Our perceptive, observant sidebar bartender, money guy, JohnFTM has noticed, the same thing I have
you can’t swing a cat in the popular blogosphere without hitting a few clumsy attempts at self-promotion . . .
This situation is not just a problem for those of us who have to listen. It’s a problem for those of us who don’t know what it is about shameless self-promotion that makes it shameless, ineffective, and well, if not outright offensive, then certainly intrusive and unwelcome.
We need to know how to recognize shameless self-promotion so that we can sort it from self-promotion that serves our business. If we can’t tell the two apart, then we’ll always be afraid to talk about what we do. A business that goes undiscussed is a business that has no clients. A business with no clients is either a hobby or it doesn’t exist.
What Makes It Shameless?
Most of us need our businesses to be visible, booked with customers, and making money to pay the rent. With that in mind, we should know the traits of shameless self-promotion — so we can feel safe when we talk about what we do with prospective clients.
Here are some traits and tactics of shameless self promotion.
- Shameless self-promoters focus on mentioning the business continuously, as a name dropper might mention famous people.
- Every conversational response is a talking point about what the shamelessly self-promoted business can do for the listener.
- A shameless self-promoter will sometimes forget to acknowledge that other information has been added to the conversation and will talk right past that information with the features of the business being promoted.
- Shameless self-promoters are rarely listening for the purpose of solving the problems or meeting the needs of prospective customers. Their goal is to sell their product or service needed or not.
- Shameless self-promoters can turn any topic into a sales pitch.
- Shameless self-promoters live to move forward their own agenda. They invest in others only as a last resort to meet their goal.
The shameless part is the total disregard for others. In other words, Shameless Self-Promoters see only the game — not the relationship or the other person’s needs. Shameless self-promoters are focused on getting, not giving. Just now, a friend on the phone said that he had quit hanging around with a guy who became an affiliate marketer, because the guy couldn’t quit selling.
Most folks I know couldn’t shamelessly self-promote, no matter what you paid them. We’re so sensitive to shameless self promotion we don’t ever want to be seen that way. So we always stand as far from that image as we possibly can. Sadly the result is that we often choose instead the other extreme — not to talk about our work at all
I’m planning a post or two in which we can talk about how to talk about what we do without feeling like we’re shamelessly self-promoting.
What do you want me to be sure to include?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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