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Why You Should Be a Shameless Self-Promoter

No need to be embarrassed. As long as you follow these three basic principles, tooting your own horn can bring on major success.
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Don't brag! Stop talking about yourself!

That's what we were all told growing up. Okay, maybe I was told this more than most. Still isn't it odd that here in the 21st century, millions and millions of us do little but brag and talk about ourselves constantly throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube?  And the ugly truth is that most of it is mindless, inane chatter that interests few.

And then, there are the marketers... Barraging us constantly with endless messaging about how great they are and how much we need their product or service with no consideration for our time or attention.

But is this always wrong? As an author and speaker, I have no choice but to constantly talk about myself, and what's on my mind. Come to think of it, I'm doing it right now! Truthfully, I am no different then every entrepreneur that wants to benefit stakeholders, managers that seek advancement or even eager employees looking for recognition. It's nice to think that people will simply notice the good and important things you are doing, however with all the noise online today, what are the odds that a single tweet, post or video will make any sort of impact? They are pretty slim indeed.

So we need to shamelessly self-promote, loud, strong and often. And yet somehow we have to keep from crossing that line of being annoying and offensive. Here are three tips on how to shamelessly self-promote and still keep your friends, colleagues and prospects from screaming and, dare I say it... unfriending you!

1. Be interesting

You already know what interests you, but you should consider what will interest your followers. Learn about them through research and their own self-promotion so you can find a way to connect their interests with what you have to promote.

2. Be authentic

Share the real you. Say what you truly believe and not what you think others want to hear.  Being likeable helps too. Getting others to promote you openly will actually work even better than talking about yourself. If you can't engage other people to talk about your accomplishment, then maybe it's not worth talking about.

3. Provide value

Value comes in all shapes and sizes from an entertaining story, a lesson, or a simple joke that makes people smile and breaks up their day. Creativity in your delivery may even get people to share your promotion. (See tip No. 2)

Now these skills don't come naturally. You need to practice. So here is your chance. Post your own shameless self-promotion in the comments below and we'll see how many likes it gets by my next column in two weeks. I will send a copy of my new book Video Marketing For Dummies to each poster of the five comments with the highest number of likes and mention the winners in the next column. For those who feel this is a shameless self-promotion on my part just to engage social media activity, I'll invoke Tip #1 and say absolutely, but that doesn't mean it won't be a fun and interesting exercise. (Tip No. 3) So don't be shy. Shamelessly self-promote away!

Oh and to show you I practice what I preach, Here is my quick and funny video for my new Amazon No. 2 Best Seller, which follows all three principles as you'll see. If you like it, please don't hesitate to share it around. (Oops, did it again.)

Last updated: May 11, 2012

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.

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



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