Self promotion, when done correctly can increase the visibility of your brand and drive more traffic to your blog/website/store, while gaining more followers through the process.
When done badly, you can easily sound like a broken record, become really annoying to your peers, and/or sound like you're just showing off.
When I initially started my blog a few years ago, I had no idea how to promote it. Through trial and error, I realized a few key things.
But, before moving on, ask yourself these questions first -
- Why was your brand created? What's its purpose?
- Can you sum up your brand in one sentence? Consider what your elevator pitch would be.
- Why does your brand matter and how does it help someone else?
If you can answer those three questions confidently, then you're already half way there. Now, let's get to the good stuff.
1. Utilize Social Media
Obviously social media is a top tool to use that's free and available to everyone. How you use it though, is the determinant of how useful it can be to you.
Here are a few ways social media can work in your favor when it comes to self promotion / exposing your brand.
[Engage] Remember in elementary school how your teachers would start the beginning of the school year with a game where you introduce yourself to everyone in the class, list what you like and where you're from. Well, take that concept and find your niche online. If you're a fashion blogger, you're in luck because there's plenty of those on Instagram and making friends online is the norm. Follow and interact with accounts that are similar to you, genuinely interact with people and leave comments that go beyond "Nice!". Don't forget to also comment back to those who take the time to comment you too!
[Build Relationships] Making friends in the industry will do wonders for you socially, emotionally, and mentally - because let's face it, your S/O doesn't want to hear about your blogger problems and/or they just won't get it. Building a long lasting relationship also proves that you're not just using the person for their resources and I would never suggest doing this either. If you haven't noticed lately, "girl gangs" and/or your "blogger squad", are getting more attention than single individuals with brands. By being able to provide packaged deals, you become a little more attractive to brands who can utilize you and your friends for a campaign versus finding 6 individuals. Win-win. Promote each other while getting paid at the same time.
[Present Your Best Work] Social media is a digital portfolio so always keep in mind to put your best foot forward. On the flip side, stay authentic. You want to promote your real self, not someone you think people will love. Create content that shows off your brand in a way your audience will relate to you, to give them a sense of connection. If possible, be vulnerable; you'll quickly realize that the majority of your struggles are shared by half of the world and together, we can all support each other.
2. Give More, Take Nothing
Why does Gary Vaynerchuck have so many fans? Because he talks to them, not at them. He isn't always promoting his products, instead he gives them endless amounts of knowledge, motivation, and empowers them to believe that they can also be successful. He never talks down to anyone but rather treats everyone equally the same, regardless if they're a celebrity or kid trying to make it in the real world. The way he treats people is a reflection of who he is and his brand, which in turn makes people want to be around him.
There's one thing that I truly believe in and that is, if you help others even with the smallest task, they'll not only respect you but they'll be loyal to you. I have no problem helping my friends in the industry, whether it's helping them craft a proposal or taking a photo with them while we're having out together. As my blogger babe, Stuart said, "We're all in this together."
Approach people with a "how can I help you?" attitude and I guarantee you that'll always have your back. At least the good people will and yes, you can possibly get burned by the shitty people but don't let them ruin your attitude.
3. Network Offline
Events, parties, and even just grabbing drinks with friends - every opportunity out in public is one that should be seized. Of course, time and place should be taken into consideration because you don't want to be talking about yourself all night at someone's birthday celebration.
When speaking about yourself/your brand, be conscious of your tone and how you speak about your brand. The last thing you want is to come off as a show-off/bragger/jerk. The goal is to perk just enough interest to leave them wanting more and don't forget to tell them where they can find you.
While business cards are being used less and less these days, it is still handy to have. I go on quite a few press trips and the demographic of influencers always vary in range. Majority of the time, I'm being asked for a business card so it's safe to say that business cards are still relevant and good to have. By the way, if you need a business card design, hit up my girl Melanie Dylan Kim! She made mine and I absolutely love it :) She also does logo's and art illustrations.
The bottom line is, go out and talk to people. Utilizing social media and digital marketing is great, but the most valued connection will always be face-to-face.
The above advice are just 3 out of the many ways you can self promote yourself. Honestly, it really comes down to trial and error to find what truly works for you. Do research, experiment, and notate what helps your brand gets noticed.
If you have any questions or want further clarification on anything mentioned in this blog post, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll respond back.
Same goes if you have any other topics you'd like me to cover, feel free to leave a comment below.