You are an expert at what you do. And what you do is exciting and fulfilling. If these two things are not true, you wouldn't be doing what you're doing! But to be successful, you need to let other people know about your expertise and your enthusiasm and blow your own horn. There's nothing wrong with self promotion.
Be a Part of Word of Mouth
But word of mouth takes time to build. Why wait for the results of other people talking about your business to build your customer base, when you have so many positive things to say about your business?
Learn How to Brag About Yourself
Too often we defeat our self promotion efforts by assuming that other people won't be interested in what we do, or by childhood notions that it's not polite to brag about ourselves and our accomplishments.
But we need to brag about ourselves. We need to tell others what we do well and what we're proud of; that's what self promotion is. Doing this not only makes other people aware of our accomplishments and expertise, but shapes their perceptions of us.
Reach Out Consciously to Increase Your Business Success
People like successful people. It's natural for people to admire success or think that success will rub off on them. And so successful people draw more customers or clients, and success breeds success. But to get this process happening, you have to make a conscious effort to let individuals know about your accomplishments. You have to blow your own horn.
What is it that you're proud of? Have you won an award? Gained a new skill or accreditation? Done some valuable work for the community? Think back over the past two years and make a list of the accomplishments you're proud of. These are what you're going to let other people know about.
Self Promotion Activities
Practice self promotion by speaking and writing about your accomplishments. Add a line about something you're proud of to your email signature and to your stationery. If your accomplishment is an event or an award, write and send out a press release. If you have a website or a blog, announce it there. Tweet, Facebook, Google+ about it – whatever social media you use, use it to get the word out about what you've done.
Spread the word about your accomplishment or talent by talking about it. Practice bringing it up in conversation. Volunteer to make a presentation to your networking, business, or Toastmaster's group. Increase your perceived expertise by appearing on local television or radio programs.
Don't Denigrate Yourself
Many people are their own worst enemy. They belittle their accomplishments when others notice and praise them. When someone praises you, do you say "Thank You", or do you say, "Oh, it's nothing. Anyone could have done that?" Don't denigrate yourself by being self-depreciating. Practice accepting praise sincerely without adding excuses or qualifications.
Self Promotion Related Reading
Homework Assignment: Self Promotion
The first step towards self promotion is to make a list of the accomplishments you're proud of. These achievements may include particular goals you've realized, a particular talent you've developed, a new skill you've acquired, or something that you've created. They may or may not be directly related to your business.
Look over the list and choose one or two of these that you're going to consciously promote over the next month. Then choose several of the self promotion activities above and start blowing your own horn about these accomplishments this week.
For best results, put together a brief plan to schedule your self promotion activities about your chosen accomplishments over the next month to ensure that you get the word out over several channels without doing it so constantly you turn off your audience.
Join us in the Small Business Canada Forum to share your accomplishments and/or discuss ways that you can blow your own horn and let other people know about what you've achieved.
Continue on to Business Success Lesson 10