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There’s a difference between self-promotion and shameless self-promotion. A big difference.
Shameless self-promotion involves constantly mentioning your business, your services, your qualifications and your accomplishments without any real regard for the people your business is supposed to be helping.
In a nutshell, you’re a living, breathing, unending sales pitch – for yourself.
It’s the kind of thing that would make your mother proud but annoys the crap out of everyone else.
Shameless Self-Promotion Is Usually Unwelcome, Unlikeable And Very Often Insensitive And Offensive.
I’m a member of a number of local Facebook business networking groups. At least two-thirds of all posts in those groups are shameless self-promotion. Some people just post pictures of their business cards and flyers.
These posts tend to come from the same people, over and over, which is unfortunate because they often overshadow valuable content from people who use social media the right way.
And they wonder why social media isn’t working for them.
While Most Shameless Self-Promotion Is Rather Brazen And Tends To Bludgeon Us Over The Head, It Can Also Be More Subtle.
When Charles Ramsey spoke to the media after helping to free Amanda Berry and two other women from 10 years of captivity, he mentioned that he was eating food from McDonald’s.
McDonald’s soon tweeted, “We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we’ll be in touch.”
McDonald’s couldn’t understand why so many people were outraged. Maybe it was because three women were raped and tortured for a decade, and McDonald’s was an inconsequential part of the story.
Trying to capitalize on a horrific, tragic story is the worst kind of shameless self-promotion.
But there are ways to self-promote without shamelessly self-promoting.
Don’t Promote Yourself. Promote What You Believe In.
Promote your ideas and solutions. You create real value and interest by bringing something new, or at least a fresh perspective, to the table. Back up your ideas and solutions with real-world examples or statistics whenever possible.
Make sure your passion for what you do and believe in shines through in your content. Passion is both inspiring and contagious.
Let people know what you stand for, at least as it relates to topics that are relevant to your audience. Not everyone will like or agree with your ideas or approach, and that’s okay. They’ll never be your clients.
Respect dissenters, but don’t be afraid to challenge them.
Prove that you really care about solving people’s problems and making their lives better. Focus on helping people, not yourself.
Step outside business-related topics every once in a while and promote worthy causes. Good people want to do business with other good people who share their values.
But please – don’t promote a good cause by saying, “XYZ Business wants you to know…”
What that really says is, “This is shameless self-promotion dressed up as a public service announcement, and I care more about plugging my business than helping this cause.”
Above all else, make sure everything you say is authentic. People can spot a phony a mile away, and nobody wants to do business with one. Actually, promoting something you really don’t believe in is worse than shameless self-promotion.
When people start to believe what you believe in and learn from your expertise, they’ll get behind your business. You won’t have to shamelessly self-promote because others will do it for you.
Remember, when you say something about yourself, it’s a claim. When someone else says the same thing, it’s a fact. And that’s a heck of a lot more powerful than shameless self-promotion.
By promoting what you believe in instead of making boastful claims or rattling off a laundry list of services, you paint a clear picture that shows what kind of business you run, what you represent, and the true value of what you do.
And that’s why people will choose to do business with you.
How do you self-promote without shamelessly self-promoting?