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Self-Promotion: when is it shameless and when is it shameful?

07/10/2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 12.32.30 AM

A pretty straightforward concept. It’s when one promotes themselves or their ideas so others will take notice. I do it all the time! When you work (or aspire to work) in an industry where image and popularity play a large part in success, it may not be a bad idea to do a little shameless self-promotion since these kinds of industries are the hardest to break into. Talent and/or skill is important but you have to put yourself out there if you want people to see how talented and/or skilled you are. Like I mentioned in my Do I really need to know how to sew? post, I’ve gotten many of my best opportunities and experiences just by incredible luck but others I got through really putting myself out there. For example:

Project Runway: Threads. I wasn’t one of the kids who was approached or recommended for the show by someone else. I found out about it because I was on the mailing list for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, where the show was shot. Now, I never considered applying to FIDM (not that it isn’t a good school, it is, I just was never interested in it) but a while ago, I figured it might be worth putting myself on the mailing list just in case an interesting opportunity should present itself… and it did! I emailed casting a boastful blurb about myself and next thing I know, I’m flying out to Los Angeles to shoot!

– Ragtime. Admittedly, most of my costuming opportunities have come from someone else recommending me (thank you to those who have!) but my most recent one came from sending in an application to a local regional theatre’s costume shop. I got to make a few little contributions to wardrobe, which I’m very excited about, and I look forward to hopefully doing some more there in the future!

SSP is the “elevator pitch,” the business cards, cold calling, the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc. post that says, “Hey! Check this out!”, the mailing list, the link-back to your own site in a comment on someone else’s.

SSP is wonderful but don’t abuse it because shameless self-promotion can easily cross the line into SHAMEFUL self-promotion (or spam.)

DON’T self-promote when it is inappropriate. We’ve all seen that Instagram post about someone’s pet dying or the Youtube video about fatal bullying where some idiot comments something along the lines of, “Click here to settle your debt!” or “Browse my new Etsy shop!” Don’t be that person.

DON’T self-promote when it is irrelevant. Going to a site just to comment, “Hey check out [xyz]!” is not cool. Post whatever you want on your own site but when your on someone else’s, show them a little respect. Even if you don’t care about their content, at least make an effort to pretend that you do if you’re just going to link-back.

DON’T self-promote when it is unwanted. This is like the other two points but more direct. Don’t send a mass email or make a pitch to people who have not given you permission. It’s rude and it makes you look bad.

DO try to be personable. Include the person’s name so they feel less like they’re receiving a generic message. Let them know that you’d genuinely like to keep in touch with them. Thank them for paying attention to you. If you want to go the extra mile, pay them a personal compliment!

DO acknowledge your followers/contacts/customers. Once you’ve made that connection, try to sustain it. If they leave a comment on your page or send you an email, respond. If they’ve done something that benefitted you, thank them and maybe even mention them in a post. If it works with what you do, offer a limited-time discount or have a giveaway. Send them a Christmas card if that’s your thing!

So here’s my question for you: what have you found to be the most effective way to shamelessly self-promote? Feel free to also include what you do/what it is your promoting.

Wiedersehen,

Molly.

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38 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/10/2014 3:46 AM

    Hey there! I nominated you for a Liebster Award if you would like to participate!

    http://giraffestyle.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/609/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 07/10/2014 6:36 AM

    I think the best way to self promote is to put yourself out there and work on your skill and talent and let that speak for itself. Sure, raise your voice, but know that if you’re pitching yourself to people, you should also be good and unique enough to exceed expectations 🙂

    Just try and be modest about it and don’t sound braggy 🙂

    Like

  3. Dania permalink
    07/10/2014 11:01 AM

    Really interesting!!
    Kiss

    NEW POST

    http://www.angelswearheels.com

    Like

  4. 07/10/2014 11:27 AM

    Reblogged this on No Middlemen News Blog.

    Like

  5. 07/10/2014 11:51 AM

    Great article! Self-promoting can be scary & makes you (or at least me!) feel really vunerable but if your content is informative/interesing it usually pays off! I totally agree with being sensitive to the time/place you do it though.

    Like

  6. 07/10/2014 12:01 PM

    Great post!
    Paola

    PollywoodbyPaolaFratus

    Like

  7. 08/10/2014 4:26 AM

    I think that our job and results are the best promotions!
    Fabrizia – Cosa Mi Metto???

    Like

  8. 08/10/2014 7:22 AM

    Great reflection. It´s very interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Kisses
    http://www.omelocotton.com/

    Like

  9. 08/10/2014 8:25 AM

    Great post ,kisses.
    http://www.fashionismylifebyestefania.com/

    Like

  10. mademoiselle mode permalink
    08/10/2014 9:43 AM

    Nice !

