Let’s get this out of the way: you need to self-promote. And how you do it, makes a big difference on how you are perceived.
Many would choose a trip to the dentist’s office rather than self-promote. Others simply can’t stop self-promoting. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of comfort levels, self-promotion is a vital part of your career advancement – whether you are looking to advance in your company, or build your network.
For the shy/modest/introverted reader – there are tactful methods to show your accomplishments without being an unabashed bragger. For the gung-ho, microphone-wielding types, there are ways for you to (respectfully) self-promote in an authentic and beneficial way.
Just remember that you do need to self-promote. You want your big announcements to be heard by your team/manager/bosses/their bosses if you want to advance up the ladder.
We sat down with Executive Coach, Dr. Susan Bernstein for some tips on authentic self-promotion. Here are the 3 things you need to know about self promotion as suggested in our Online Masterclass:
- It’s not really about you.
What? I thought this was about self-promotion?! Well for the aforementioned gung-ho, self-promoters, take note: to master the art of successful self-promotion, you must provide value to others!
Think of self-promotion as content marketing, suggests Bernstein. When you share updates with your audience, it needs to be enriching for them.
If you followed an organization on a social media channel that only spoke about itself, would you pay attention? Or would you grow tired of all the updates stating: “Just received $15mm in series B funding! #winning”?
When it comes to your own self-promotion, get in the habit of making your update an offer. For example, if you just became certified in a new methodology, Bernstein suggests announcing to relevant parties that you can assist them with your new skill set or knowledge base. If you just completed Salesforce’s training and certification – announce that you learned some great ways to use the software that might benefit your colleagues.
Don’t forget that you should be sharing your achievements with only the relevant people. For example, hitting goals or reaching milestones probably doesn’t have any relevance to your extended network. However, it does provide a certain value to your manager or supervisor – who need to keep on top of KPIs and company performance.
- Share it beyond your neighboring cubicles
This one’s for you, introverts! Self-promotion is really about building your brand, and getting that brand in front of the largest, most relevant audience. So you are going to need to share beyond your tight-knit group of colleagues, friends or family. The good news is that it is easier than ever thanks to social media. That’s right, you can get in front of an audience, boost your brand, and never leave your computer!
Hop on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter – and share an update with your audience. Just remember as in point #1 – make your update relevant to the reader. You can share that you just pushed a game-changing product into the market, but also link to articles or studies about this product that will be helpful to the audience. Bernstein recommends to: “Keep your updates brief…think about what’s digestible…add the details as an attachment or an addendum so people can get the highlights first, and if they want to go into more depth, they can.”
Find relevant LinkedIn groups where you can join a conversation. Continuing with the Salesforce certification example, you can find tons of groups who share information about the software. Bernstein recommends introducing yourself in these forums by stating: “I just completed my certification in X, and would like to talk about how others have applied it to Y.” This is a great way to connect with the experts/achievers, build your network, and learn more about the subject matter.
- You need to praise others, too
Since self-promotion is really all about brand building – you want to be perceived by others as not just someone who receives praise, but also sends it back. “When you praise others, you are remembered for that,” says Bernstein. By respecting your colleagues – you build relationship rapport with them, and they will be more likely to return the favor for you in the future.
Next time someone shares big news with you, consider CC’ing their news with some of your contacts, or sharing on social media. Showing that you are a supporter of your colleagues is self-promotion too!