Self-Promotion - A Necessary Evil For Small Businesses

Self-promotion has gotten a bad rap lately.  With all of the selfies, food shots and feet shots we come across on social media these days it is hard to see an upside to self-promotion.  But I am here today to tell you to look again.

Be Seen

As a small business owner, you are your best salesman.  You may have others in the field, knocking on doors, but no one is going to sell your business as well as you do.

Unfortunately that takes some work.  It takes standing up tall and proud and saying, “Look at me.  I am awesome.”

Okay, you don’t have to say it quite like that but you get my point, right?

Become The Expert

No one knows your business like you do.  But if you don’t stand up and shout it to the world no one will know that.  It is up to you to get out there. It is up to you to get in front of people and tell them why your product or service is worth paying for.

As a small business owner I know how hard this is not just because we are not supposed to be prideful or boastful, but because we have so little time.  We are busy running our business.

Unfortunately, if we get too focused on the business and let this marketing effort go, someone else will step into that spotlight and become the expert.

Self-Promotion How Do You Start?

As with everything I do, I go back to the same question.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. In self-promotion the same rule applies.  Take it one step at a time.

  1. Don’t Go It Alone – There is no need to go out there alone.  Join a networking group, specifically, a BNI group whose members get to know your business and help you find referrals.  This is the most important step a small business owner can take when trying to promote their business.  Having a team behind you takes some of the pressure off.  It also gives you that opportunity to get used to sharing about your business on a weekly basis.
  2. Share Your Successes – Did you just hit a milestone, hire a new employee, or bring in a product that nobody in your area sells yet?  That’s great! Now share it.  Create a press release and share it with your local paper, the local business journals and your chambers of commerce.
  3. Get To Know Your Neighbors – Don’t be the “here’s my business card, now send me business” kind of neighbor.  Nobody likes that guy. Instead, really get to know your both your business neighbors and your home neighbors.  The more people you get to know, the more friends you make, the better chances you have for sharing your business casually.  People love to help people.  But only if they know you.
  4. Use Your Personal Social Media Platforms – Of course you have a business page for that.  You would be a fool not to.  But did you know that by sharing your Facebook posts once or twice a week, you can double your coverage?  Your business is a big part of your life.  Your friends will enjoying seeing what you are up to.  They might even learn enough about your business to share it with their friends.
  5. Write About It –  Whether you create a blog for your website, write pieces for the local paper or simply share your articles on LinkedIn, share your expertise. It is just one more way to let others know that you are the expert in your field.

Self-promotion doesn’t have to be about selfies and obnoxious salesmanship.  Instead, you need to have a plan and execute that plan, building your business while still running your business.  It’s not easy but it is worth it.

As always, if you have questions or just don’t have the time to do it all, call me and I can take some things off your plate, so you can get out the door, meet new people and share your expertise.

Ann Brennan