Is the thought of self-promotion and being "out there" making you uncomfortable?

I get it.

That's why I LOVE what P.T Barnum said…

“Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!”

Quiet achievers – this one’s for you!

And entrepreneurs, this especially matters for you.

In an ever competitive, socially vibrant and noisy online world, it’s more acceptable (and important!) than ever to be seen and heard.

Before you recoil, let me share a little secret. Being reserved, being shy, acting cool – or whatever we default to as our reason for not self-promoting – does not equal humility. More often than not, it’s the total opposite...

...It’s our ego.

Yep. Our ego.

We avoid self-promotion because we don’t want to welcome criticism - so we do nothing and mask it with an over modest, “Oh, I’m not a self-promoter”.

Let me share with you why there is nothing brave or beneficial about that.

I was in corporate sales for a 35 years and learned over the years that we are ALL in fact selling something, all the time. Every single one of us. Promotion is not reserved for smooth-talking realtors or people rockin' retail careers. Dentists, nutritionists, hairdressers, make-up artists, coaches, even dog-walkers are all unofficial sales people too.

We all persuade and influence other people every day. And almost all web authorship is a sales tool too – your Instagram bio, blog LinkedIn profile and yep, the profile photo on your dating app.

Here’s why a little self-promotion is important:

1. It’s the new normal

Do you flinch when you see someone sharing a recent career promotion online or an exciting development in their business? I doubt it. We expect to see these posts and when we like the person (and we almost always do if we are following them), we cheer them on. Other people will do the same for you!

2. You can’t assume anyone is aware of your achievements

A former manager of mine said to me over a martini once, “JT – unless you tell me about your wins and how happy your clients are, I am just not going to know. Help me help you get recognized!”

Everyone has his or her own agenda and to-do list. You have to be proactive and tout your expertise to ensure other people are in the know about it. 

3. It’s a necessary part of creative work

Are you a gifted singer, photographer, graphic designer, personal stylist? How do you expect people find out about you and your talent, exactly? Promoting it gives it the light it needs, which will naturally help it flourish and thrive.

4. It motivates you to do better

Self-promotion means that you’ll only want to put your best work out into the world, as you are accountable for it. It opens up opportunities too.

When an executive is looking for a coach or newlyweds are seeking out an interior designer, who will be top of mind? The people they hear about who are doing great things! Don’t let your self-consciousness prevent you from progressing.

5. Most importantly: it helps other people, too!

If you are confident enough to be seen you unofficially make it less scary for other people to do the same thing.

When your personal brand grows, your power allows you to help other people along too.

Acknowledging and taking ownership of your brand (which exists whether you like it or not) is the very first step in claiming your power. There is nothing inspirational about your comfort zone. And there is nothing arrogant about sharing your light.