Arment Dietrich

Three Ideas for Self-Promoting Without Being Icky

By: Arment Dietrich | July 27, 2011 | 
87

This post is written by Lisa Gerber.

My hometown, Sandpoint, Idaho, was just awarded Most Beautiful Small Town in America by USA Today and Rand McNally.

To say we are excited and proud is an understatement.

Because the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is a client, I’ve been involved in the discussion about how they make the most out of this huge award in their marketing campaign.

Around the Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks Pro offices, we joke that if you have to exclaim you’re the smartest person in the room, you likely are not so smart. 

But there are ways people can discover you’re smart without your having to exclaim it. And it’s important to let your customers know, in a non-icky way, that you’ve won a prestigious award.

Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Be Icky

Share the win in light of the benefits it provides your clients and customers. Tell them why they can care. Your bragging right may open up new areas of expertise, or provide them more exposure, or new channels of distribution.

  • Message it with the benefit out front. While first instinct is to say “Sandpoint was chosen Most Beautiful Small Town in America by USA Today and Rand McNally,” try something such as “Book your summer vacation in the place USA Today describes as the Most Beautiful Small Town in America.”
  • Reward and engage your audience with competition. You didn’t get wherever you are without your audience. Don’t forget them.  You might want to shout on Facebook, “We’re so excited and proud! Sandpoint was chosen Most Beautiful Small Town in America!” And there is nothing wrong with that. Once. Can you turn around to benefit your online community and get them involved? “We can’t thank anyone in particular for making Sandpoint beautiful, but we can certainly collect data to back up the claim. Post your photos and /or videos of your time in Sandpoint and enter to win a return trip.”
  • Badges. I’m such a fan of the badges. It’s a tasteful way to display your accolades and, if it’s appropriate, it should be on all your online and print assets. They provide credibility and stature, without shouting or imposing on your experience.

What tips do you have for the art of self-promotion without the ick factor?

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87 Comments on "Three Ideas for Self-Promoting Without Being Icky"

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CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
5 years 1 month ago

Great post! And um… just in case you don’t know yet.. I. AM. AWESOME (refer to Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement video 🙂

faybiz
5 years 1 month ago

but the difference between “Self” promotion and self = community/client/something more than 1 person is the key aint it?

KenMueller
5 years 1 month ago

@faybiz I think this is a great point. Self promotion is easier when “self” is part of a bigger whole. Even as individuals, it’s so much nicer if others promote you and you sort grab on for the ride.

Self promotion can be a tricky thing. But when I see people doing it on Twitter, it’s easy to see which ones are coming from the icky approach and which aren’t!

faybiz
5 years 1 month ago

@KenMueller yes! Twitter is the ultimate in sifting out the icky!

MarriageKids
MarriageKids
5 years 1 month ago

@joey_strawn Excited to talk to you soon! I’m on barely any sleep but maybe Friday? I’ll dm you my email 😀

HarrisonNick
HarrisonNick
5 years 1 month ago

@patrickreyes Does your own branded TP count as icky self-promotion?

patrickreyes
patrickreyes
5 years 1 month ago

@HarrisonNick Maybe…especially if it’s @dashal TP!

HarrisonNick
HarrisonNick
5 years 1 month ago

@patrickreyes It is kinda a really good source of advertising in a really wacko way.

3HatsComm
5 years 1 month ago

It doesn’t have to be icky .. but I’m not sure what really works best, everyone will have their own take on the ick factor. Be humble, gracious.. use it as a reminder that you won’t rest on your laurels now that you’ve won something, as plans for building and improving. Only thing I have to add is the reminder that less really is more. Like you said, say it – once – then move on to other things. Oh and don’t change the boilerplate and press releases to all read “the award-winning town of Sandpoint…” FWIW.

joey_strawn
joey_strawn
5 years 1 month ago

@MarriageKids Looking forward to our chat!

T60Productions
5 years 1 month ago

Hi Lisa… really good suggestions. As previously discussed with Gini, I choose to where one of my Emmy awards on a necklace to client meetings.

Kidding. 🙂

–Tony Gnau

paulardoin
paulardoin
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Self-promotion without being icky? You say that like there’s something wrong with being icky.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@CristerDelaCruz LOL! you are definitely awesome. 🙂

vDreamArkitex
vDreamArkitex
5 years 1 month ago

@stevemckee Great tweet. I don’t know if I am sold on all of the recommendations, but they do make sense… Going to have to try them

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@faybiz @KenMueller We need an icky sifter! I used the term fairly broadly here. yes, I hear where you’re coming from, self-promotion is typically of one’s self/person. But I lump brands and organizations into that bucket when they start broadcasting and bragging, and just being downright spammy.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@3HatsComm You’re right. Ick is relative.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@T60Productions wow! that is probably great strength training too!

KenMueller
5 years 1 month ago

@Lisa Gerber @faybiz . I just tell people “I’m a FOG (Friend of Gini’s)” and they realize I’m too good for them

T60Productions
5 years 1 month ago

Hi Lisa… really good suggestions. As previously discussed with Gini, I choose to wear one of my Emmy awards on a necklace to client meetings.

Kidding. 🙂

–Tony Gnau

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@Mikinzie Your flowers are purty

NancyD68
5 years 1 month ago

It can be a really tough balance between icky and being proud of something. That is the whole thing, are they just excited and will calm down in a day or are they the type to always shoot off about how great they are?

My small town has the most used car lots. So there!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@paulardoin Nah…icky is great!

