I’ve said it before, and by gosh, I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”
― Emlyn Chand
October is National Self-promotion Month, which can remind communicators that self-promotion is vital to separating yourself from the competition. You should use it as a starting point, though, because, to increase your chances of generating opportunities, you need to promote your unique ideas, talents and strengths year-round.
Fears of Standing Out
Most people would agree that no one likes a braggart. So much so, that this article by Verywell Mind explains that, because people don’t want to be seen as braggarts, many develop Imposter Syndrome, “an unofficial but heavily researched psychological issue that can keep individuals from achieving what they’re capable of.” This idea and issue are what made Self-Promotion Month necessary, as its founder, Debbie Allen wished to raise awareness that “being a self-promoter, and doing it shamelessly, is a great way to be bold and get noticed.” With that being said, there are many ways in which someone can promote themselves.
Self-Promotion Done Right
While Allen advocates for shamelessly promoting oneself, there are ways to do it without coming off as arrogant. For instance, this article by Harvard Business Review suggests finding a promoter, because “Intermediaries are seen as less self-serving and thus provide an aura of objectivity.” The article continues by stating that these intermediaries can be anyone from peers, bosses, mentors, or sponsors who are willing to speak on your behalf.
In the same vein, an article by National Day Calendar about Self-Promotion Month suggests heavily networking and being willing to speak on behalf of someone else. After all, the professional world is as much about who you know as what you know. National Day Calendar also suggests working on your personal growth, believing in yourself, and to always be a sponge to new information.
In addition to seeking others to speak on your behalf, there are several ways in which you can begin promoting yourself. While this article by ZenBusiness discusses 52 ways in which to promote your business, a few key ways they highlight are: Identifying your best prospects to determine your best promotional strategies, planning your marketing accordingly, establishing an online presence with a site and blog, and using more traditional methods such as handing out business cards, talking to vendors, and attending professional meetings at places such as your local chamber of commerce.
Toot Your Own Horn Throughout the Year
Promoting yourself is the best way to effectively ensure that your name gets out there, which could lead to many opportunities that suit your unique abilities. With a focus on personal growth, asking for referrals from intermediaries, being willing to speak on someone else’s behalf, planning around your best prospects, and seizing opportunities that come to you, success is sure to follow.