The world is full of larger-than-life personalities. LeBron. Gaga. Trump … heck, even YouTube celebrities. These people seem to magnetically attract the spotlight, and they thrive in it. It’s as if they were always meant to be famous.
Then there are the rest of us.
So what do you do if you’ve got something to say or sell, but aren’t the attention-seeking type? Here are a few ideas from my journey you can try if you hate marketing yourself.
1. “Sing your own song.”
Back in high school, I volunteered as the music leader for my church youth group. One of my responsibilites was to pick the songs we used, some of which happened to be ones that I wrote. Despite the very public role, I was shy, quiet, and hated drawing attention to myself.
Problem is many of my songs were well-received, and people often asked me what album they were on. So what did I do?
Kind of crazy, right?
That’s how much I avoided self-promotion. I didn’t want to be seen as arrogant, or do anything to toot my own horn. When asked, I told people I didn’t know what album they were from. I figured that was less of a lie since they weren’t on any albums at all!
That all changed when I went to a conference. I talked briefly with a well-known songwriter and asked him how to get over this weird struggle.
He said, “Mike, sing your song! No one will do it for you. If it’s good, it will ‘grow legs’ and get out there. If not, no big deal. But you’ve got to take the first step in putting it out there to give it a chance.”
That was one of my earliest lessons in “marketing” and it remains with me ’til this day. Like the saying goes, if you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music.
Your first step might be as simple as sharing your service on Facebook. Perhaps it’s starting a blog or YouTube channel. The key is you — yes, YOU! — have to take the first step to put it out there.
2. Think about who will miss out.
Years ago, I was given the chance to speak at a large gathering for high school students. I was a nervous wreck … if you ever want the fast-track to improving your public speaking, sign up to speak in front of high schoolers!
I had a few ideas on what to talk about, but eventually ditched the safe and polished topics and shared about my difficulties growing up in a divorced and abusive home environment.
The response was unbelievable. There was a line of kids waiting to just chat with me, many of whom said, “Thanks for sharing your story, I don’t feel alone in what I’m going through now.” It took some guts to be so open about my life, but it resulted in impact. I know because some of them still keep in touch.
Who will miss out if you don’t share your story, service, or offer? Focus on that person, not your fear of self-promotion.
3. Let media do the job of marketing for you.
By “media” I mean content that blesses or benefits your potential customers in a way that simultaneously promotes you.
For example, I am a marketing consultant and copywriter. But I utilize various media channels like my blog, podcast, and the occassional video to share helpful insights. These media pieces aren’t ads that shout, “Hire Mike Kim today! 100% satisfaction guaranteed!” Yet they:
- get me recognition to a targeted audience
- position me as a credible expert in my field
- result in product sales or paid contracts
These pieces of media content are doing the job of marketing. This is known as content marketing, and it’s the greatest news for people that hate marketing themselves!
This doesn’t mean business will come your way all the time. Rejection is the by-product of marketing. Keep doing it anyway, and realize it’s part of the territory in putting yourself out there.
This week, share something useful either online or in-person with a friend. That one act alone will shape people’s perception of you. Do it long enough, and you’ll see the same three things that happened to me begin to happen in your life.
Want to work with me?
A week from the publication of this blog post, I will be starting my first accelerated program on building a profitable personal brand, called “Launch Brand You.”
At the end of 7 weeks, Launch Brand You students will walk away with:
- clarity on their target market and unique selling proposition
- detailed marketing strategy for the next six months to one year
- professionally edited copy for their sales and bio pages
- professionally designed logo by design guru Jason Clement (his work includes Cold Stone Creamery and Cici’s Pizza)
- pricing structures that result in a profitable bottom line
- hours of saved time, money, and frustration from trying to figure this out alone
Who this is for: people who speak, coach, and serve and want to make greater impact and income.
Question: How do you feel about marketing yourself? Like it? Hate it?
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