The past few weeks, several bloggers have written posts about self-promotion, Dressful, Grit and Glamour, Miss Vinyl Ahoy and several more. Self-promotion has always played a key factor to building your blog, but lately, it seems that bloggers are looking for a new way to promote themselves. This week, after almost three years of the forums, IFB had to enact our first-ever set of rules due to a swarm of ‘follow me' self-promotional threads in the forums. It was so out of control, the real content, content that contains actual information was drowned out in a sea of ‘me.' One would have to question the effectiveness of posting links to websites in the hopes that it would generate a awareness and traffic. Because it were that simple, we would have easier jobs!
It's not just bloggers, companies face this problem all the time with their marketing and advertising. They believe all that's needed is to get the message out that they exist and the public will jump for joy. In reality, the only successful campaigns have one thing in common, they provide something useful.
How do you really promote yourself?
Without a real message, self-promotion is just noise. Find something to promote which you believe in, and don't worry about the rest as there's always a new gimmick to help “promote yourself.” Right now, there's the whole SEO vs. Social Media debate as Facebook and Google fight for the #1 spot (I've always fared better with social media, though not Facebook). There's email marketing, link roundups, commenting, blog rolls, Twitter, Facebook, networks, link-bait posts, advertising, giveaways, guest posting, press releases, real life networking and the list can go on. Seriously, as long as there are two people on Earth, the possibilities for self-promotion are endless, but only if you're promoting something the other person can use will they remember you.
The best way to effectively promote yourself is not by promoting yourself, create value by doing something to help another person. Helping other people comes in all forms: by bringing them a smile to their face, by listening, giving access to a world they can't get to, helping them feel better that minute, help save them money, or help them spend it… There are infinite of way to help people with blogging, so keep in mind, people generally think about themselves. If you bring them an experience to help them, they'll be more apt to share with others.
By all means, tell people what you do! But at the core of your message, make sure it has value to another person. Before you hit publish, before you click send, tweet, update, before you say anything about your business, ask yourself:
How is my message useful to others?
Image by ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser