Top 5 tips for self-promotion
Article by Lucy Werner, founder of The Wern PR
Working directly with entrepreneurs day-to-day, I can’t help but pick up on the infectious passion that they have for their business. Their palpable energy and persona are the soul of the business and the perfect tone that you should be using for promotion. Consumers engage with the people behind brands because it helps them to understand how that brand fits with their own identity. If you are feeling camera shy or not sure where to start, here are some tactics to learn how to hype yourself:
Tell us a bit about yourself
There is a reason that Cilla Black asked her guests to tell us a bit about who they were before they’d even started pitching for a Blind Date. It immediately set the scene for a connection.
When you think of successful entrepreneurs, we all know something personal about them such as Richard Branson likes flying hot air balloons. So, don’t just use your business narrative to pitch to journalists, think about what sets you apart. If you were to be featured in a Real-Life article what is it that makes you individually interesting?
To give you an example, outside giving publicity advice or talking about my own business, I have been featured in the media talking about shared parental leave, family-friendly travel and homeopathy. All of these give me an opportunity to share a bit about my personality, the articles tend to link to my company plus it’s new content for my audience and wider network to connect with me on.
Celebrate the highs and the lows
It’s a given that we learn the most from our failings. Sharing these doesn’t make you seem weak or stupid it humanises you. In fact, the most engaged posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are the ones where people are sharing the difficult times. So yes, absolutely share your business highs but don’t put too much of a positivity gloss and include a bit of both.
Think about what business challenges you have overcome and the lessons that other people could learn from. Giving back to the entrepreneur community in this way isn’t just helpful, it’s good practice.
Use your authentic voice
It is immediately apparent to most people when a social media feed is looked after by an agency and when it is the real business owner. Try to avoid jargon and speak as you would to a mate in the pub. I often read quotes saying “I am delighted, I am thrilled, I am excited” – I can genuinely say when anyone is that happy, they NEVER say this. Whenever I get a bit sweary or ranty on LinkedIn is when I get the most engagement, which generally is when the new connections and new business opportunities arise. Authenticity cuts straight through the overcrowded social media and gains way more traction than a post spouting off about aligned brand values.
Invest in decent photography and write a decent (short) bio
When pitching CEO’s as experts for reactive comment, writing opinion pieces, pitching to be on a panel or blog post, the first thing a lot of journalists need is a professional headshot and a biography.
People will not use a picture of you stood against a toilet door from five years ago, and your image is an integral part of your brands' personality. You are your most important client, invest in some decent photography and update it regularly and get a range of shots too. You don’t want the same photo circulated for five years it will date quickly, particularly in the visual era we live in.
And biographies –less is more. It doesn’t need to be 500 words long and includes everything from your first job to date. One paragraph only please and keep it short, concise and to the point. These are essentials of any media toolkit that should be on point before you start any publicity.
Make the time to network
Go on your own to an event, pitch to host an event, speak to other panellists at events. This isn’t just for those that directly relate to your industry; there are hundreds of networking events across the country which are a fabulous way to make new connections.
Pitching to be on panels, host workshops or give guest talks is a great way to show off your expertise and meet new people. It’s all about your contact’s contacts.
Whether you are a b2b service or a b2c product, there has never been a more critical time to self-promote. We are seeing even larger companies shifting towards this trend, but entrepreneurs are lucky in that they have the agility and personality to become their own content creators easily. Be one of the first people to take advantage of this shifting trend.