Does self-promotion make you squirm?
March 19th, 2012 - 12:30 pm
If you’re looking for ways to overcome your embarrassment and self-promote without shame, you’re in the wrong place.
There’s plenty of that all over the internet. I’m taking a different approach.
I’m coming across more and more self-employed people who feel they are at odds with traditional ideas of promotion for their business, and I’m one of them.
I hear the words “you’ve got to promote yourself” often, everywhere – and to this day it still makes me squirm.
I have clients, friends and contacts who feel the same way – and it’s not just women. I am meeting plenty of men who find self-promotion leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
I remember telling the friend and businesswoman who would become my mentor many years ago I couldn’t go networking because “I couldn’t sell myself”. She explained how it wasn’t about that – it was about creating and investing in relationships.
It was that realisation that made me realise I could run my own business – and that night, over a curry in York, Flaming Nibs was conceived. And to this day I’m building that business successfully without much self-promotion at all – I don’t cold call, I don’t shout about what I do and I don’t put down my competitors.
What I do is value my business and my skills, use those skills to try and solve people’s problems and stay loyal to the ideas and people I value.
Interestingly, it’s this kind of thing Copyblogger calls self-promotion. The other, shouty stuff, they refer to as ‘self-adulation’.
Which brings me to the issue – there’s a need out there for a different kind of marketing, that goes further than abandoning the ‘push’ stuff and taking your marketing inbound. And there’s a need for a different kind of language about it, too – is this really self-promotion, or something else?
At the moment I’m calling it ‘humble marketing’ and it’s an idea I’ll exploring further on this blog. Comments welcome; there’s a box below just waiting for your insight – you know what to do.
Posted in Humble Marketing