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3 No-Nonsense Tips For Promoting Yourself or Your Business

What your college nightlife experiences can teach you about business and the art of self-promotion.
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Remember back in college when you'd get ready to go out for a night with your friends? More often than not you'd spend way longer than you needed getting ready, picking out your outfit, doing your hair, etc: all to showcase the most attractive version of yourself.

When you'd get wherever you were going, you'd try talking to people you were interested in. Sometimes you'd fail miserably. Sometimes you'd get a phone number. And sometimes, you'd take that person home and celebrate victory with your friends the next day.

The thing you probably didn't realize is that you were promoting yourself, just like you'd promote your business, your product or service, your book, etc. There would be countless nights of rejection or missed opportunities. There would be exciting nights with success and fun. Either way, promoting yourself to other people was an ever-evolving process with ups and downs galore. Self-promotion of your business, product, book, etc, is no different.

Here are three tips to help you promote yourself in the crowded digital landscape we live in. These are things I've done over and over again, and have helped me create successful and profitable online businesses that have made me over a million dollars and reached millions of people.

Tip #1: Create your Value Proposition

This is the foundation to whatever you are promoting. If it's your most recent book, what value will it bring someone else? How will it help them in their lives? What tangible benefits will they receive if they read it? Answer these questions for anything you're working on and use them in all marketing materials.

Just like you would know your pitch to someone in a crowded bar, you should know how to describe yourself or your business to anyone in any situation.

Tip #2: Analyze and Adjust

My friend Greg Hartle coined this little phrase and I've done it for years without being able to explain it so eloquently. Whatever you're trying to get attention for, you constantly need to be analyzing and adjusting your messaging. You need to be analyzing feedback from potential customers and adjusting your offering to get them to buy your stuff. You aren't going to get things right the first time and that's okay.

Tip #3: In-person is Always Better

It's nearly impossible to build a deep human connection with someone on social media, especially with how short our attention spans are getting.  Being in the same place with people and having relatable conversions with them will build a layer of trust that simply can't be built through interactions online. In-person connections last a lifetime, online connections last only as long as it takes for a newsfeed to refresh.

Whatever the thing is you're trying to promote, remember how much trial and error you went through back in college to meet other people. Some of those people you're probably still connected with today. You used these three tips without even knowing it; so now apply them to your business and self-promotion efforts.

Last updated: Jul 24, 2014

JASON SURFRAPP | Columnist

Jason Surfrapp is the founder of IWearYourShirt.com. His new book, Creativity For Sale, is an in-depth look at how to turn passion into profit.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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