The following is an excerpt from “Confessions of an Introvert - The Shy Girl’s Guide to Business Success” by Meghan Wier. Preorders of "Confessions of an Introvert" will be taken starting in September 2005. For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org .
TEN WAYS TO SELF-PROMOTE
OK, here it is—the big secret. If you wait around it may not happen, and you fall farther behind those who do. I’m sorry I had to break it to you. If you are invisible, it doesn’t matter how good you are, so be noticed! So how do you get that recognition? Here are some ways to self-promote!
1) Get a Web site or blog. Write about subjects that interest you, and that relate to your business. Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
2) Find a local business, or online publication that takes freelance writers, and write articles for it. You probably won’t get paid, but you can use these articles to say that you have been published (very important in some fields) and promote yourself and your business.
3) Get to know the media. Make an effort to know at least a couple members of your local media. Newspaper reporters, TV anchors, and news directors, editors, and radio personalities are all looking for great subjects to report on. By bringing these people into your network, you will become a valued and important resource. Give them a good story, and they will come back to you again and again. http://www.123oye.com/articles/work-life.htm
4) Find a PR buddy. Know another deserving, yet under-recognized individual that you can trust with a little “covert operation”? Share your hopes and dreams with this person, tell him or her about recognition you would like and offer to nominate your friend for an award, or write a public interest story in the paper about them. Ask them to do the same for you. Don’t be shy!
5) Send out a monthly or quarterly personal e-newsletter. An associate of mine sends out an email newsletter monthly to everyone in his distribution list. His is similar to a Christmas letter, (“we just moved into out new office; we have a new product at work; the weather has been great…”) and over the years I really feel like I have gotten to know him better from this monthly letter. Just remember that you are sending this out to your business associates, so don’t get too personal!
6) Have a professional bio written. Hire a professional resume and bio writer to write up a bio for you. This can be used on your Web site or when applying for executive positions, or when nominated for awards. A well written bio written by someone else can tout your accomplishments in ways you might feel uncomfortable doing yourself!
7) Offer to speak at seminars, or schedule your own. Speaking at seminars are a great way to promote yourself and your business. If this doesn’t feel comfortable for you, look for “round-tables” or panel discussions to speak at. They are more casual, and there will be more than one speaker.
8) Follow Up. The best way to be remembered is to follow up, and follow up with everything! Call to confirm meetings, call to make sure people got the information you sent, call, to make sure your clients are all set. Let your clients and prospects, and contacts know you are out there, and you are thinking of them.
9) Smile for the camera! Have a good professional photo taken and put that on your business cards, Web site, and/or company brochure. People will remember you more when they can put a face with a name.
10) Have a “tag-line”. When you introduce yourself, use a “tag-line” or a clever saying that will be remembered and will help others associate you with what you do.
Self-promotion is important to reaching the next levels of success and it can be done tastefully, and professionally. Look for opportunities, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and remember to keep your ultimate goals in mind!
(c) 2005 Meghan Wier