Seek the Limelight
Promoting yourself and your brand or business can be hard without seeming like a jerk. If you happen to be an introvert or are new to the local culture, it can seem harder still. So, how can you ensure that your talents and brand are recognized?
The first step is to understand the true nature of self-promotion or networking. It doesn’t have to be transactional. It can be a win-win. For example, a business owner doesn’t have the time to understand where your strengths and advantages lie; however, if you can make clear to them how you can contribute the most and what your unique superpower is, then you are making their lives easier.
So, even if you are an introvert, every authority figure needs a bit of showmanship.
How Do You Promote Yourself?
Focus on facts. Calling yourself a Snapchat expert doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. However, no one can argue with the fact that you have a few thousand followers and that you have been Snapchatting since the service was first offered.
Demonstrate expertise with relevant stories. Saying you are a great fundraiser can sound egotistical, but sharing a relevant yet compelling story of how you raised donations for a particular cause or charity allows others to gauge your skills without being explicit.
Be humble. You want your audience to trust you, and a good way to do that is to admit to your shortcomings. Research by Fiona Lee, a social psychologist, indicates that admitting your shortcomings is a great way to highlight your strengths.
Sharing your honest shortcomings or failures will only help people identify better with you as they realize that, like them, you are focused on overcoming challenges and so are less likely to make excuses or shirk your responsibilities.
Take, for example, Avis, which branded itself with the tagline, “We try harder.” At the time, they promoted themselves as the number-two car rental company striving to do better. In other words, they acknowledged their shortcoming of not being the best and leveraged it to identify with their audience and the desire to be better.
The tagline was kept for over 50 years, during times when taglines and brand positioning typically change every few years. Avis’s CMO, Jeannine Haas, says that they haven’t done away with the tagline entirely. She stated:
“We firmly believe that after nearly five decades, ‘We Try Harder’ is fully embedded in the Avis DNA, and defines the spirit our employees embody to deliver superior customer service.”
Tomorrow, we will look at how you can build your online authority easily by focusing on one unique thing you or your brand is capable of.
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