Something odd is happening in the land of the web these days; we’re becoming weary of self-promotion.
(Some) Business people are afraid to “toot their own horns” because on the Internet, it’s so easy to sound like a braggadocio (and even if you don’t sound like one, chances are @humblebrag will find you).
Social media is inherently a narcissist’s tool, so we’re all in good company. But lately, we’ve been calling out others in our own networks for being “shady salesmen.”
The Internet has a bad habit of eating its young and we (as a collective group of social media users) are responsible for that. We create or position someone as an “influencer” or “thought leader” and as soon as they start selling us on something, feelings of distrust, jealousy, and deceit start to develop.
Interestingly enough, there are industries out there, where self-promotion is not only accepted, but is the necessary standard.
If you’re friends with a musician or band member on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen similar posts:
- “Make sure you ‘LIKE’ [insert band name here] on Facebook! We rock!”
- “Hey, we need your help, vote for [insert band name here] in this contest. Thanks! If we win, you’ll get to watch us rock out LIVE!”
- “[insert band name here] is having a show tonight at the venue, make sure you come and bring a friend. It’s only $10.”
- “We just released our album! Swing by our record release party and buy the album online. Also, watch our videos on YouTube, we just hit 50,000 views!”
Are bands and musicians and artists exempt from self-promotion?
No, they are not.
They just do it in a way that’s so authentic, so pure, and so genuine that you can’t help but to support them. Artists are the ultimate entrepreneurs and we as business people can learn a lot from them.
So, it’s time to recognize that we’re all here for ulterior motives. We all have something to “sell.” It’s OK to self-promote and there are ways to do it without sounding or looking like you’re full of yourself.
First and foremost, get rid of your cheesy avatar and slip into something a bit more comfortable.
Five Ways to Self Promote and Keep it Real
- If you’re going to talk about an accomplishment, give props to others. It’s not possible to do it alone. Give the people who helped you along the way credit. Not only will it help you spread you’re message, but it allows you to be self-promotional without sounding self-absorbed. Invest in yourself by investing in others.
- Believe in yourself. Believe in what you’re saying and believe in what you’re doing. Stand for something and don’t be afraid to argue your point. If you don’t believe in your cause, no one else will.
- Honesty is the best policy. Unfortunately, many marketers tend to “extend the truth a bit.” People are already skeptical of us, and our industry. Earn the trust, reap the reward.
- Everyone makes mistakes. One of the biggest faults committed by big names in the industry is that they hardly admit fault. They never say sorry. They never seem as vulnerable as we do. Being human is our biggest selling point.
- Be Likeable Remember that kid in gym class who was always the best at everything? Remember how much you disliked him? Don’t be him. Stay humble, remain respectful and make it easy for people to like you. Always remember where you came from/how you got where you are.
- Just Say It. If you have something to say, just say it.
Do you have any other tips on how to not come off as an “online braggadocio”? Share them with us in the comments!
Kareem Ahmed is an entrepreneur, marketer, and all around good guy. Read his blog at KareemAhmed.Com. He is currently the CEO of InboxCupid, a site for online daters who are sick of browsing through endless profiles and the Director of Interactive Services at New Economy Labs.