Is it October already!?
October is definitely my favorite month, for many, many, reasons. For one, it is now really starting to feel like Fall, the weather is changing, leaves are decorating the ground, and pumpkins and Halloween are present in every store. Not to mention it is my birthday month!
Also it’s month three and you’re still with me! That is something to love October for.
I’m Not Gaining New Readers and It’s All My Fault…
So, that heading may sound a little harsh, but it’s actually just how I see it. As time has progressed, I have realized that I have hit a wall. I have not lost my love for writing and I haven’t felt like giving up, but I am dealing with the harsh reality that I need to promote myself to grow. A while back I had a conversation in the comment section about promotion on Facebook and gaining likes. At the time, I hadn’t had the opportunity to really think about actual promotion beyond putting my social media links in the post and a Facebook ad here and there, but now I realized it is really important that I actually start promoting, not just passively, but actively.
This is particularly hard for me because I am a person that is very friendly but not too social. This means I can talk to anyone, but building real connections with people is something I struggle with. So while it is easy for me to say, “Oh yeah, I just started a blog”, it is really hard for me to tell people, “I think you might like it, here’s the link”. I know this is how the real world works, but there are still a few obstacles that make this type of interaction hard for me.
- I never want to come off inauthentic. I don’t want anyone to ever think I am only talking to them to push my blog. That’s not who I am and I know that never makes anyone feel good.
- I know I like my blog, and I know you like my blog, but how would I know if they will like my blog?
- Finally, What if I tell 1000 people about “Year As” and only two people even look at it? That would be a huge blow to my self-esteem and make me feel like I am wasting my time.
With all that said, if I am too afraid to tell people to believe in me, then I will never grow my audience, or even worse, I will never help people believe in themselves. I’m not gaining any new readers and it is all my fault because I don’t give new readers a chance to get to know me. So, if you are like me, we need to change how we think. That’s why I thought today, we should talk about self-promotion and how to sell yourself without feeling gross about it.
Self-Awareness and Knowing Your Worth
Here’s the thing. Self-promotion goes beyond trying to be a social media mogul, business person, or blogger. It requires self-awareness, confidence, and most importantly, it requires you to know your worth.
This is a tricky topic to address because there is no formula to having self-awareness. It requires being honest with yourself. You have to accept your flaws without letting them consume you, and at the same time, understand your strengths without becoming too vain or self-centered. Self-awareness is a balancing act.
What are you bad at?
What are you good at?
How can both of these characteristics make you better?
After answering these questions then you are able to determine you worth. This is not necessarily a price tag, or an actual qualitative measurement. Knowing your worth is the moment you decide what you deserve. As a blogger, I write to encourage people, I don’t network very well, but I still I deserve to be a self-sufficient blogger. So, I find ways to achieve what I think deserve, I use different social platforms, ask friends to help me promote, I practice better networking skills because I know what I deserve. I know what I want from this experience, I know my worth.
Why is Self-Promotion Important?
As I like to imagine it, self-promotion is the acceptance that your experiences are valuable, that these experiences can be beneficial for others and that you can and should share that information. For example, if you are a company and you sell a product, self-promotion is telling your future customers that your product will make their lives better. Additionally, if you are a new parent, self-promotion is being amongst other parents and feeling confident enough to tell them about your successes and achievements with your child.
This is important because when you self-promote authentically, you become a resource for others. You do not have to be an expert, we all know that I am not, but sharing your experiences without shame or doubt allows people to find the support they need, when and how they need it. Helping people by just being yourself is really rewarding. If you are reading “Year As” and your goal is to be surrounded by more positive energy this year, realizing that people need you or appreciate your thoughts is a simple way to add more positivity into your daily life.
If you are a more business focused reader, self-promotion is almost self-explanatory. You and I are in the same boat. You need people to believe in your service, and if you can’t believe in yourself or product, why would the consumer?
But I Still Feel Weird About It…
That’s okay. Self-promotion is a skill. If you aren’t an expert at it now, you will be later, but we have to start. When you tell people about your favorite restaurant, shoe store, or TV show, you don’t have the same guilt as when you talk about your own work. I am here to tell you, you don’t have to feel guilty because you like what you’ve created. You don’t have to feel guilty for being proud of your work. Wanting people to like your product as much as you do is not inherently bad. This is where knowing your worth comes to the forefront. If you are a designer, and you enjoy creating, and you think they are great quality designs, then you have to believe you deserve to design. When you are first starting out, it is hard to feel legitimate, but allowing self-doubt to transfer over to future clients, customers, or your peers, only inhibits your from reaching your goals.
There is that cliché saying “fake it ‘til you make it”, but I think you need to actually believe you’ve made it. I have been blogging for two full months, but the moment I pressed publish on my first post, I had to believe that I was in fact a real blogger. That I was publishing real content, interacting with real readers, and promoting a real blog. This shift in thinking makes self-promotion more manageable. This framework allows you to understand that you are not trying to sell an idea but instead you are selling a reality, your reality.
And of course, when you sell yourself you are bound to find people who aren’t buying. Don’t let that discourage you, I wrote a post on dealing with negativity earlier. You can overcome it, it is doable and you have to keep on believing in yourself. I know I said earlier, I am scared that if I promote to 1000 people, that only two people will invest in my work, but we have to remember two people is still more than no one.
So Let’s Start,
I have been trying to reach out to people on Instagram and online to find people I think might appreciate my blog. It still makes me feel very uncomfortable but we have to start somewhere.
So here is my self-promotion challenge.
- Tweet me @BrisaBiaMarie and tell me who you are and what you do.
- Retweet & Respond to people on my thread.
- Find an Instagram account that is relevant to your work and comment below on of their pictures how their content is relevant to yours. (In an authentic, honest way)
- Comment on this post and say what you find easy and difficult when it comes to self-promotion and see what your others think.
These small actions may not make you an internet sensation overnight, but they will help you become comfortable with having this conversation.
Now My Self-Promotion!
Please comment any feedback, suggestions or good vibes. They really are super helpful!
Talk to you soon.