by Alan Dodson
It has to be done right or it can come across as being less than valid or possibly downright bad.
Unless you have an advertising department like a car dealer, you can’t afford to be on all forms of media spreading the word. Self promotion is the most cost effective way to advertise.
1. Be Excited: Do you really believe in what you are promoting? If not, why are doing it? Genuine enthusiasm and excitement shows that you are that person. People like information promoted with passion and enthusiasm. It’s your energy that makes them listen and believe. If you don’t believe in your service or its price how is anyone else supposed to believe in it?
2. Help Other People: Volunteers give even when they know they won’t get anything in return. Take the same approach to business? Would it make it easier for people to help you? How willing would they be to spread your message if you spent most of your time meeting their needs? People do business with those that they know and trust. The best way to build trust is to help others without expecting anything in return.
3. One Mouth, Two Ears: Listen twice as much as you talk, then you’ll have a much better chance of understanding what is important to people. If you know what’s important to them, then you know how to share your company with them. Find out what they like (and hate) and take time to hear their story.
4. Be Yourself: People can spot a fake! Self–promotion should be about promoting who you are and what you stand for. If you’re insincere, people can smell it from a mile away. Promote who and what you are, not something you are pretending to be.
5. You are not ENTITLED to anything: People hate those who expect the world to roll out a red carpet for them. Just because you did (or do) something great, nobody “owes” you anything for that. People love those that smile when they could frown, those that keep working when they could stop and those that are humble, even when highly successful. You will gain friends and customers when you stop acting like they should already be yours.
6. Make things happen: Be a go–getter. Get in the thick of things. You need to work when everyone else is sleeping. If you plan to promote something, you have to actually promote it. The work you did building your brand and learning your craft? Well, that’s just half the battle. When you get as big as Apple, you can spend time running your business, until then, you have to work at it and talk about it!
7. Take Two People to Lunch. When you introduce two unconnected people in a business/social setting you become the mutual connection, it’s natural for the two of them to discuss what you’re up to. This makes self–promotion easier and it is a way that you can provide value to people in your personal network.
8. Be Great at What YOU do! Self–promotion has a bad history because people often use it as a way to promote terrible products, multi-level marketing or something totally useless. If your service actually is far better than others, then people will talk about it. If you help someone achieve a goal, then people will talk about it. If you make people happy, then other people will talk about it.
9. Promote Value Not Necessarily Experience: Far too many people talk about how long they have done something, rather than the value that what they do will provide. People don’t care what you have done; they care what you can do for them! Proof is the strongest promotional tool you have. Testimonials of what you are capable of is much stronger than the time you have been doing it.
10. Don’t Rush – Take your Time: Many people that are self promoting use a shotgun approach, they shoot out a little something to a lot of people. Take your time and build relationships, build your network, one person at a time, and when they believe in you, they will help you build your business and spread the word for you. If you are rushing, you will appear pushy and desperate. When you take your time you will seem helpful, genuine and liked.
There is an old saying about how the longest journey begins with a single step, it seldom begins at a run.
Alan Dodson is the Entertainment Director of An Unforgettable Event (ThoseWeddingPeople.com), and has been entertaining at and producing events since the early 1970’s. He has also worked as a voice talent on radio and television, nationwide.
He has written numerous articles for business and trade magazines, and has been a speaker on implementing social media into wedding DJ businesses. Alan is a founding officer of the E. TN Chapter of the ADJA (adja.org/chapters/etenn), where he now serves as President. He maintains an informational wedding blog on his website (TopDiscJockey.com).
Alan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.