[image img=”https://www.smallbusinessbonfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/listen-300×199.jpg” alt=”listen” title=”listen” width=”300″ height=”199″ rounded=”all” /]
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be willing to put yourself on the market. This may happen in various ways, including asking for (and politely receiving) feedback, taking risks when you’re unsure of the outcome, and attending and actively participating in networking events.
Turning into one’s publicist is one of the most difficult but often essential ways an entrepreneur can get her name out there. You may have the best companion, PR firm, and support system in the world, but if you’re not actively advocating for yourself, you can’t expect anybody else to do it for you.
However, as everyone knows, there’s a fine line between properly marketing yourself and overdoing it. And going beyond by focusing only on self-promotion, neglecting everyone else, and misrepresenting your worth may be devastating.
Here are several ways to brag about yourself and recruit people to help you out without coming off as a complete jerk.
Make yourself more marketable.
If you’re going to put yourself out there and advertise yourself, you’d better have something worth selling. Step one is simple: strive for perfection in all you do so that it’s easy to point out all of your flaws to the wider public. If you work hard, are trustworthy, and provide excellent services or goods, you will discover that you have many reasons to promote yourself and encourage others to do the same.
Continuously promote others
If you want to effectively market yourself without offending others, my opinion is that you must be willing to market others as well. It irritates me when I see people selling themselves to the extreme, expecting others to do the same for them, and offering no aid in return. People, that is simple reciprocity.
To take it a step further, you should not only encourage others but do it without expecting anything in return. That’s perfectly OK. You should be reciprocating, but don’t expect anything in return. There will be no counting, keeping track, or tit for tat. If you notice anything that interests you, something that makes you think, something that may be useful to someone in your community, then continue. There are no strings attached.
Be Confident, Not Arrogant
It is critical to have self-assurance. If you don’t believe in yourself and the value you bring to the table, putting yourself on the market, selling your skills and goods, and asking for assistance will be very uncomfortable. Belief grows as a result of confidence. If you present yourself as cool, calm, and collected, you’ll make it easier for people to trust you, and, as a result, they’ll be more open to what you’re doing.
However, be careful not to overestimate your self-assurance to the point of arrogance. You may need to take a step back and rethink if you begin to expect automatic assistance, regard, and respect just because you are YOU.
Always remember to be gracious.
A simple “thank you” will be one of the most important and effective ways to get respect and make your self-promotion efforts more bearable. No matter how modest the gesture – a retweet, an introduction, or a comment — if someone takes the time to contribute to your advertising efforts, please express gratitude! When someone goes out of their way to compliment you, it’s a good idea to express your gratitude, especially if you expect them to do it again (yep, again to interchange).
As important as it is, Self-promotion can only get you a date. You must also seek aid to effectively spread the word about yourself and your business. Once you’ve taken care of all of the above, it should be rather simple to reach out to your community and create your attraction. And if you’ve done everything correctly, you should be able to see the results of your effort right away.
So, how am I doing these days? Are you able to help me?
How do you think I’d perform against my criteria now that I’ve presented what I feel are the most crucial components of effective self-promotion? Is it possible for me to get promoted? Do I advocate for others? Am I confident but not arrogant? Is it true that I am gracious? If you think I’m on the right track (you can check out what I’ve written, my Twitter feeds @alyssagregory and @smallbizbonfire, and my enterprise Facebook page to see some of my previous work), I’m asking for your help.
I was just nominated for a Small Business Influencer Award, and the public gets to vote on who wins. Please vote for me if you think I’m providing useful information to small business owners. You may vote once every day until August 9, and any vote you send my way, as well as each person you share this with, would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance!
UPDATE: I’m honored and humbled to announce that I used to be one of many 100 folks/companies named as a Small Enterprise Influencer in North America. THANK YOU on your help!
Picture credit score (blah blah): Chris Lamphear
Picture credit score (listening): Luis Carlos Torres