When building a brand, sharing your success is an important part of generating interest, support and excitement. The challenge, however, is doing so without coming off as boastful or outright obnoxious.
If you're telling others about a milestone, award or other form of recognition--or posting about it online--you want to do so in a way that triggers a positive response. This can be especially tricky on social media, where your followers can't rely on your vocal tone or facial expressions to prove your authenticity.
There's an art to the humble brag. If done properly, it can catapult your brand to new heights. Here are three principles to keep in mind when engaging in this type of self-promotion.
There's a football phrase fans and coaches often use when players perform excessive celebrations: "Act like you've been there before." Don't get me wrong, it's exciting to receive an award or recognition, but over-celebrating your own success can make it less likely that others will share your enthusiasm.
By showing grace and appreciation, you're more likely to draw a positive response. If you won an award, for example, be thankful to the publication or organization that recognized you. When posting online, be sure to mention the organization issuing the recognition and use any appropriate hashtags. Then, take time to acknowledge other award winners and those who may have competed against you.
One of the top cops on Twitter, Kansas State Trooper Ben Gardner, nailed it with this thank you video after winning the Motorola Solutions Best International Account from the Police Twitter Awards.
When you generate other forms of publicity and media attention, remember to stay cool and humble. Although you may feel like a celebrity in the moment, acting like one can turn supporters against you quickly.
We all have key people in our lives who have contributed to our success, so when you promote your success, it's important to give credit where credit is due.
A great example is this tweet from Air Canada, where they allowed a whole flight crew to share in the recognition they earned.
By sharing credit, you not only make others feel appreciated, but you encourage them to promote your success. You also increase the likelihood that they'll continue supporting you and cheering your success in the future.
Also, when you win an individual honor or achievement, show appreciation for the people who got you there. Thank your family, mentors, employees and other key people in your life for their contributions to your success.
If you're the only one who is publicly excited about your achievements, it comes off as boastful. This is especially true when promoting your success on social media.
If you humble brag on social media and nobody likes or comments on it, it can actually have a negative impact on your brand. It tells the public that nobody cares. Driving engagement to these posts should start from within your team.
Build a culture where your colleagues are your biggest brand advocates, where they enthusiastically and publicly congratulate each other on their success. From there, this approach can have a ripple effect, prompting others to be excited about and engaging with your achievements.
Also, be sure to support the success of others. If you congratulate other contacts and connections on their success, they'll be more likely to return the favor when you're promoting your own success.
It seems like a simple concept, but there's a nuanced complexity behind the art of self-promotion. Humble bragging is the best way to tout new accolades, while also keeping your brand as well received by your followers, industry, community and extended networks.