We've all seen them.
The people who try to promote their product, their blog, their side hustle… and they do it in a way where you end up muttering “STFU already” under your breath. Every conversation turns into a pitch, every comment in a Facebook group mentions their services, every social media profile is one promotion after another.
Yeah, that's annoying. Sleazy promoting at its finest.
Every blogger fears sounding like “that guy” or “that girl.” But fear not! When done right, self-promotion convinces others to read your blog post, join your email list, or buy your product in a way that isn't sleazy at all. In fact, marketing yourself is a critical – and expected – part of owning your own business. People expect businesses and bloggers to promote themselves so don't feel squeamish about it.
Just do it well.
Here are some tips for making sure you do just that.
Get in the Right Mindset
The people who promote themselves the wrong way are the ones that stick in your mind. They are the annoying ones. You don't want to be like them, so you either create a bland message to promote your latest blog post (because you're afraid to stand out too much) or you don't promote anything at all.
But hear me out: you can't wait for others to do it. Be your own biggest advocate.
No one will care about your blog or biz as much as you will, so you owe it to yourself to promote yourself. And the best kind of promotion is when you focus on value. Which leads me to…
Think Before You Promote
It's easy to just look at a checklist of places to promote yourself and just work down the list with a bunch of posts that sound a little something like “NEW POST! How to make waffles” or “Looking for a photographer? I'm available!” But just promotion just to check off a box is just lazy marketing.
Before you promote a post or product, ask yourself one simple question: “Is this helpful?”
That's so important I made you a tweetable:
It's the same question we remind Pinning Perfect students to consider when creating a pinnable image and description. When you're helpful, you're providing value. When you give people value, they WANT to read your blog post. They WANT to buy your product.
Saying “NEW POST: How to make waffles” is only mildly helpful. But what if you said, “Who needs a healthy breakfast idea for busy workdays? These waffles will do the trick! LINK”
You've now caught the attention of people looking for a quick, healthy breakfast idea. And for those people? Your blog promotion isn't annoying– it's very helpful.
Remember “seven times”
Some people might pounce on an offer or click a link the first time, but most people won't.
It's not that they don't like you.
They got distracted.
They weren't compelled enough.
It often takes seven times of seeing a message to act on it. Think about all those dang videos you see over on Facebook? How many times does it take for you to actually click on one? Sometimes I might click on one right away, but other times it's not until the umpteenth friend shares it that I think, “okay, I guess it must be worth watching if all these people are sharing it.” And I watch.
Share a Story
People connect to others through stories. Whether you're promoting your blog, a big launch, or a new product, share anecdotes and experiences to add color and meaning. For example, in sharing a new recipe, you could tell the story of how a trip to the farmer's market inspired you to use those ingredients.
The story doesn't even need to be your own as long as it's authentic. If you're selling a product, for example, you can share a testimonial story about your product helped someone get a result.
A story doesn't need to be long either. If you're trying to drive people to read a blog post, you can share a reader comment. Maybe someone explained how they made your recipe as a quick, last-minute idea when family was coming in town and it was a hit. Boom. There's your story.
Think about something you want to promote. What story would resonate with your audience?
Share without Expectations
Whether you're on social media or in a Facebook group, you're going to see questions come up from friends, acquaintances, and random strangers.
The sleazy marketers “help” by somehow making the question about them and then dropping a link. They didn't so much help as they did just hope that their link gets clicked.
Instead, share your knowledge without expectations that the person will click a link, buy your product, or hire your services. If someone asks how to do x, and you have a post exactly about how to do x, then by all means share it (if link sharing isn't against any group rules). But otherwise, drop a knowledge bomb on them and leave it at that. As you participate in groups or on social, you'll build credibility as someone who's helpful and willing to share their knowledge without any expectations.
That'll do more for promoting yourself than any link drop will.
What about you?
Promoting yourself can grow your audience or your mailing list, and it can sell products. Are you comfortable with promoting yourself? How do you avoid sleazy marketing?
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the Social Media Strategist (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!