self promotion

Is Self Promotion Bad?

By Chris Lott | Sales | 10922 Views | 17 Comments    

Where does it say that it is wrong to be excited and announce your ideas and successes to all that will listen? Do you find yourself apologizing or finding ways to not discuss achievements? Why? Are you worried you might be thought lesser of or find the circumstance embarrassing? Have you found that others try to belittle your experiences… your ideas when self promotion takes place?


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In my opinion not only should you learn to self promote but it is crucial to your life and business successes. I’m not talking about shoving your successes in someone’s face. Of course that is always wrong. I love it though when someone has stepped up and had a success or a brilliant idea and they want to yell from the mountain tops. That really pumps me up. I want to know all. What they did… how they did it. I am genuinely happy for them. Are you?

“Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!” – P.T. Barnum

We hear stories about the person that was in the right place at the right time. I am sure there are those that have had that happen and how great that would be. Reality typically is different with most successes being achieved through strategic hard work and self promotion.

Why is it so critical for some to lessen others successes?
When I started a computer manufacturing company everyone told me that I was doing it wrong. I started with nothing and within a very short time had built a product of national claim. Trust me… I didn’t grow, build, and receive recognition without self promotion. I received articles from a national magazine because I made a relationship with the author. On almost a dare he compared my product to a large corporate product and was amazed. My computers and servers became some of the top rated systems in the country in the early 90’s. Amazingly, I actually had soothsayers discount this success as I hadn’t been “found” and I used self promotion.

I have had criticisms on the way I use Twitter. I think the term was called “billboarding”. Clever. The social media phenomenon is new and powerful. SEO and the monopoly Google has on it is challenging to new start ups. Using Twitter and other social media products without paying for pay per clicks is interesting to me. It also is working. SalesBlog! now enjoys 350,000 hits a month without paid advertising. I will continue to billboard.

If I tweet any “lottisms” amazingly I will receive multiple complaints of too much self promotion. Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows I am pretty well known for these one-liners. Heaven forbid I actually tweet them.

So why so much resistance from others? Quite honestly I think the reason others hate self promotion is because it overrides their spotlight. At least in their own mind. You’re taking the eye off their advice, ideas, and successes.

So what’s the Answer?
Let me make this very clear… YOU NEED A PERSONAL BRAND! You need SELF PROMOTION! It is just how things role today. To get promoted, a new job, business success, you need to self promote. We are such a busy society. We really don’t take notice of those doing a great job around us. I think most of us realize this at some level.

I say… self promote by all means. Add interesting content along with your personal branding. Go for the gold and yell it from the mountain tops!

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.


17 thoughts on “Is Self Promotion Bad?

  1. I think that if you are going to self promote, you are at risk of being uncovered as a fraud. If that doesn’t worry you, you are probably legitimately worthy of the self promotion and should do it in full measure.
    Nothing, however, is better than others singing your praises and that should always be goal #1.

  2. The article brings up an interesting question. First, you have to ask yourself, “If self-promotion is something I do comfortably?” If not, then others doing it will likely bother you. It overrides yours because you’re uncertain about your message and deep down you feel it.

    It’s not a question of if someone else’s promotions are great and self-promoted; the question is are you okay with your promotions?

    The bottom line is we all must do some self-promotion in the 21 century. Do it with grace, do it with gratitude, and an attitude of leading and helping others. Then you will stand above the crowd, not outside the crowd.

    As a mentor or coach, people often start off wrong with promotions. They forget there are humans on the other side of the sale. Begin with the person on the other side and work toward you from their perspective.

    When you do their goals and yours meet in the middle at the point of sale.

    • Dr. Arko,

      I love your statement “Do it with grace, do it with gratitude, and an attitude of leading and helping others.” This is spot on for self branding, etc.. Thanks for your insightful comment.

  3. Totally needed for success. It’s not enough to simply be great, in our world of disconnect, we have to show the world how great we are as loud as possible in order to develop trust, followers, clients and new business deals.

    The less people know about you, the more they make up on their own. You have to put everything you are and want to be right in their face, loud and proud, so much so that they have no room to make anything up on their own.

  4. Chris, If it’s fact, you’re not bragging. You’ve got to toot your own horn in most environments to remind those who need to know, whose horn is blowing….just an opinion

  5. I think you’re absolutely right. Self promotion isn’t bad UNLESS you are just blatantly stating facts all the time without putting your sixth sense into it and interacting/engaging.

    They’re the main points. Thoughts?

    – Jonathan Bird

  6. I couldn't agree more, Chris. If you truly believe in what it is you are doing and you truly see value in it, why be ashamed to share? I recently wrote an article that was published in The Idaho Business Review. The first thing I did was clip it out and email it around to my contacts. If you don't believe in your message enough to share it then no one else will either. I believe a rising tide lifts all boats and sharing success fosters more success. It is an unhealthy thought process to allow others' successes to diminish your own.

    • Mac… Great comment and thanks for sharing… It is always nice to hear from someone that gets excited about successes. I thought they had become a dying breed. Keep tooting your horn my friend.

  7. We have an old expression in England:
    “Shy bairns get nowt”

    I think it is appropriate to this discussion.

  8. I see people “toot their own horn” in my work place and they get ahead. I admit it makes me some what mad, because I don’t understand how they do it .. underneath I’m mad at myself and my bosses they don’t just see my “good works”.

    • There are some leaders that look for the performers and reward as such. Most don't however. It is important that you self-promote in the work force, as a business owner, and of course in sales of any kind. This could also apply in the home with your family. Great low maintenance performers can be overlooked because they are well… low maintenance. They are taken for granted. I fit in this category typically. I make a lot of what I do look easy. This is not always a good thing. Today I make sure they know when I went the extra mile and what I have have done for them and their company.

  9. Hello Chris,

    I enjoyed your post. Hadn't heard the term billboarding but that communicates to me. I guess what makes the difference for me is whether you have something to offer in addition to your self promotion. If all 'you' say is 'how great I am', I think most people would not be too interested. Conversely, if you accomplished something great and you share the victory and the story, I find that compelling. Just my two cents.

    • Dwight… I couldn't agree more. I think that the same rules for physical communications apply to virtual communications. We all know how we feel about the person that talks endlessly about themselves at the party. You should have some depth and for heavens sake be interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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