In this part of the world, we were brought up to know that you don’t “blow your own trumpet”, meaning that you do not promote yourself. This position encouraged modesty and dictated how we related to things, though this mind-set is now at the risk of extinction! In modern times, the new thinking is that “if you do not blow your trumpet, no one else will do”. The shift in position articulates the need for you to propagate yourself and self-promote as necessary.
Why do you need to shelve the old way and follow the new path? Our knowledge of marketing has opened our eyes to the lapses in the old thinking and the benefits of the new order. Marketing is simply about creating an interest and awareness about your products and services, it entails selling and promoting your brand. The market place is really getting busy and cluttered, how would you be noticed if you don’t shout out and say “here I am”! The fact that someone patronised you yesterday is not a guarantee that they won’t choose another if they get attracted. Except your industry is specialised and you do not have any active competitors, (though not a lot of brands enjoy that luxury!)
So how do you make yourself visible from the clutter and ensure that your brand is not overlooked? You need to be sure that you have something of value that other people can benefit from. What differentiates you and how are you better than others? Don’t just assume everyone knows how good your brand is, sell yourself and make the appropriate some noise in the marketplace.
With recent appreciation in personal branding, individuals have stepped up their brand and marketing campaigns; something that wasn’t thought of some years ago. Self-promotion within this context however is not about bragging about yourself but should be focused on your expertise. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field is the starting point; upon which you need to build visibility and awareness for your service. To facilitate your position as an expert in your industry, there are many platforms that you can use to achieve your goal:
- Blogs: This is a platform to demonstrate your knowledge and depth by writing on a particular topic or series of topics. Most importantly is that your blog should be known for a particular theme and be interesting enough to keep people returning to your site. Through the posts made on the blog, you are able to generate a followership and engagement with people. Another way to show your knowledge is to identify blogs that fits into your scope and be their guest blogger.
- Social media: Since the advent of social media, there has been an explosion of various platforms that you can use to drive self-promotion. Commonly used are Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest amongst several others. On Facebook beyond the general profiles used by many people, options exist to create personal pages to drive engagement and also groups by which you can propagate your message through a community. The key word while using social media is content and engagement. Linkedin has proven to be a very worthy tool used professionally to attract recruiters.
- Public speaking: How best could you demonstrate your know-how if not by talking in a forum within or outside your industry? This leaves a lasting impression on people and could create openings for other opportunities to further enhance your personal brand.
- Public relations: This platform is at the heart of self-promotion and caps it all. You can design the type of image that you want to project to the world and through public relations, you maintain this image and protect it against factors that can alter the journey.
Self-promotion is a vital key to personal branding success; with self-promotion you get noticed, you make sales/drive patronage and you develop the trust of your clients. Don’t assume people know about you, or that they will come looking for you if you don’t take deliberate and impactful steps.