“I don’t like promoting myself online.” I have heard this from so many people and I even used to say it myself. I’ve changed my tune, however, because there is so much that can be gained from strategic self-promotion, if done correctly.
During these strange times, when we can’t network inperson, it is more important than ever to be able to effectively promote ourselfves and our services online.
1. You Must Prime the Pump
Many people are a ‘legend in their own living room’ as I wrote in 24 Carat BOLD. Nothing wrong with that, but if you need people to know about you and what you offer, you must put something of substance together and share it with the right people in the right way. Make it easy for people to quote you and reference your content.
I have some good news for you. You get to choose what to promote, how to promote it, when to do it and who you want to hear the message.
No matter what you have been told, you do not need a large market; in fact, I have seen many of my clients do very well within small, very specific micro-niches. As long as they target the right people and make a concerted effort to add value with their content, they get a better response than if they had used a broad brush approach.
2. Know Your ROI and Take Appropriate Action
The return on your investment (ROI) can vary wildly between different marketing programs and platforms. You must always strive for a measurable ROI with everything you do, or take the more random position that you are putting yourself out there and it will come back to you at some point.
Like many small business owners, I don’t do much traditional advertising because of the price point. I do use online ads, however, and have a daily routine where I check the cost per click and other metrics.
Yes, I said ‘daily’. Otherwise, the costs can quickly spiral out of control. Whenever I see an ad that is not performing as it should be, I pause or delete it immediately.
3. Share the Fun
Remember, you may be a one-man band but you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can outsource and delegate some of the more tedious or time-consuming aspects of promotion, such as hashtags, posting and even following up.
It feels great to get others talking about you, and you can achieve that in several ways. Firstly, you can ask happy clients to post their reviews and testimonials. Many of my author clients are amazed by the response when they simply ask or remind their readers to go one step further and write a review.
If you have success stories or client testimonials to share, you can also share them and it helps put your client in the spotlight as well. Video gets so much more traction than plain text or even static images, so have chat with a client, record it and post it.
4. Give to Get
I’m not a big fan of manipulative giving – where you only give in order to get. But if you truly want to give away some expertise, products, books, whatever… do it and it will come back to you.
During the recent lockdown, Adele Stickland, author of Gorgeous! How to Look and Feel Fabulous Every Day reached out her network. She asked people to think of friends and family members who were suffering and who would receive a free copy of the book to lift their spirits.
Hundreds of books were then personalised, wrapped, decorated and sent all over the world by Adele and her 12-year-old daughter. Adele is still hearing from those who participated and those who received a free book.
5. Think Long-Term as Well as Short-Term
If you are deciding what to produce in order to promote yourself, it’s worth spending a bit of extra time choosing projects that may last longer. A book is a solid credibility builder that can continue promoting the author for many months or even years as an expert in their field.
Most people who want to write a book never do it, so being the author of a good quality book in print will still impress people who see the valuable content you have shared.
Videos can also be planned for the long term. Although live video is in-the-moment and current, consider the fact that YouTube videos can go on educating, entertaining and inspiring people for a long time. Of course you can do both – short-term and long-term videos.
Recordings of speeches and presentations are also good ways to promote yourself, and you can use the links multiple times on many platforms. Sometimes you will not be allowed to promote yourself directly during the talk, if that is stipulated by the organiser. But if you can promote the recording after the live presentation, do it.
When I delivered my TEDx talk three years ago, I took care not to make my message promotional and only use one of my professional terms once in the entire talk. It is a real no-no to sell or overtly promote yourself in the TED community.
The irony is that I have had more views, likes, enquiries and business after the recording was shared than I ever would have had with a focus on selling to the audience on the day.
About the author
This article has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Mindy Gibbins-Klein, a global thought leadership expert and founder of Panoma Press, REAL Thought Leaders and The Book Midwife®. Her latest book The Thoughtful Leader is available from Amazon and all good bookstores. Find out more at www.mindygk.com
More help on perfecting presentations, pitches and talks
You can find lots more tips to help you deliver winning presentations, pitches and and talks in these other ByteStart guides;
- How NOT to Network – 7 Business networking mistakes to avoid
- How to get more out of your networking than passable plonk canapés
- The “Magic 10” Tips on networking – how the experts build great networks
- How to overcome your speaking nerves by turning fear into your friend
- The 3 Golden Principles of public speaking
- Using the power of your body language to deliver show-stopping speeches and presentations
- Perfecting your pitch: 10 Principles for entrepreneurs
- How to deliver ‘rocking’ presentations and pitches that will captivate your audience
- Harness the “Power of Three” to nail your pitch