Promoting yourself is one of the hardest jobs in the planet (almost as hard as re-writing your CV). You want people to know who you are. You’ve heard the old proverb
it’s not who you are, it’s who you know
but even so you feel a little dirty when you self-promote.
This morning as I was listening to one of my guilty pleasures (the Good Place podcast), I heard this little nugget
It’s not who you know, it’s who can remember you, and who will think of you [at the right time].
It’s from Kim Wannop, who’s a set decorator on the show.
Promoting yourself feels “wrong”
The issue of self-promotion that I grapple with is that it can feel “wrong”. And because of that I don’t do it enough.
It’s true that every time one of my clients talks to me about changing jobs they say the same thing, especially women.
So how do promote yourself ethically and in a way that isn’t grabby and pushy?
Showing your work – for artists
Firstly, I have to confess that my favourite book on the subject of promoting yourself is Austin Kleon’s Show your Work. It’s all about self-promotion for artists, and I feel good when I read it.
It showed me small things I’m already doing to make sure people can remember me at the appropriate time, and gave me ideas to do more. But it’s for artists, who are making little viewable things all the time (go check out my instagram feed, or any artist’s instagram feed to see what I mean).
Promoting yourself in corporate
If you aren’t an artist what can you do?
Well, I spent a lot of time thinking about this. And as a result I’ve written a book on promoting yourself in corporate. It is mostly checklists and worksheets. It will help you find the right way to promote yourself without feeling dirty. It’s free to download, you don’t even have to sign up to my newsletter (but you can, of course). It’s here.