Skip to content Skip to footer
Promote yourself without the ick Origineurs podcast episode hosted by communication expert, Loretta Milan

Promote yourself without the ick

Do you love or loathe self promotion?

When it comes to self-promotion how do you feel?

Some people love it and can’t wait to tell everyone on social media, at networking events or on stage about their top achievements and what they have to offer.

Others are uncomfortable at the thought of the attention being on them. They get that ‘ick’ feeling and worry that they’ll come across as arrogant or boastful or will be loathed when they start talking about themselves. It can be driven by a lack of confidence or faith in themselves, bad experiences or other worries, like waffling on, boring people, or people thinking “who do you think you are?”

Whether you love promoting yourself, hate it, or are somewhere in between, we’re going to be sharing the most common trap that switches audiences off and how to capture their interest instead so you can do self-promotion brilliantly.  

Why self promotion matters

If you are not promoting yourself, you are losing out.

Done well, self-promotion opens so many opportunities. New careers, new leads, new clients, new connections, and more.

Some people believe they can just let their work speak for themselves and those who spend their time on self-promotion are being indulgent, bragging or sucking up.

Although what you deliver is ultimately the most important, people don’t always know about what you’ve done if you don’t tell them about it. This is for a variety of reasons. People don’t always notice, they forget, and the world isn’t short of people who will take credit for others’ work.

Therefore, it’s vital you shine a light on what you do.

You need to be your own champion.

If people know about you and truly value what you offer, great things can happen.

But, too often, people are afraid to take the steps that are needed to enable their audiences to reach this stage, communicating too little and too humbly, because self-promotion sometimes has a bad reputation.

It’s easy to be put off. Have you secretly listened to a bragger going on about themselves and groaned, or yawned or struggled to focus on what they’re talking about because they’re being self-indulgent?

Seeing this happen can make us wary of promoting ourselves. We’re afraid of coming across this way ourselves, especially as being humble is associated with being respected in certain cultures, especially in the UK.

And, there’s some truth in this. The most common trap people fall into with self-promotion is to focus on themselves.

You might say, “well hey, Loretta, isn’t that the point of self-promotion?”

But, no it isn’t. Not when it’s done well.

How to truly captivate people when promoting yourself

There are four great ways to captivate your audience.

All these methods inspire people to take an interest in you, remember what you have to say and feel more compelled to take the action you desire.

Using these methods, the primary focus will not be on you, yet you’ll still be promoting yourself, just in a way that feels much more engaging. 

1. Serve your audience.

Whenever you are talking to someone, you have more impact when you are serving your listener. The same goes for self-promotion.

Let’s take a job interview, for example. You could sit there and talk about how great you are and I’m sure that’s interesting and that you are great. But what the interviewer is probably listening out for is for information about how their team and their performance would be enhanced with you on board.

They’re listening from their point of view and for how they could benefit, not you. So great communicators speak from this position.

Knowing this can transform your self-promotion and make it much more interesting for those listening to you.

So, what does your audience really care about and how do you, your abilities and track record make an impact in this area? Start talking about how you add value and how their lives could be transformed.

2. Create meaning and connection.

Rather than focusing solely on yourself when you pitch or promote yourself, try centring your words around an idea, belief, value or impact that’s important to you.

This is an opportunity to share the purpose and passion behind your work and carries much more meaning. It’s also an opportunity to create connections and build rapport over shared interests.

Sharing stories is another great way to build rapport. People connect with your journey, experiences and learnings. It’s an interesting and meaningful way for them to get to know, like and trust you.

Try to be focused and introduce only one idea, belief, value, impact or story at a time, and build a call to action around this. Otherwise, the people you are talking to may be unclear on what you’re asking them to pay attention to, may be confused as to what you want them to do and end up doing nothing about it.

The aim of self-promotion should be to get some sort of response whether it’s as simple as following you on social media or to get more involved like considering working with you in the future.

So, ensuring you are clear and focused is so important.

3. Start a conversation.

Rather than thinking of self-promotion as being one-way, consider how you can use it as an opportunity to build relationships.

You’ll know yourself how much better it feels when someone talks with you rather than at you. So, how can you use your words thoughtfully to create dialogue?

You could do this by asking questions to see if they resonate, telling a story and asking the room if anyone has had a similar experience or inviting them to share their thoughts on a particular challenge.

Planning ahead for this helps to prevent your words going dead or falling into a silent room. Conversation warms up your audience and makes them more receptive to what you have to say. That way, people are more likely to respond, ask questions and will want to know more. This feels so much better!

4. Be authentic.

Words only count so much. They have to be matched by substance or you’ll run into problems with credibility later.

So, make sure you’re always being yourself. Don’t try to put on an act just to impress. Your unique blend of skills, experiences, perspectives and style mean you’ll have an original way of doing things. Be proud of this. By doing this, you’ll attract the right sort of people you want to work with.

And, think about how you can back up your claims and demonstrate your abilities.

Never be tempted to embellish or exaggerate to impress. People will find out even if they don’t tell you and it will silently damage your reputation. Word spreads.

To show you are the real deal, build up testimonials, reviews or a portfolio.

As you grow your network, you’ll also build a circle of support around you. In doing this, there will be people who will recommend and champion you. Make sure you do the same for them. It goes both ways.

It’s time to promote yourself with pride!

Key takeaways

  1. Self-promotion is important. If people know about you and value what you can do, great things can come your way. It can open up so many opportunities.
  2. The most common pitfall people fall into when promoting themselves – and the reason so many people switch off when they’re talking – is that they focus too heavily on themselves and what they do.
  3. There are four ways to captivate your audience so they’ll take an interest in you, remember what you have to say and will be more likely to take action. Serve your audience: Talk their language and address what matters to them. Focus on a single idea, belief, value impact or story to add passion and meaning. Start a conversation. And, finally, be you. You are original and that’s what’s great about you.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to know the latest updates

[yikes-mailchimp form="1"]