Businessop
Businessop
5 years 1 month ago

@ginidietrich Great article! It is important to not be “icky.” 🙂

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
5 years 1 month ago

Nice post Lisa – Gamification is a great way to avoid ICKY

It is okay to be proud of your accomplishments, just deliver it in a way that has humility and empathy. And always be grateful for those that help you get there.

bdorman264
5 years 1 month ago
I typically go to social events with my Burger King crown on. I find that’s not icky at all, maybe a little creepy but pretty sure not too icky. I do like to have my business card in my palm so when I shake someone’s hand it just automatically goes from my hand to theirs; I mean, how efficient is that? Have I told you I’m the smartest guy in the room lately? I’m not real comfortable self-promoting, I would much rather you do that for me. Because of what I do in my day job, we do have quantifiable… Read more »
lisagerber
lisagerber
5 years 1 month ago

@angelica7641 Hi! and thanks! we need to have fries and wine later in August. I’m headed to Idaho for a bit. @ginidietrich

lisagerber
lisagerber
5 years 1 month ago

@stevemckee haha. thanks. 🙂

lisagerber
lisagerber
5 years 1 month ago

@stevemckee nice work on your race to Alcatraz! how was it?

Sean McGinnis
5 years 1 month ago

I think @markwschaefer handled that really well with his recent post about being quoted in the NYT. There’s a way to provide context and humility in the longer form of a blog post (as compared to say a tweet). I’m filled with icky ideas, which is why I need experienced advisers to help me filter behind the scenes – LOL.

SteveMcKee
SteveMcKee
5 years 1 month ago

@lisagerber Absolutely awesome. Check it out – http://t.co/ImhnLpz

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
5 years 1 month ago

@Sean McGinnis @markwschaefer I agree. I thought Mark struck just the right balance on that piece.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 1 month ago

@Businessop No one likes the icky people

yourgreatlifetv
yourgreatlifetv
5 years 1 month ago

RT @ginidietrich Need some help with self-promotion? @lisagerber has some great ideas to help! http://t.co/UBsPMAB

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
5 years 1 month ago

Great points Lisa… I would actually add what @bdorman264 mentioned — testimonials. If others are singing your praises, it almost immediately removes the ick factor.

AimeeRose95453
AimeeRose95453
5 years 1 month ago

@Businessop http://t.co/U0bwMYY

NancyD68
5 years 1 month ago

@adamtoporek @Sean McGinnis @markwschaefer Mrk is such a classy guy. It is not possible for him to be anything else. Me on the other hand…I need help!

feliciahudson
feliciahudson
5 years 1 month ago

Nice post Lisa. There’s a fine line between promoting yourself in an artful manner and being “icky.” Self promotion is essential–especially if you are a small business without a PR agency. These are painless tactics. :–) I also like @adamtoporek suggestion about using testimonials.

Sean McGinnis
5 years 1 month ago

@NancyD68 @adamtoporek @markwschaefer I’m with you Nancy. Just yesterday I e-mailed Gini asking about an idea I had – her response? “Are you crazy?” LOL

The only good thing about me is I know when to ask…. 😉

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@NancyD68 Wow! that is quite a claim to fame. I was just using their big win as an example. We should be making the most of it in the marketing. the trick is in doing it well without being all nanananana boo boo. (oh no, here I am commenting again late at night.)

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@danielnewmanUV ooooooooo another one of my favorites. Gamification! Thanks, Dan! Agreed.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@bdorman264 awe.some. 🙂 I mean, exactly. it’s all about you anyway, right? or I mean, it’s all about ME anyway.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@adamtoporek oh, I thought you meant the Burger King crown.

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@Sean McGinnis we all need an Ick Filter!! I usually read Mark’s blog but must have missed that post. I’ll go check it out now. Thanks!

Lisa Gerber
5 years 1 month ago

@feliciahudson it’s dangerously close! so true! But if you don’t look out for number 1, who will?

lisagerber
lisagerber
5 years 1 month ago

@stevemckee so so COOL! you had to jump out of that boat???!!!

OnlineBusinesVA
OnlineBusinesVA
5 years 1 month ago

Great post Lisa! Loved reading it.Most of the small companies are still blissfully ignorant of these tactics.. This should help them know that you can no longer ignore it.

Shonali
5 years 1 month ago

First of all, congrats! That’s very cool. I too love the idea of testimonials, as @bdorman264 and @adamtoporek suggest. They work wonders.

Piggybacking off #2, you could also thank your community as a precursor to a competition. Or just a simple “thank you” – after all, as you say, you didn’t get wherever you are without your audience.

UnlockTheDoor
UnlockTheDoor
5 years 1 month ago
Congratulations to Sandpoint for receiving the award, I’m sure the local community will benefit from the riches coming their way 🙂 Now, onto self-promotion – I understand what you’re saying here Lisa. Sometimes you feel a little ‘dirty’ exclaiming why others should buy from you, but it needs to be done. If you want to sell something, you need to let others know how good it is. If you don’t, then no-one will know! For me, I empathise the benefits of whatever it is I’m offering. Whether it’s a product or a service, I repeatedly mention the good things that… Read more »
SteveMcKee
SteveMcKee
5 years 1 month ago

@lisagerber Yeah, the anticipation was the worst part. Once I was in, I was in. But thinking about it was a bit chilling.

bdorman264
5 years 1 month ago

@Lisa Gerber One of us; whoever happens to be talking at the time, right?

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