The Art of Self-Promotion: Creating a Positive Personal Brand

by Michael Corthell

In the current era, we in America have been given many examples of how to promote one's self. But self promotion isn't just for over-the-top narcissists. It is a necessity, as you shall see.

The art of self promotion, and it is indeed an art, is a very valuable skill, especially in a competitive job market, and is generally is the key ingredient in a positive and fulfilling life. Why is that? Because, in order to live that kind of life, we all must first love and encourage ourselves, before we can love and encourage others.

''Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.''
—Samuel Johnson

Elsewhere in this magazine I cover self-confidence, and how to get more of it. That confidence in yourself, and your own ability is the very first thing you need to develop when promoting 'you'.

One of the hardest things to do for those of us who are selling ourselves is having the ability to separate who we really are from who we are as a 'product', or a brand product if you will.

There are two people; There is the real you: an imperfect, fallible human being, warts and all, and then there's the "you" you're selling: the totally cool, awesome, confident super-girl or boy.

You have heard 'fake it 'til you make it' I'm sure. And perhaps you're thinking that faking it is cheating. It is not, it is development by learning how to act the way you want to be, to become all that you can be. Think of the "you" version as a brand, as the superman or woman version of yourself.

Make a list of your best qualities. Dress for positive success, dress the way the super-you would dress. Speak for positive success, talk the way super-you would talk. Be that person. Act it and play it until it becomes part of you.

''All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...''
—William Shakespeare, (from As You Like It)

How best to brand yourself and then sell yourself? Let's see who you are first:

List it! Know Yourself. What are your values? What are you passionate about? How do you operate?

Operative at 100%.  Be at your best. What can you do better? Your goal is to be reaching for your optimum level of performance. Doing your best is more than just negotiating a good deal, or performing as expected. It is also making sure that the experience in any dealings you are a part of are quality experiences for all involved. Did you make the process easy for your client or consumer? Were you easy to reach and communicate with? Did you always maintain a positive attitude?

Build quality business and personal relationships. What does selling yourself actually mean? It means developing solid, trustworthy relationships with people so that they want to do business with you. They want you. They want to work for or with you. They want to refer to you to their friends—AND they want to help you.

Actions speak louder than words. Take the initiative and do it with confidence. Be passionate. Be Patient, Be determined. People see these positive actions either directly or subconsciously.

Know and face your fears. Know ahead of time what blocks you from moving forward. You have nothing to fear, if you have faith in yourself. And that faith comes largely from knowing that you, we and everything in the Universe has a purpose and reason for existing.

Brand: What is YOUR Mark?

Developing a personal brand is very similar to branding a product. The general idea with branding is to make yourself unique in the market so you can reach your goals and objectives, whether it's landing that once in a lifetime job or becoming a celebrated author. Much of this branding process includes: Defining your brand. Positioning your brand from a different angle than your competitors. Managing all facets of your personal brand.

L'Oréal: "Because You're Worth It" Apple: "Think Different" Nike: "Just Do It"

Define what your goal is. Be specific and clearly define your objectives and end game. Is it to become known as the best business manager in a specific industry? Be the best talk show host in entertainment? Become the most revered life coach? Clarity is what you are after.

For God's sake Google it. Research and be a 'know it all'. How are others doing, those who have made it to where you want to be? How do others brand themselves? What can you learn from them? Who's your competition and what are they doing about branding themselves?

What makes your brand your brand? What message do you want your personal brand to transmit? What adjectives do you want people to know you by and why? What is your specific market?

What is your current brand? How do people perceive you right now? How far do you have to go to bridge the current 'you' and the new 'you'? What do you need to change and why?

Develop and execute your game plan. The process should include more than just branding yourself within social media. Your personal brand needs to have and include all aspects of 'you', as a 'product'. When you define your brand plan, you need to include the tangibles and the intangibles. Tangibles include how you look: characteristics clothes, hair, makeup(if any). Intangibles: over-all personality, general public behavior, the way you speak and your body language. The personal aspects of 'you' must also be translated to your web site and your associated social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter etc. Also do not neglect a LinkedIn type account.

'You' management. Effectively and efficiently manage your developed brand. Stay on top of your brand; nurture it like a growing child. Pro-actively manage all aspects of your brand, making sure that these aspects are coordinated and in sync to ensure that they continue to reinforce your brand attributes and specific market.

Finally, be consistent. Do not send out conflicting messages to the public. People have to know what to expect from the ''YouBrand''.

The Art of Self-Promotion
by Lizz Smoak

Lizz is a Personal Brand Strategist, motivational speaker and award-winning lifestyle entrepreneur. She reaches budding entrepreneurs through her 1 on 1 coaching programs spanning 4 continents and leads dynamic training programs, like her flagship branding course, Be The Brand Academy. The 8-week online course teaches individuals to succeed in business by developing their own personal brand. “A lifestyle entrepreneur is a passionate individual who supports an untethered lifestyle with a profitable business run completely online.” Lizz teaches her students and clients how to scale their business globally by using their own skills, passion, knowledge and a laptop.