How To Self-Promote Better: More ‘Us,’ Less ‘Me’
Self-promotion isn’t about where everyone sees you, it’s about the foundations built by sharing valuable ideas with the right people.
It is easier to promote you when you have a structure in place.
It’s not about why you’re great, but promoting the value of what you do that helps the right group of people. It’s promoting useful thinking, different approaches and proof that works. This way people become familiar with you.
Switching from promotion to participation changes your landscape.
Where This Started
What I’m sharing with you began as part of a session in YATM Club where the group shared their experiences on a topic that is relevant to all.
By the end of the session, I had clarity on the topic of ‘how to promote you.’ Sometimes all it needs is an open forum to share and be open.
Where many of us start, self-promotion can be seen as being absorbed in telling how good we are, but for a lot of us, this becomes uncomfortable, it borders on bragging. It becomes easier to grasp promoting yourself when you come from an angle of adding value and building stronger relationships from the ideas you share.
We have to do it, we always have to choose ourselves.
By the way, why not check out YATM Club and I can show you how it looks inside and what we’re working on.
The Traditional Answer
Promoting you, usually means the tactics you use to be seen. This is what has helped me the most over the years beyond social media posting:
- the YATM newsletter has been the most pivotal project for me in the past ten years
- Testimonials from others (videos….even better)
- attending and putting on events
- speaking at events
- podcast appearances
- cross promotions with others
- Footer in email
- Landing page
- I wrote a book
- I feel and part of a community
- Press (online and newspaper)
The reason I haven’t added social media in the above is that it is a crowded place to be seen. We all use it, but when many others want attention, we’re all shouting in the same place.
From this list, I realise this all comes together by having principles in place. It helps when you alter how you usually think of self-promotion, to one where your input and presence is worthy of people’s time and money from the perspective you have.
It’s about the value and insight shared. The audience you serve and the perspective you have.
Getting The Foundations In Place To Make It Easier
The tactics won’t work if you don’t have a structure.
If you have an approach you stand by and believe in, you are doing yourself no favours by not sharing and keeping it all bottled up. The more unique you are, the better the chances of people paying attention to your message.
Here are ideas to provide you with a framework where promoting you feels comfortable and the right thing to do.
1) Your Origin Story Becomes Your Starting Place
This is what links everything to what you do today. It represents you and what makes you relatable. People can see where your journey started and when they come on board they can be a part of it too. When your work has a story attached to it, it feels easier to share. It’s you, it’s your voice, it’s what makes you different from everyone else. If you care about something, it’s probably a story and not over-ruled by facts.
Your competitive advantage is the story that surrounds what you do, not the industry you serve. Read more here on crafting your origin story.
2) Serve Others & Be Of Interest
When you provide something of use your work becomes worthy. This is completely different from saying how good you and your company is.
When you ask for the time and attention from others, when you can lead from the front in terms of ideas, experiences and what can help people, they are more likely to pay attention. If all you do is tell people about buying now, then we’ll all switch off and get bored.
3) Make The Complex, Simple
One of the biggest mistakes I made was trying to sound important. It’s a default approach when we step into the business world, that we have to pretend that we have to have the answers and present the perfect version of ourselves. This isn’t easy, as hard is simple, but simple is hard.
Being obvious can make such a difference. People can see the value you want to share. It also makes you understand that what you share is not about you and your achievements. It’s about the experiences you gain, the forks in the road that happen, the people around it and the impact you can bring into the medium you choose. It’s about bringing you into your work. Read more here on be clear, not clever.
4) Let People Know Your Best Work Is Off Grid
If all you do is stick to social posts to tell people about you, then it becomes your default and you start to become forgettable.
Make it clear that your best work is for some. It’s about serving the right people so they get the perks, not all. For instance, subscribers to the YATM newsletter in the past week received free cinema tickets. Figure out how to make the experience feel special when people come to you. This way it feels easier to promote as it’s all about the others, not you.
5) Know You Are In It For The Long Haul
When you are starting, you have to accept that instant recognition is not going to happen.
To build something where you and others have confidence in, takes time and effort. This is why people jump straight in to promote themselves as they don’t have a bank of work and ideas behind them.
When you know your curiosity is going to carry you forward and you can find that momentum, you start to lock into the long term. It’s the responsibility you have and the willingness to invite others along for the ride. When you look at what you can take now and everything becomes short term you end up in a world of pain as you just become stuck in the ‘now.’
6) Look To Build Genuine, Supportive Relationships
When someone else sees you as a friend, not an acquaintance or someone who just wants to take, the dynamic changes.
This is the approach Ella Orr takes. A lot of what Ella does is to support others. Rather than just continually post, Ella backs people up and comments and rallies behind them. Ella is a much-loved person from the You Are The Media community. This is represented by her character as a supportive person.
When people know you are on their side, relationships become sincere and empowering. When you identify ways to help people, it comes back to you. This is so much more rewarding than sharing a press release you want people to see.
7) You Have To Get Out There & Be Seen
It is so alluring to think we can spend our lives behind a screen. Time plays a huge role in what we do today and the decisions we make. However, Zoom meetings are a weak substitute for being around people. Find events that would be of benefit to you and stick with them.
Over time you start to become recognised and familiar to others, not just the handful of people on a screen. Being famous in the family is a worthwhile place to be, where you know it’s not always on you, but being a friendly face that others get to know better.
What I want to highlight with these ideas is that promoting you comes down to having pillars in place, beyond the medium where people have the opportunity to see you.
In the world of self-promotion, it’s not about shouting your greatness; it’s about laying the groundwork for genuine connections. By focusing on serving others, sharing valuable insights, and building supportive relationships, self-promotion becomes less about you and more about the impact you make on those around you.
You’re championing useful ideas, tactics, or products that genuinely benefit the person you’re reaching out to. It’s not about bragging but about sharing value.
When your focus shifts from ‘me’ to ‘you,’ from self-promotion to serving others, that’s when you truly stand out in a crowded digital world. Let’s promote the value we bring to others. That’s where the real magic happens.