If you ask 100 people what personal branding is, you’ll get 100 different answers. But the answer we’re going with is that it is an emotional response to the image or name of a particular company, product, or person.
What Is Personal Branding?
You want to create the right kind of emotional response when people search for you online, when they hear your name or communicate with you.
A positive emotional response is what branding yourself helps to achieve.
Your personal brand should reflect who you are, your personality, your voice, your interests, your habits, everything about you that you want people to know. This means that the information you show to other people, the things you say, and the photos you post should all fit within that theme of your personal brand.
What Is Self-Promotion?
The goal of self-promotion is to increase your visibility, increase traffic to your website, increase sales and get more speaking opportunities, exhibitions and gigs, more of whatever you are looking for.
Self-promotion is just what the name implies: you promote yourself, your events, your work, your accomplishments, lessons that you have learned, your victories and even your defeats.
Promoting yourself can get you even more opportunities which in turn you can tell people about and thus creating a virtuous circle.
Self-promotion is also called branding yourself, because that’s actually what it has become. You need to think of yourself as a brand, just like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Google, or Facebook.
Why Is Self-Promotion Important?
You can’t count on people calling you out of the blue to hire you, buy your service, or book you for an event if they don’t know about you. The only way to get people to know who you are and what you do is to tell them. And you want to tell as many people as you can who are actually interested.
Self-promotion can help you make those important connections that will further your career and improve your professional standing. It can be as simple as introducing yourself to the organizer of a conference and telling her you are interested in speaking at her next conference, or it can be as involved as writing a book or two and then spending a day emailing every conference organizer you can to get as many speaking deals as you can.
What Self-Promotion Is Not
Self-promotion is not bragging or boasting. It’s just letting people know who you are and what you do. In today’s online world is more than perfectly acceptable to promote yourself. People are going to be out promoting themselves and their personal endeavors and small businesses. If you’re not, you’re missing good opportunities, and others are going to beat you in the competition. They’re going to sell their art, get their speaking gigs, get more web traffic, or whatever they’re competing with you for.
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