Toot Your Own Horn
Once you figure out how YOU will best represent your overall brand, the next step is to get really good at marketing yourself. I call this “shameless” self-promotion.
Self-promotion, when done effectively, works for ANY business or career. Once you begin to implement the proven marketing strategies behind it, it’s much easier to be successful in anything you set your mind to. In fact, when you become good at promoting yourself and your services, you will also begin to enjoy it more. Self-promotion can become very rewarding.
When I was writing by book, Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters, I shockingly discovered that an average of 85% of the thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs and experts I’ve surveyed around the world did NOT feel comfortable promoting themselves and avoided it MOST of the time.
Yet, in business we understand that if we don’t promote and market we can’t be successful. Right? No matter how great your product or service is or what amazing value you offer, if prospects don’t know about you, you’re not going to win the opportunity to do business with them. Therefore, if you don’t promote yourself it goes against the grain of all sales and marketing success! Right?
Why do so many people feel uncomfortable with self-promotion? Because much of what they believe to be true about self-promotion comes from past programming that dates back to childhood.
Too many of us have 10, 20, 30 or more years of negative and/or limited beliefs rattling around in our heads about the concept of self-promotion. These limiting and negative beliefs have been programmed into our subconscious minds for years.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What were your parents, teachers or guardians like when you were growing up?
- Did they believe in promoting themselves?
- Did they promote your self-esteem to believe that you could do anything you set your mind to?
- Were they risk takers or were they conservative?
- Did you ever hear comments like: It’s not polite to talk about yourself?
Knowing the answers to these questions may help you remove some blocks that may be holding you back from putting yourself out there and “shamelessly” promoting yourself.
We may hate to admit it, but many of us are creatures of habit, especially when habits have been programmed into our brains since childhood. Some of us are so conditioned against self-promotion that our minds may be closed to it – no matter how much it could benefit us. Now, I don’t expect you to change your beliefs around this overnight, but you can start by opening your mind to believing differently about self-promotion from this day forward with some tips I have to share with you.
Why believe differently about promoting yourself? Because you can’t be truly successful as an expert if you aren’t willing to let people know that you, your product and/or services exist. Period! If you aren’t willing to promote your talents, expertise and products, others will quickly pass you by. The world is not going to beat a path to your door unless you pave the way.
After writing my book on the topic of “shameless” self-promotion it not only helped me to build a bigger and stronger brand, it changed everything for my expert business. This book launched my career as a bestselling author and international expert on self-promotion. Since I was already branded as a marketing expert, it was the THING that made me stand out from other marketing experts.
Here’s my story:
Just after the first edition of this book was published I took an ad in Radio TV Interview Report. The half-page advertisement ran for three months and kept my phone ringing for over six months with requests for interviews from radio shows all over the U.S. and Canada. The headline of my ad read: “This Guest Can Make Anyone Shamelessly Famous!” Radio producers started calling me right away asking me to be a guest expert on their shows. One of those calls turned out to be a request for a LIVE interview with shock jock, Howard Stern.
When I picked up the phone the producer said, “This is K.C. Armstrong from the Howard Stern show. We heard about your book Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and we want to have Howard interview you on his show. Are you interested?” What? At first I thought it was one of my friends playing a prank on me, but felt I should play along just in case it was the REAL deal.
“Howard is going to beat me up,” I said. “Oh no!” says K.C. Part of me really wanted to believe him, but I knew better. This is definitely not your typical radio interview show. Howard’s show is all about controversy with two or three interviewers ganging up on the guest looking for something outrageous to talk about. The show should be called Get the Guest! You’ve really got to be on your toes to survive an interview like this.
Without taking time to think about it I heard these words come flying out of my mouth. “Sure, I would LOVE to be on Howard’s show!”
When I hung up I thought to myself, “Oh my, what the heck did I get myself into now?” As I pondered the idea I reminded myself that as a motivational speaker I’ve been teaching people for years how to step outside of their comfort zones and create gutsy goals that make them stretch. And this sure was a stretch for me!
The interview was going to be in a month so I had time to seek out some supportive advice from another expert. The first person I called was Bill Goss.
Bill wrote a book called The Luckiest Unlucky Man Alive after surviving 30 near-death experiences. I included his story in my book and remembered him telling me that he was on the Howard Stern show himself for over an hour talking about one of his accidents. Howard had some fun with Bill’s story talking about his nurses, and well, you don’t want to know what else. Anyway, I knew that Bill could give me some solid advice on how to survive an interview like this. When I talked with Bill I asked if I could call him every week until my scheduled show time. He agreed and coached me through different scenarios discussing every possibility of how the interview might go.
“You will probably only get a couple of minutes on the show and then he is going to hang up on you. And the BEST you’ll get is five decent minutes if you handle it well. And, believe me, you don’t want any more time with him than that,” said Bill.
Okay, so now my biggest challenge was to get no more than five challenging minutes of fame with the shock jock. “I can do that!” I was ready for just about any direction this interview could go and was also ready to feed Howard’s ego a bit because I knew that would get him on my side. Now, I can’t say that I respect everything about Howard Stern but I DO respect the fact that he is a famously successful self-promoter who lives by the three rules of shameless success.
These three rules are:
- Have your own STYLE; no one can compete with you when you are comfortable enough being your own person who shares your own ideas and your own mind.
- NEVER GIVE UP; no matter how many roadblocks get in your way – move around them, over them, through them and just keep going.
- Find a way to POSITION yourself in front of people who can support your success.
Now, you’ve got to admit that Howard is a “shameless” survivor! And I was a survivor, too after my 4.5 minute interview. And yes, just in case you were wondering – I did keep my clothes on and my professionalism intact!
What happened next shocked me. Howard promoted the book by saying, “Hey, everybody needs to be more shameless about what they do to become successful. And if you want to find out how, buy this book.”
My shortest and most challenging interview took my book Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters to bestseller on Amazon within a matter of hours. Wow! I really had no idea that people who listened to Howard Stern even read books? LOL! This shows that you can never be too quick to judge who your audience might be.
I now believe there is no such thing as BAD publicity when you know how to position yourself effectively to the media. Often, the more outrageous or fun your interview is the more publicity you will get in return. So don’t be afraid; just be yourself and have some fun with it.