Self Promotion

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Today, self promotion is an imperative.

Humility and understatement can be commendable but costly virtues in the current marketplace.   The Pareto Principal, in which 80% of business is supposedly generated by repeat customers, referrals and recommendations is like the Italian economist himself, Pareto … …. long since buried.
 
At present low response rates to market, sales and relationship initiatives are being rationalised as consequences of existing and prospective clients being distracted by the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis.  Wrong!
 
It is indeed the marketing, sales and relationship initiatives which are being dismissed or ignored as distractions from the primary focus as stretched and often stressed business owners and leaders address the priorities of the day. Many are up to their elbows in alligators.
 
Relationships are valued and protected.  Tenuous holds on income streams are quarantined, with recommendations and referrals minimised.  A loss of sales potential, a relationship or friend for any reason is too much to contemplate, let alone bear.
 
So, any and all emphases on self promotion need to be defined, confined and refined, to ensure that there is relevance, benefit and advantage to target audiences of such endeavours.  Big noters and ” blow-hards” are presently and will in the future falter on the alter of growth opportunities.
 
It is said, and widely accepted, that man cannot survive on bread alone.   So too companies with public relations campaigns.  The measure of success in the prevailing economy and marketplace is not quantified in the column centremetres of “free ink” in trade, business and commerce publications and websites.
 
“A picture is worth a 1,000 words” is a well travelled truism.  However, this misquote of Confusius  is incomplete.  The missing phrase is “… but a picture doesn’t tell the full story.”
 
The business life experiences of former elite sports people are similar.  Past glories, victories and fame do open doors, but they seldom close deals.
 
Well crafted editorials are much the same.  Editors and readers alike dismiss, scorn at and laugh down hackneyed phrases like “the nation’s biggest”, “the world’s best” “the market’s number one”.  Figuratively and literally such contentions are “unbelievable”.  So, dispel such contentions if credibility is important to you, your image and message. 
 
COMPLEMENTARY COMMUNICATIONS
 
Missives from professional public relations consultants are often transparently, self serving (to the interest of clients).  In isolation most achieve little.
 
Complementary strategies, tactics and communications including advertising, displays product /service sampling, networking and one-on-one communication are typically required to “close the loop”.
 
Having stimulated interest, established a presence and developed awareness, recognition and preference for a brand, it is logical that reinforcement of such  via medium of promotional products is implemented.
 
In a sea of sameness an ongoing presence of a company logo and brand name does establish a subliminal foundation on which to progress the sales and marketing processes.
 
THE ESSENTIAL THREE RS

 
In pursuit of effective self promotion certain essentials need to be respected and utilised.
 
As a starting point one needs to review The Three Rs ……
 
WRITING
Written text instils a measure, a focus and discipline.  Review of words used and sentiments expressed is typically instinctive. 
 
Written text differs appreciably from the structure of the spoken word.  It tends to be more concise, comprehension is higher and the orientation to the intent of the communication is noticeable.
 
In short, a well structured text reflects and projects a well considered case.
 
READING
All self promotion material must necessarily focus on the recipients and highlight the advantages, benefits and confidence which will be or are also to be accorded them.
 
The underlying concept of “self promotion” is mirror-like in its character.  Whilst the goal may be to promote the sender of the material, it will only ever be effective if the benefits flow to the recipient.
 
So in “self promotion” don’t be selfish.
 
REINFORCEMENT
Too often, self promotion initiatives are spasmodic, isolated and fractured.
Consistency  and continuity are virtues.
 
Therefore, all relevant communication channels need to be deployed, including trade magazines and promotional products.
 
Images, perceptions, logos, packaging and product/service presentations need to be reinforced, consistently.  Self promotion is part of the branding process and the disciplines need to be respected and deployed.
 
NEVER TOO MUCH
Professional service consultants consistently allocate up to 40% of  their own time and resources on the promotion of their business, which typically centres on them (read: self).
 
That’s the reality.  Now, all that one need do is to develop the ability and discipline to differentiate the person from the product (which may still be the person).  For example, entertainers often talk about themselves in the third person.  Tom Hanks will refer to “Tom Hanks” or “he” in interviews.
 
Little wonder this great self promoter can command fees of up to $70 (US) million for a single movie role.  He has truly overcome his own … “Angels and Demons”


About

Barry Urquhart, MD Marketing Focus, Perth, is the author of Australia's top two selling books on customer service and is an internationally recognised authority on consumer behaviour and creative visual marketing.

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