When should I start promoting myself?

black woman with pupils in classroom

Aww shucks. Promoting yourself. Isn’t that… Marketing… eek. When should you start promoting yourself, your idea, your product, your business. In this post I’ll look into why you probably should have started yesterday.

When should I start promoting myself?

As an introvert, I’ve always been the shy one at the party. At gatherings I often don’t say much – I’m crowded out by the more confident speakers in the room.

Sound familiar? I’m the same when it comes to writing on this blog and I’m guessing maybe you are too. I like writing, I find it therapeutic – but shouting about what I’m writing (and video recording) is hard.

It’s HARD.

The blockers for me are:-

  • What will my friends and family think if they read this, or if they see a video I’ve done?
  • What about my co-workers – will they think I’m languishing?
  • What will my employer think? (luckily, creating open content for the web is strongly encouraged).

So the “when” can be in your head. You’ll do it tomorrow. You’ve not got enough content to share, it’s not good enough. Tomorrow’s post will be better and more share-worthy.

The truth is.. you probably should have started yesterday. Close the closet on those demons and start showing your work. Start today.

How can I promote, without being spammy?

man wearing brown suit jacket mocking on white telephone
Promote yourself without cold-calling.

There’s so many places to be able to promote yourself offline and online. There’s even a place for those cold DMs on Twitter. I won’t be writing about paid advertising – just natural places you could look to promote your idea.

“Offline” promotion

Did I tell you I once ordered 5,000 A6 flyers for my Excel Consulting business? No. That’s because I’d completely forgotten about it. But I did blog about it in 2011. Heck, I even used Blogger to “Blog” my idea – check out my posts here.

My venture into offline promo

Why did I start blogging on blogger – it was even before I’d published my first eBook. I’d watched “The Social Network” about a million times and loved the Facemash scene where he blogged his progress. So I did the same.

Today has been a good day for EXCEL-lence, the social network was partly watched and hopefully, one day I might be something like that..  could I rival facebook – I doubt it very much….

Naive Mike

But, through that phase I did dabble with offline promotion through flyers. I figured I’d drop them through the letter box of the town I was in and hopefully pick up some consulting gigs on how to use Excel better.

Spoiler: It didn’t work for me – but that doesn’t mean it won’t for you. Here’s some ideas for offline promotion:-

  • Flyers – if you’re a local florist, or local business these would work great for getting awareness. Take-aways do this a lot as well.
  • Networking – These are a bit harder to come by post-pandemic but find meet ups of like minded people and hang out.
  • Co-Working – Join a co-working place. Work on your idea / business there and seek some collaboration.

Online promotion

Welcome to my wheel-house. I’ve written a checklist for you to follow covering all stages of bringing a new idea to market. It covers the following:

  • Idea stage
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Development stage
  • Pre Launch
  • Launch
  • Advertising (including paid)

Download the Launch Checklist

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Ok – shameless plug aside. When it comes to promoting your idea online – here’s my top places and some tips on each:-

  • Twitter – I’m getting back into Twitter. It’s hard to get a lot of traffic from Twitter to your site without resorting to DM’ing.
  • Reddit – Find some subreddits and start sharing your content in a helpful way.
  • Quora – Find someone asking a question about something you know about and pop a useful answer on there.
  • LinkedIN – If you’ve got a business you want to promote, try some articles on there and build a network.
  • Courses – Join a cohort course, make friends with other people on that course and start sharing each others content.
  • Facebook – It always has a place because the userbase is massive.

Why should I even bother?

Not bothering is the party equivalent of standing in the corner of the room and talking to the wall. You might be saying amazing things – but no ones there to listen. No one cares.

My goal is to teach everything I know, and hopefully help you on your journey. Maybe you’re where I was when I quit my job and started my own business. Perhaps you’ve reached a level of growth and looking to be acquired. I’ve been there, done that and worn the t-shirt.

Check out my t-shirt.

You could be in the “older generation” like me (does 38 count?) and been catapulted from office work to working from home / remotely. I’ve been doing the whole “remote work” since 2016 and I’ve picked up plenty of useful “hacks” along the way.

Or maybe you’re just starting out (like I am with my YouTube Channel in 2022) and want to learn directly what’s working, what’s not and how I’m not giving up.

If I don’t start to promote this content, I’m still standing in the corner of the room – worried about what all the cool kids might think. Are you one of those cool kids? Come talk to me, share my content and help me get my message out there.

Either way, shared or not shared – I’m hopeful there’s something in my journey that you can relate to and I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. When did you start promoting yourself, how do you do it and what barriers did you need to overcome to get there?

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