Self promotion is difficult. Taxing, uncomfortable, and many people avoid it. Which is why my company, FinePoint, works to empower leadership, and particularly women, through PR tactics. (Plus, here's a plug of my own--I have a new bootcamp helping with these fundamentals I'm talking about called Do You But Better.)
There are many opportunities to promote yourself that aren't what you're thinking of. It's not screaming from the rooftops, but rather, a series of tactical actions that are a lot easier than you think. There are also simple tweaks and opportunities to showcase yourself professionally that arguably you could do in the time you spent thinking about what to eat for lunch.
1. How you introduce yourself.
Think about this. I often insert myself when I hear a friend of mine at a networking event or conference introduce herself without actually emphasizing how amazing she is. Sometimes it's appreciated, and well...sometimes I should butt out. You should give a few minutes of thought to how your first impression in a professional scenario can help you. Of course, there's a firm handshake and eye contact--but don't forget to consider your tone of voice. Don't forget to talk about how many people you manage, or a project you're working on that you're really passionate about. "I work in marketing for x company" can easily become "I run marketing at x company and I manage a team of seven. I'm currently working on a project for our new product, x. It's really exciting, here's my card." Big difference.
2. Your Email Signature
What's in your email signature? Sure, you might just think it's what you get when you scroll down. It could be playful, but I see many missed opportunities to insert asks or more information about you in email signatures. You should always link to your personal site if you have one. In mine alone--I have four links--to FinePoint, to my personal site, and to Do You, and to my speakers bio link. Use that space. What's the worst that happens? Someone doesn't click it. Also--don't use a funky font. Not only does it not show up well, but nobody wants to see Comic Sans.
3. Your Social Media
I can guarantee if you look over your Twitter, Linkedin, or Instagram right now there is a spot to plug you and your accomplishments. Also--be sure to update it. An outdated Twitter handle--either with an old blog you ran, or a place you don't work or live anymore is stale and confusing. Plus, the SEO is so good that people will see that if they Google you. Link to you personal site on your Twitter, as well as your Instagram. If you don't have a personal site, link to your LinkedIn. These are easy and visibly places to showcase yourself.
4. In Your Bio
I went into this extensively earlier this week in Harvard Business Review on a piece about how your bio is a tremendous asset that many people actually miss. You can link to important projects. You can talk about a lead you took with an initiative, or discuss all of your awards in one place. Keep it up to date, and scan over your bio right now and HYPERLINK EVERYTHING. It drives me insane to see great bios without something for me to click on. Stop using passive voice, and refer to yourself by your last name, not your first.
5. Business Cards
I will write an entirely separate piece about this because I am very pro business cards. Some people think they are dead. I do not. Plus, it's an excuse to show a fun side of yourself and pack a punch in a memorable way. I remember good business cards, and mine genuinely have an emoji on them. An emoji. I'm not sure how professional that is, but it's never forgotten.