PR for small business

How to Actually #$@$# Promote Yourself (Without Feeling Like a Sleaze Bucket)

getstarted2_2_2-001.jpgAs an entrepreneur, so much marketing, so little time. So it’s easy to put off promoting yourself because, it is like, totally freakin’ scary.

I know. Even I get a little queasy sometimes when it comes time to put myself out there. While I’ve got experience in the trenches doing it for other people, it still can set my teeth on edge and give me a hardcore case of the sweats.

Why? Because it can feel shameless. Look at me, how awesome I am! I am a whip smart, expert ninja rockstar! I instantly think…oh please sit down already.

Normal people ALL feel that way, especially when it comes to building a personal brand. I say “normal” because those of you that love it, I just don’t get you. (I still love you, I just don’t get WHY you’d want to put yourself out there…)

Fact. To play the game, you need to promote yourself. It’s that simple.

[Tweet “To play the game you’ve got to promote. @magspatterson has ideas on how to do it without the ick “]

You need to give your fear a talking to and just get going. (And if you need a pep talk, we’ve got your back over in my The Playground group on Facebook. Join us.)

Where the #$@$# Do I Start?

First things first. You need to start somewhere. So if you are brand new to this whole “promoting” yourself thing, think of it like a pyramid. You are going to start by creating a solid foundation that you can build on over time. Where a local media opportunity leads to bigger things, or your guest post on a niche site helps you work up to the big one you’ve been eyeing up.

Promoting yourself takes patience. I know you want it all RIGHT NOW, but consistency and creating a great personal brand will take time to unfold. No overnight success stories here.

Here’s three of my favorite ways to get started and start putting yourself out there. Use them individually or all together:

Working with Your Local Media

Local media outlets including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio offer you a great way to build your profile. Acting as an expert that can comment on issues, provide timely news and offer story ideas are a great way to secure coverage.

Get to know the key players in your local media market and build relationships so they can use you as a go-to source for information on specific topics. If you are tech expert, you can comment on the latest iPhone or a lawyer can comment on a high profile legal matter. The key is to position yourself as an expert and then be highly responsive to their requests.

Taking the Stage

Getting out there in front of an audience helps you reach new audiences and build connections. Seek out local business or networking organizations and see if they are looking for speakers. Also, keep an eye out for “Calls for Papers” for shows within your industry or in your community.

Once you identify possible places to speak, you will want to develop a series of topics you can address, a summary of about 100 words for each and a short speaker’s bio.

Get Guest Posting

Guest posting is where you get to be the special guest star on a blog by providing them with content that showcases your expertise. Research targets online that accept article or guest posts and look for any writer’s guidelines on their site.

From there, review the publication and then identify stories that would be a fit for their audience. Finally, send the blogger or community manager an email to pitch your idea. Once your pitch is accepted, you’ll need to write the article and submit it. You can learn more about guest posting on my new niche site, called Get Guest Posting.

Pick your poison and get to work! How are you going to promote yourself, share in the comments below? Or if you are already, what’s been most effective?

[Tweet “”3 sleaze free ways to promote you and your business with @magspatterson”]