    Kisses
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

    Like

  11. 08/10/2014 10:38 AM

    Nice post!!!
    Marina
    http://www.maridress.blogspot.it/

    Like

  12. 08/10/2014 2:44 PM

    Nice article !!

    xx

    http://www.thetrendysurfer.com

    Like

  13. 08/10/2014 3:27 PM

    thanks for this post 🙂
    kisses

    Like

  14. 09/10/2014 6:49 AM

    Nice post!
    Wish you a wonderful Thursday ❤
    xoxo
    New post on my blog: http://www.milanotime.net/fashion/one-love-2/

    Like

  15. Sophia permalink
    09/10/2014 1:44 PM

    Lovely post
    http://sophialastyles.blogspot.co.uk/

    Like

  16. Pru Yeo permalink
    10/10/2014 3:45 AM

    Very useful list to take note! Thanks for the advice.

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.wordpress.com

    Like

  17. 10/10/2014 4:32 AM

    nice post!!!

    http://www.thefashionprincess.it

    Like

  18. 11/10/2014 3:55 AM

    the best things to do is be yourself and think that there’s always something new to know!

    Chiara ~ CHIAWEB.it
    my Instagram

    Like

  19. 11/10/2014 4:57 AM

    It;s great! 🙂
    Have a nice day!
    Angela Donava
    http://www.lookbooks.fr/

    Like

  20. 12/10/2014 5:44 AM

    Really interesting! 🙂
    Have a nice week end!
    Photographer Gil Zetbase
    http://www.gilzetbase.com/

    Like

  21. 13/10/2014 6:22 AM

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before end
    I am reading this enormous piece of writing to increase my know-how.

    Like

  22. 13/10/2014 4:59 PM

    Great article! I think many people don’t know when it is awkward to selfpromote..
    Good advice you gave!

    x Sandra

    http://www.morestylethanfashion.com

    Like

  23. Benedetta permalink
    13/10/2014 5:15 PM

    Nice post!!!
    Be Happy with Fashion

    Like

  24. 14/10/2014 5:18 AM

    Totally agree,

    http://tiffanyodson.wordpress.com/
    Tiff
    X

    Like

  25. 14/10/2014 5:33 AM

    really nice review!! kisses!!

    http://www.rednailsladies.com

    Like

  26. 14/10/2014 11:33 PM

    Amazing post
    Very interesting
    Love the you share this
    Such a wonderful ideas
    xoxo
    http://stunningchic.com/

    Like

  27. 15/10/2014 4:43 AM

    Great job, nice post. xo

    THE PINK INNUENDO

    Like

  28. Andrea jueong permalink
    18/10/2014 4:15 PM

    Self promotion is though, but important for success.I think it depends on the media and time you do it.
    http://www.fabuloustorture.blogspot.com

    Like

  29. 18/10/2014 6:34 PM

    Ahh, people get self promotion so wrong on social media! I hate the random follow for follow comments on instagram, twitter and in blogs!

    Fab post.

    Corinne x

    Like

  30. 20/10/2014 10:21 PM

    Great post! So good to know the difference

    http://girlandthepolkadot.blogspot.com/

    Like

  31. 21/10/2014 9:35 PM

    You know, I can’t tell if the above comments are tongue-in-cheek and I’m just being trolled, or if they’re serious…I know you invited them to share what they’re self promoting, but they seem to have missed the rest of the question!

    I do believe it’s okay to leave your link. Like a signature, people will connect your name/website to what you say in your comments, and this can built up an online presence outside of your own blog. But personally, I want my name associated with quality, not something generic and spammy.

    Your blog is your home, the rest of the blogosphere the streets where you interact. If I were walking the real streets and someone said “Cute outfit!” I would take it as a compliment. If they say “Cute outfit! Hey, by the way, here’s my card, and would you like to buy some cookies today?” I’m instantly turned off.

    As a guest in someone’s home I believe in common courtesy, and as a guest on someone’s blog I believe in at least -pretending- you read the original post. No need to write five paragraphs every time, but if all you want to say is “Cute outfit” there is no reason to leave your link either. It’s okay to just leave a compliment and move on.

    I’m a personal style blogger who likes thoughtful writing and focuses on the artsy/creative side of fashion. My long comments might deter some people, but they probably aren’t the type who would stick around my blog anyway.

    http://www.fineryandmadness.com

    Like

  32. 25/11/2014 3:30 AM

    Great article! thank you so much for the blog and post sharing with us, I appreciate for your informative information.
    However, here my opinion sharing about How do you handle criticism? Every one know criticism not good for our life. so it is better to avoid the impact in our lives. If we discuss to the subject not to needed criticism.

    Like

  33. 13/12/2014 8:11 PM

    Great tips 🙂

    Like

  34. brianatrev permalink
    21/12/2014 9:13 PM

    Give a genuine compliment on a blog and simply leave your website!
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.wordpress.com/

    Like

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