Humility is a virtue. But so is knowing how to toot your own horn.
You need your work to be seen to build your client base, but you certainly don’t want irritate people in the process.
“In today’s competitive workplace, if your plan to get ahead is based on the assumption that hard work alone will suffice, you may find yourself being left behind as the horn blowers around you land the opportunities you anticipated were yours,” relates Margie Warrell in Self-Promotion Is Not Crucial (Unless You Want To Get Ahead!).
The key is to learn how to promote your work without, for lack of a better term, looking like a jerk. This is especially important for those who are marketing, communication and design consultants, freelancers or contractors. You need your work to be seen to build your client base, but you certainly don’t want irritate people in the process.
In The Art of Self-Promotion: 6 Tips for Getting your Work Discovered, author Jessica Grose discusses how to let people know what you can do without spamming people in the process. The tips discussed come from author Austin Kleon, writer of the book Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.
Be a “scenius”
“Being a valuable part of a ‘scenius’ is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute,” Grose quotes Kleon as saying.
But, you don’t necessarily have to live in the “happening” cities to be in a scene. The Internet is a valuable tool to connect with those that can get you noticed. Blogs, comments, articles and the various social networking sites are all valuable ways to get your work noticed and establish yourself as a subject matter expert. 6 Ways to Increase Your Influence Online has some smart ideas to get you going.
In addition, Kleon suggests branching out beyond just connecting with others in your immediate subject matter expertise. Even if you are primarily a writer, for example, designers, graphic artists, musicians and film makers can open doors you can’t imagine.
Share something every day
According to Kleon, the great thing about the Internet is that it’s pretty fleeting. And that’s a good thing. It encourages you to share your work, even if it is not entirely perfect or complete. If yesterday’s post wasn’t your best, then you will strive to post something better today. And, most people will move on pretty quickly to what you post tomorrow.
That’s just the nature of the Internet. And, when you put your process out there for the public, you build a relationship with them.
“By letting go of our egos and sharing our process,” Kleon is quoted, “We allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move even more of our product.”
If you are looking for some interesting new ways to engage others with your content, check out 50 Fresh Self-Promotion Tips.
Build a network before launching a big project
Launching a large campaign or book? Do a significant amount of groundwork first. Think about yourself. Wouldn’t you be more likely to pay attention to blogs, emails, tweets and posts from someone you pay attention to you already follow on a daily basis?
“Before you have something to shill, you need to build up a network of goodwill,” Kleon explain in Grose’s article. “That way, when you’re sending out a Tweet about your latest radio appearance, your followers will think, ‘When he’s not on book tour, he’s giving me all these interesting things.’”