Sunday, February 12, 2012

Self Promotion; Why it's Imperative! - Guest Blogger - Dr. DeShawndre Bridley


Social Media is one of the greatest vehicles for driving your brand. Social media connects people to people, people to business, and people to ideas. Therefore, it is no surprise that many use social media as the primary source of advertisement, promotion, and brand building.

For years, I've frequented message boards for information on hair care, news, entertainment, and peer interactions. I happened upon one of the biggest brands in social media last year (Twitter -late I know). Since then, I am forever changed. I've had the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the world's biggest celebrities, obtain freelance opportunities, attend A-list events, and connect with people near and far. It is on Twitter that I met Dr. DeShawndre Bridley affectionately known as Shawn.

Shawn and I have a few common Twitter pals, and coincidentally one real life pal, so of course, I had to follow her. She is the culmination of wit, humor, intellect, and common sense. She gives lessons of life within 140 characters. By trade, she's a pharmacist, by day a pharmacy administrator, and by social media, an unconventional personality that engages the masses for hours. On her blog, she gives pertinent information on the diversification of your brand, free entrepreneurial eCourses - GoalDiggger,  and creating multiple streams of income.

Below is Dr. Bridley's article on Self Promotion. I find that it is extremely relevant to bloggers, small businesses, and those who wish to montenize their brand.
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To many of you, self promotion can seem narcissistic. However, I am here to argue that self promotion is not only effective but IMPERATIVE.  If you follow me on twitter you may know that I received a promotion (from staff pharmacist to pharmacist in charge) within my professional career about a month ago. I attribute it largely to my knack for keen and calculated self promotion. Self promotion is likely THE MOST important tool in both your business and your career. It is simply not enough to sit back and wait for a client or boss to notice a job well done.  In order to succeed in your career and/or business you must be comfortable with talking about your accomplishments and positive characteristics.  There are many reasons to be a self promoter, but in my case, I faced a partner within the company I work for who was bad mouthing me and even went as far as to give me a mediocre performance review.  Most of my colleagues may have been okay with receiving an “average” performance rating but for the work I do I simply was not willing to take a mediocre review lying down.  To make a VERY long and convoluted story short, this individual had been “throwing me under the bus” in an effort to draw attention away from his own shortcomings.  By being a “self promoter” I was able to counter his negativity and show my boss that I was indeed deserving of an above average rating which resulted in me receiving a promotion despite the negative efforts of my former colleague who was later let go from the company.
Self promotion is directly linked to your advancement within your profession, your growth as a small business owner and frankly it is linked to your MONEY.  By knowing when and HOW to effectively “brag” about your strong suits, accomplishments or why someone should choose your company over a competitor, you have the ability to add to your bottom-line.

The KEYS to self promotion are a) actually be GREAT (not just good) at something and b) be comfortable with telling others (in a non pushy or non arrogant manner) that you are GREAT at it.  Over time this builds credibility and piques interest from superiors and potential clients.  Even if people do not believe you, they are more likely to pay attention to you just to see if you really ARE who you say you are. It’s up to you to prove that you are.
A couple of  great, FREE self promotion platforms for your business:
  • A targeted personal or business blog – WordPress is an awesome choice if I do say so myself.  By targeted I mean that you stick to a core theme within your niche not just blogging about what you did over the weekend (unless your niche is tied into that).  I recommend getting into the habit of blogging at least twice per week.
  • Social media (Google +, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter) are awesome free platforms to engage potential clients within your niche and promote your business, services and products.
Self promotion tips for those climbing the career ladder:
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YOUR BOSS. I find that many of my colleagues avoid the district managers and other executives like the plague and only approach them when there is a problem. This is the WRONG approach. Establish a working relationship with your superiors.  Get to know the traits they find favorable in their subordinates. Do a great job and be able to discuss what it is you bring to their table.
  • Review and update your resume and CV quarterly as a reminder to yourself of all of the knowledge and skills you have attained. This is the ultimate confidence booster.  It felt awesome to add “Certified Immunizing Pharmacist” to my resume a while back, yet another skill that I’ve acquired in my career that can influence my pay and promotions.
  • Keep a “brag file.” Not every manager or team member is going to notice your abilities. In my case someone noticed my abilities, grew intimidated by them and attempted to sabotage me because of them.  Starting today, keep a file of any projects you headed, any ideas you shared that became policy or resulted in a change in policy or resulted in increased sales.  If you work in a service industry like I do, when a patient or customer gives you a stellar review encourage them to communicate that to your superiors, by filling out a comment card or sending an email to your superiors.
Gone are the days where you could sit back, do a great job and be noticed. Now, you MUST be comfortable with tooting your own horn from time to time. Go ahead, try it!  If you have any stories of how self promotion helped you grow your business or advance in your career, please share!!!!
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Many thanks to Dr. Deshawndre Bridley for sharing her wisdom.

8 comments:

First, Twitter has been such an effective networking tool for me as well, as I have had the pleasure of meeting some dynamic individuals. Second, I am a firm believer in the art of self promotion. Since entering corporate America, I have become well aware that if I do not promote myself in the workplace, than I am essentially leaving my professional destiny in the hands of someone else. I also realize that self promotion take practice, and is a skill that constantly needs nurturing. Thanks for introducing us to the importance of this skill!

Very good post. I think a lot of people have a problem with self promotion they don't know how to go about doing it the right way or they may be scared of the outcome.

ah, i somehow missed your tweet about your promotion. congrats, r! you're an intelligent woman, and i believe you'll go far. :) your posts are always inspiring, and i admire you for being such a smart woman. :) self-promotion is definitely necessary. hope you're having a great wknd!

xoxo
jasmine

This post was right on point because I find my self many/plenty of time promoting others and YET forget about myself!!!! I am working diligently on promoting ME more!!!! YESSSSS!!!! Taking advantage of the social networking!!!!

Thanks for this post!!!!

Thank you Doc!!! I think woman must get comfortable with discussing our positive attributes. Studies have shown that this is why men still out earn us in many positions. Even the most mediocre man, is able to go into an interview and tell a prospective employer why he is the person for the job and why they should pay him what he asks. Woman have to catch up and not be sheepish about our awesome qualifications.

awesome suggestions adn ideas Doc!! thanks for sharing!

Great post! Just like Lalynn said I find myself tooting other people's horns and not mine. I might want to go full court press on promoting myself so my business to grow. Thanks for sharing Shawn info with us!

This post is from last year but it is STILL filled with great information. Thank you for sharing.

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