, but it will be easier to identify what to share and who to share it with.
If you have a moment to drop a “plug” for your latest project or endeavor it will be easier to discern whether the audience you have is one that would be most engaged in that message. It could be actually harmful to deliver a message without the proper context.
To close, always thank your audience for your attention where possible. This will keep you humble and drive home the sincerity of you message.
Thank you for reading.