I apologize for being a bit late to the party with my latest article. I've actually been vacationing with my family in Orlando - the first real vacation I've taken since starting my business in September 2007. In fact, I've even stepped away from my laptop for several hours each day and I have to admit, it does feel a bit liberating. While I had never planned on heading to Florida this time of year, I have the folks at Disney to thank since they invited me to the red carpet premiere of the American Idol Experience featuring more than a dozen Idols including all the winners, plus a performance by David Cook and Carrie Underwood! There, I met the members of Disney's Moms Panel
- who know everything and anything about Disney and can give you tips on all the great deals, hotels, food and rides too. To catch a glimpse of my American Idol Experience, you can click here
Now after I've done a little shameless self promotion, on to the topic du jour - the do's and don'ts of Self Promotion...I'm sure most of you fall into the humble category but if you don't, there's still time to change your ways and make your mark!
I have been in the business of promoting people for a very long time. And during that time, I have met an eclectic group of celebrities, authors and entrepreneurs. Some, are the kindest, humblest and inspiring people I know. And for those individuals, I would go to the ends of the earth to pitch their story or protect them when the chips were down. But then there are others whose egos were as big as a city block who were unappreciative, demanding and did not value my time or efforts. So now here's my question to you my budding writers, entrepreneurs and parenting experts? Take a good hard look at how you've been promoting yourself and tell me, which category do you fit into? Humble or egomaniac?
In this article, I'm going to give you some tips on how to promote yourself to others without making them think you are completely full of yourself. And trust me, sometimes it's hard to separate the two if you are passionate about what you're doing. But it is important to not cross over the line. And if you do, here are some do's and don'ts that'll help you avoid the pitfalls of self promotion.
1. DON'T: Look Out for #1 and Leave Others in the Dust - this is a classic scenario. You have just helped someone get ahead and rather than thank you for your support, they use the opportunity to further their own agenda and prevent you from getting ahead. Recently, a friend told me a story of someone she helped get a booking on a local TV news show. The woman was supposed to be paired that morning with a male counterpart that she was supposed to bring with her, but the day of her appearance, she failed to tell the producer that the other guest wasn't coming and appeared on the show by herself. The producer was livid. While the guest thought she'd be the shining star, she instead shot herself in the foot. If you promise you're going to deliver one thing and then choose to promote yourself instead without being upfront about it, you will never be asked back. Be honest and don't step on the toes of the people who help you succeed.
2. DO PROMOTE BUT DON'T BOAST: Self promotion is a two way street. If you are the type of person who only wants to talk about yourself and not take advice or listen to other people's stories about how they've built their brand, launched a product line or successfully published books, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Share your success story and then listen and offer advice to someone else - helping other like minded women like yourself is a sure fire way to gain respect and get ahead.
3. DON'T: GET BOGGED DOWN BY YOUR COMPETITOR'S SUCCESS: Now, here's a tough scenario. You have a direct competitor and it drives you crazy that they're getting all kinds of great press and you're not. What are they doing that you're not doing? If you take that jealousy and then speak out against your competition, the only business you are hurting is yourself. Though they may be ahead at the moment, if you take the high road and focus on your strengths, trust me, you will succeed. It's great to know what your competitor is doing so that you can forge ahead and think of ways that you can be better, stronger and more innovative.
For those of you who fall into the "Humble" category, all I can say is keep doing what you're doing. You have managed to handle your success in stride while being grateful to those who have helped you get there. I don't think I ever would have ventured out on my own without the support and encouragement I received from the incredible women and men in my life who have led me to amazing opportunities and rolled up their sleeves to help me when that boulder I was rolling up Success Hill felt like it was 10,000 pounds.
For those of you who have that mentor who has helped you succeed or advance in your career, be grateful, thank them and share what you've learned with other women as well. If we're all in this together, there's no telling what we can accomplish.