Written by Karen D. Swim
All week we have been examining the topic of self-promotion. Why this topic and why now?
We can hire people to sell for us or we can partner with others to cross promote products and services but none of this replaces the need for self promotion. Self promotion is sharing your capabilities with others. Whether you are a student, artist, CEO or employee, you must e able to tell others about your talents and abilities.
Our reluctance to self-promote is often rooted in false beliefs such as:
- Self-promoting is rude and overbearing
- Before we self-promote we have to know more or achieve more.
- We’re not that special or we have nothing new to offer.
- Self-promotion shows a lack of humility or modesty.
- It is disrespectful. No one wants to hear us drone on about ourselves.
- It is loud, obnoxious, and always unwelcomed.
Bragging versus Self-Promotion
Self-promotion is not shouting to the world, “Hey look at me, click my links and buy my junk.” Self-promotion is the ability to sell your ideas and your capabilities to those they can benefit.
Many of us have associated self-promotion with negative behavior due to deep-seated beliefs about what constitutes politeness. We have unfairly intertwined selling ourselves with bragging and they are quite different things.
Self-promotion need not be a hurricane. It can be a gentle breeze that softly lifts your hair as it whispers the notes of nature in your ear.
Why you should care?
Would you knowingly withhold information from someone who needed it? In addition to your unique gifts and talents, along your life journey you have collected a vast amount of knowledge and experience. No one has traveled the same exact path as you so it is unfair to assume that you have nothing special to share.
Our world has changed. It is bigger and noisier and wallflowers can get stampeded in the shuffle. In quieter times, the boss would notice your good work and promote you or the townsfolk all knew you and bought from you because of relationship. Today, we cannot keep track of who knows what as we struggle to categorize the daily onslaught of information. Learning to self-promote has become an essential skill set for our work and personal lives.
Self-promotion begins with a belief that we are capable. Your dreams will never come true if you don’t take the steps to make them happen. You may sing like an angel, but no one will know if you never open your mouth and let your voice be heard. So go ahead and sing just hold back on the bass.
How can self-promotion be of value in your own life? Is it a skill set that came naturally or did you have to work at it?