shy PR pro with bag on head

Self-Promotion is Not Evil

Many professionals have a hard time using their professional skills to promote their business. You are bold and confident when doing work for clients but uncomfortable putting those same skills to use to promote yourself and your business. By failing to do PR for yourself, you are missing out on important benefits. Treating yourself like a client allows you to reach the clients you want to have as well as experimenting with tactics that can be used to serve those clients.

This year, it’s time to get over yourself and do your own PR. Put your skills to use for yourself to generate leads, enhance your visibility and establish credibility with your target audience. You can show clients the power of PR by utilizing the same strategies that you propose. Review the known thought leadership tactics below and consider them from a new perspective with you as the client.

Video marketing. If the thought of slogging  over a blog post makes cringe with anxiety,  video marketing is another alternative. Create a video post, start your own series on YouTube, or Facebook live, or do a combination of these. You can get started with a basic camera or phone, a nice backdrop and lighting. Don’t allow the technical details to deter you from getting started. If you like video marketing, you can always upgrade your production as you grow.

Guest posts and bylines. You may not want to maintain your own blog but you can take advantage of guest posting opportunities to showcase your expertise. This could be a combination of PR industry publications as well as those that target your ideal clients. It is a great way to demonstrate leadership and enhance your credibility with clients. Create a targeted list of publications, blogs or other media outlets just as you would for clients. Get additional mileage from your bylines and guest posts by writing an intro paragraph and hosting on your own blog, posting on LinkedIn or even doing a video on the key parts of the post with the link to the original article. Share key takeaways in your email newsletters, and via social media. You will also want to share with clients and prospective clients.  

Content Marketing. You do not have to maintain a regular blog in order to take advantage of writing as a thought leadership activity. Draft a checklist, template or even white paper or a case study that you can share via your website. This allows you to show off your expertise without having to deliver content on a strict schedule. Use a good piece that you’ve written as a lead generator on your website and offer it to people who opt in. No email newsletter list? No problem, sign up for a free account at MailChimp and create a quick and easy opt in form. Even if you do not send out regular emails you can always go back periodically and email the people who have opted in to receive materials.

Speaking. If you like speaking it’s a wonderful way to share your expertise and generate leads for a new business. Don’t limit yourself to industry conferences or engagements but target speaking opportunities that attract your target clients. If you don’t want to go the major speaking route you can always develop small workshops for your target audience. Solo PR Pro, Jennifer Donovan created a series of social media workshops for her target audience. Use your workshops to get in front of your audience. You can customize for specific clients or secure space and market to the public.

Podcast. Start your own podcast or pitch yourself as a guest to other podcasters. Podcasts continue to grow in popularity and are a solid way to reach niche audience segments. If you don’t like writing or speaking in public this is a great alternative. You can even choose to do a podcast on a personal topic of interest, like Solo PR Pro Lisa Gerber, who harnessed her love of the outdoors and created The Gear Show. Engaging in a side passion can also have business benefits and may even open up new avenues of opportunity.

As you know thought leadership requires consistent effort, so choose an activity that you will enjoy doing to build a steady drumbeat of publicity. Develop a thought leadership calendar and put yourself on your own schedule. YOU may just be the best client you’ve ever had!

Talk to us! How do you make sure you treat yourself like a client? What tactics have worked for you? Let us know in the comments or on social media using #solopr.