You’ve got a great idea for a side hustle to boost your income, but getting out there and promoting it just feels… awkward. Personal branding expert Amanda Williams has plenty of tips to help you master the art of self-promotion and really make a go of things.
I am anything but a wallflower, having grown up on a stage, performing around the world as an entertainer and even strutting my way down a catwalk in Paris for an international model contest. To keep running with the floral theme though, I’ve also been the victim of tall poppy syndrome – at least the reverse kind I inflict on myself.
It was 2019, and I was at a fairly high profile (certainly well attended) digital marketing conference in San Diego where the keynote speaker was none other than Sir Richard Branson.
In that room, was a crowd of very boisterous, very self-assured Americans who didn’t need an invitation to announce themselves or their achievements.
It felt like I was at the ‘Ego Olympics’ and every one of them was a gold medallist.
When it was my turn to introduce myself, you could’ve heard a pin drop. I just went shy. The MC even took a shot at me for being so timid.
It was in that moment I had effectively cut down my own poppy before it’d had the chance to sprout.
So I asked myself: Why? Why didn’t I wave my own (Aussie) flag and claim my successes? Why was I so scared to indulge in the art of self-promotion when the truth was, I’d worked hard to get where I was and had a lot to promote and be proud of?
On reflection, I didn’t want to be the only Australian in the room making a scene. On the flip side, I would’ve been the only one standing out!
Figuring out how to (shamelessly) promote yourself is what my clients at Yellowpanda struggle with most when they first come onboard. The art of self-promotion is definitely just that: an art form. Done right, it’s both a beautiful and welcome thing and definitely necessary if you’re going to make your side hustle fly.
5 steps to master the art of self-promotion
1. Build a strong network of like-minded individuals – and put the pin in comparison
When building your brand, connecting with others who are on a similar journey is a great place to start.
In business, it’s a common mistake to compare yourself to those around you, benchmarking your achievements against theirs.
But I encourage you to focus on your own path and take inspiration from others without necessarily comparing yourself to them.
2. Embrace integrated marketing and use relevant channels to reach different audiences
I often say, for something to click, you need to wave it in front of someone 10 times before they even register it’s there.
If you want to build your brand and become a thought leader, you should be communicating with your audience across a range of mediums.
This can be in the form of a blog or podcast as well as social media.
When you’re putting yourself out there, don’t be concerned about how you’ll be perceived – because if you’re doing great, others will want to celebrate that!
And here’s a point; if you feel like your friends are cutting you down rather than encouraging you to keep growing, you might want to think about who you’ve got in your inner circle.
3. Be consistent, constant, and clear – it compounds!
If you’re not confident in yourself and you don’t even know why someone would want to follow you, why should they? Repeating a message is only successful if you stay consistent, constant and clear.
When you build your brand, you’re building a legacy; which surprise, surprise, take a long time to create.
Be prepared to play the long game.
4. Don’t expect self-promotion to deliver instant ROI or a quick win
Adding to the previous point, success doesn’t happen overnight – no matter what it may look like sometimes.
I often say to my clients, it could be six months before you even feel any momentum from consistent work on your brand.
But you need to stay confident in your message and your content needs to be valuable in the eyes of your audience.
It is downright silly to expect an instant win.
After all, what’s a thought-leader without genuine thoughts? What’s insight without deep understanding and ambition without careful planning
5. Your team, trust and friendship will get you through bad days (and trust me, you’ll have them)
I know, trusting others with your business baby can be daunting.
But as you scale, you will come to the realisation it’s impossible to do all the work yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to find other authentic people to join your professional journey.
They say friendship is a two-way street; and that’s true for business too.
If you want to learn how to celebrate your successes, build a community of people who can support you through the bad days!
The journey to success is one that’s filled with many challenges, but overcoming those is what makes your achievements all the more fulfilling.
So don’t be like me at that conference in San Diego, afraid to shine a spotlight on my own achievements.
You are the one who can sell yourself best so make sure you get out there and do it.
This article by Amanda Williams originally appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders and is republished here with permission.