No-one wants to be super annoying, and that’s what a lot of people’s greatest fear is when they start having to self-promote.
Self-promotion comes much more naturally to some people than others – the task is obviously more difficult for introverts or people that generally like to keep out of the limelight.
Self-promotion also means having to indulge in that dreaded word - networking. Yes, it can strike fear into mere mortals, but networking is a key part of a business, and of building your personal brand.
So, how can you make self-promotion a little easier for yourself, and ensure you’re not becoming obnoxious with your messaging?
Here are some tips.
Self awareness is so important to keep in mind when you’re self-promoting, or indeed, in any of aspect of your life.
Being self-aware is about having an understanding of your place in a conversation, and being conscious of your actions and choice of words. It’s basically thinking of other people and their perception, considering how you would see yourself.
For some people this is just normal, but you’d be surprised how difficult lots of people seem to find it.
To start with, don’t intrude on every conversation at an event or on social media and seek to railroad through with your message or what you’re up to at the moment. Self-promotion is a subtle art, and it’s about building foundations and relationships, instead of the equivalent of getting out your microphone and blaring out your resume.
Listen to others, engage with them - and where appropriate, and relevant, tell them a bit about yourself too.
Give and you shall receive.
Practice being someone that gives to other people around them, or those in your industry, by promoting others for cool things that they’re doing. If you look like a positive person who likes to help and support others, then other people around are more likely to return the favor.
Of course, you shouldn't just say things for the sake of it, but if you’re principled about promoting people doing good things, then chances are that you’ll start to see people doing the same for you.
Being generous and sharing others success is a positive action, and whether you get anything back or not, the other person will feel valued.
Ask People to Promote you
Another thing you could consider is asking your close buddies to do your self-promotion for you. If you hate writing about yourself, ask someone else to come up with something.
Or you could ask someone to post something from their own account, or do a joint post about something you’re working on together.
This can work really well, because sometimes, if people see that someone else is saying something good about someone, it can carry more weight then you personally telling someone how great you are.
Keep it Interesting
No one has the time to hear your whole life story, however interesting it might be. Try to keep your self-promotion concise and impactful, and only include the really good parts that pack a punch.
A good practice is to write down your key points at home, so that if you get into a conversation or you’re asked anything online, you can quickly reel off some of the best parts about you, instead of a monologue that goes nowhere.
Be careful not to sound too robotic though, and try not to come across too polished - otherwise it’ll just sound like a sales pitch.
Also, be light-hearted, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Self-promotion is obviously about trying to convey positive messages - but this doesn’t have to mean that you make everything sound 'hunky dory' all the time. Being honest and authentic about your struggles and failures can be just as effective - if not more so - than pretending everything’s been plain sailing.
People can relate to and connect with vulnerabilities, as they too have had their own, so sharing your story in a way that's authentic, and even self-deprecating at times, can be a really good, truthful way to promote yourself, which people will notice and pick up on in the long-run.
Self-promotion doesn’t have to be sparkling, loud and super positive 24/7. Be relaxed, true to yourself, and be honest when you’re building your personal brand, whether online or in-person.
A version of this post was first published on Bryan Kramer's blog.