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Who Needs Self-Promotion?

Everyone needs self-promotion and personal branding. It’s how you’re going to grow your business, advance your career, and expand your personal network. There are few people who don’t need self-promotion of some kind. (Actually, all we could come up with were spies and hermits.) Even if you work for a large government agency in some half-forgotten division, sequestered away in the basement, working on some underfunded project (especially if this is the case; see Chapter 15, “Personal Branding: Using What You’ve Learned to Land Your Dream Job”), you need to brand yourself.

Self-promotion is for everyone, not just business people trying to get a job or earn a promotion. Even those outside the corporate world can benefit from promoting themselves.

  • Book authors—Although your publisher—your kind-hearted, giving, generous-to-a-fault publisher

        @edeckers:Forget it; they said we already blew the
                  promotions budget on the launch party.
    
        @kyleplacy:Seriously? I knew we shouldn't have served the
                   lobster.

    will be doing everything it can to promote your book, it’s also up to the authors to make sure they’re promoting their book, with websites, blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts, YouTube videos, and several other social media tools and real-world networking opportunities.

  • Musicians—Musicians are at a personal branding advantage because they’re already promoting themselves as a brand. Think of your favorite band and everything you like about them: their music, T-shirts, interviews, website, fan pages, and anything else you can find. All these things go toward maintaining their public image and persona. As a musician, you’ll want to explore every free social media tool where your fans are gathered. It could be Facebook and MySpace, posting videos of your last show, or even a social network devoted strictly to bands in your city or state.
  • Public speakers—All public speakers, except for the big-name celebrities who belong to speakers bureaus, must promote themselves to conference organizers, meeting organizers, trade associations, and anyone else who hires speakers. You need to provide evidence of your speaking abilities, but thanks to social media, gone are the days of sending out video tapes or DVDs of your talks. Instead, you can refer people to your website where they can watch videos of your talks, download your one sheet (a single sheet about your qualifications as a speaker), and even read some of the articles that you discuss in your talks.
  • Entrepreneurs—This will end up being one of the best marketing campaigns you could run. By equating you with your company, you both become a synonymous brand. When people hear your name, they think of your company, and vice versa. By offering yourself as an expert in your field on a blog and Twitter, people will come to see you as a resource, and someone they need to hire for a project or even a long-term contract.
  • Salespeople—We’re seeing a major change in the way sales are done around the world. A lot of sales coaches and experts are telling salespeople to put down the phone and quit making cold calls. They’re inefficient, ineffective, and just plain boring (cold calling, not the coaches). Nowadays, salespeople are building relationships rather than databases, providing information and knowledge, and networking with as many people as they can. We understand that many salespeople still have to slog out their time on the phones, but by keeping track of your sales funnel (see Chapter 11, “Measuring Success: You Like Me, You Really Like Me!”) and finding where your best customers are coming from, you may learn that networking and branding yourself are much more effective than cold calling some name from a list.
  • Job seekers—These are people who need personal branding the most. Every element of a job search is focused on what people think of when they hear your name. You email a PDF or word processing document with your skills and experience on it. You have three or more conversations with several people about how your skills and experience can help their company. And nowadays, you’re searched online by people who make a hiring decision based on what they find. By carefully planning and creating your personal brand and then living up to it, you can greatly improve your chances to find a new job, compared to those people who still think FaceSpace is just for teenagers and perverts.
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