by Debbie Allen
“If you don’t toot your own horn, you can’t enjoy the music!”
– Debbie Allen
When a friend of mine, Larry James, first stated, “I’m a shameless self promoter,” I laughed, thinking that his comment was funny. Then I thought for a moment, and I realized that I’m a shameless self-promoter, too. I had just never thought of my marketing approach as being SHAMELESS before that day. I’m always looking for opportunities to market my products and services.
Not only do I look for opportunities everywhere … I ACT upon them quickly too. Few marketing opportunities slip by me unnoticed. I just keep on marketing and promoting and doing whatever it takes to be successful in business.
Self-promotion, when done effectively, works for ANY business or career. Once you begin to implement the proven marketing strategies shared in this book…it’s EASY to be successful in anything you set your mind to. In fact, when you promote yourself over and over again, you will begin to enjoy it more, and it will reward you many times over in return.
Is being SHAMELESS a bad thing?
No, not unless it’s shameless to believe in something so much that you want to tell everyone you meet. Not unless it’s shameless to have such a passion for what you do that you believe you would be doing your prospects a disservice if you didn’t get out there and promote yourself.
No, it’s simply GOOD MARKETING!
After writing this book, I started giving keynote presentations around the world on the topic of Shamelessly Successful Self-Promotion. When presenting, I ask my audiences this question, “How many of you feel comfortable promoting yourself, your business and what you do, at any given opportunity? In fact, you might even say that if given the opportunity, you will even speak to strangers in elevators?”
Very few hands go up. I’ve surveyed thousands of business people in nine countries around the world with same this question. It doesn’t matter if the audience is mostly male or female, or what country I am presenting in, people have pretty much the same limited belief system about self-promotion.
I shockingly discovered that an average of 87% of the thousands of business people I’ve survey did NOT feel comfortable promoting themselves and avoided it MOST of the time.
In business we understand that if we don’t promote and market we can’t be successful. Right? No matter how great your service is or what amazing value you offer, if prospects don’t know about you, you’re not going to win the opportunity to do business with them.
Therefore, if you don’t promote yourself … it goes against the grain of all sales and marketing success! Right?
Maybe you have the same belief that the majority of my audience attendees do too. If so, you DON’T feel comfortable promoting yourself either … much less doing it shamelessly.
Well let me tell you what the word SHAMELESS means in Debbie Allen’s dictionary … Looking for opportunities everywhere to promote yourself in the service of others!
In the service of others? Now does that sound self-serving, pushy or intrusive? No! Serving others well is what good business is all about.
Much of what we believe to be true about self-promotion comes from past programming that dates all the way back to childhood. When you were growing up you were told, “It’s not polite to talk about yourself. It will come across as pushy or rude.” We were taught not to speak up by our parents, teachers or both.
Too many of us have 10, 20, 30 or more years of negative and/or limited beliefs rattling around in our heads about the concept of self-promotion. These limiting and negative beliefs have been programmed into our subconscious minds for years.
What were your parents, teachers or guardians like when you were growing up? Did they believe in promoting themselves? Did they promote your self-esteem to believe that you could do anything you set your mind to? Were they risk-takers or were they conservative?
We usually hate to admit it, but we are all creatures of habit, especially when habits have been programmed into our brains since childhood.
Some people are so conditioned against self-promotion they are closed minded about it; no matter how much it might benefit them. Now, I don’t expect you to change your belief over night, but you can start by opening your mind to believing differently about self-promotion from this day forward.
Why believe differently? Because you can’t be truly successful if you aren’t willing to let people know that you, your product and/or services exist? If you aren’t willing to promote your talents, expertise and products, others will quickly pass you by. The world is not going to beat a path to your door unless you pave the way.
Resenting self-promotion is one of the greatest obstacles to success.
Most people who have an issue with the concept of self-promotion often have an issue with themselves and/or what they are selling. Therefore, it is difficult for them to imagine that other people would believe so strongly in their value too. That is why so few people ever reach their peak success potential in life.
If limiting beliefs and/or fear hold you back from promoting yourself, I have good news for you today. The good news is that you can change those beliefs and move away from unjustified fears. Beliefs and fears are simply that … beliefs and fears. You should believe what is TRUE based upon your own POSITIVE experiences … not upon what other’s base their limited beliefs. What you believe to be true becomes your REALITY.
Start creating a new REALITY for yourself from this day forward! Today you can begin to stop negative past beliefs. Let go of them as soon as they enter your mind. Choose to move farther and farther away from old beliefs that hold you back.
Let me ask you a few questions so that you can ponder the idea of believing and feeling comfortable about promoting yourself.
- Do you feel passionate about helping your prospects and clients get the best experience possible?
- Do you feel that your services and/or products are better than your competitors?
- Do you want to help others get what they want and deserve?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you should be SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS and allowing more people the opportunity of doing business with you. If you don’t promote yourself, your services and products … you ROB your customers from the opportunity of doing business with someone who truly cares, and has their best interest in mind.
Do you feel passionate about your business, career and/or what you sell?
Yes, I’m sure that you do, or you would not be taking the time to learn the strategies available to you in this book. So, since you passionately believe that you offer the best value, the best service, the best product, and that you are the best at what you do; you also believe that prospects should be doing business with you instead of your competition. Right?
Note: If you answer NO to this question, I suggest you find something that you are passionate about FIRST. It’s a lot easier to promote yourself when you believe in yourself and what you have to offer. It’s easy to promote yourself successfully when you feel passionate about helping others.
Most people are not as successful or wealthy as they would like to be.
Why is that?
Because most people don’t believe in promoting themselves … and here are three more reasons why.
1. They hate REJECTION.
Oh get over it. It hasn’t killed you yet.
2. They feel that they will be INTRUSIVE.
Don’t worry, this won’t happen if you promote skillfully and effectively.
3. They are turned off by ego-driven promoters.
Don’t ever allow your ego to get in the way of common sense.
Zig Ziglar, a motivational sales speaker, has a great saying about this, “Egomania is a strange disease … it makes everyone sick except the person who has it.”
I often wonder about some of my audience members who proudly wave their hands back and forth claiming that they are really SHAMELESS. I’m glad they feel comfortable enough to promote themselves, that’s a start. But I wonder if they might be coming on a bit too strong. Remember, there is an art and a skill involved in promoting shamelessly well.
Those who DON’T feel comfortable with self-promotion at all hold a negative belief system around self-promotion in general. They own this negative belief because they don’t understand the difference between aggressive promotion and assertive promotion … between ineffective promotion and effective promotion. Yet there is a HUGE difference!
Ineffective self-promotion comes across as rude, pushy, boastful and self-serving. Just as many people who are apposed to it believe to be true. Yet that is ineffective, and not what I’m sharing with you here.
Effective self-promotion comes from a different place … a place of caring from your heart. When done effectively, it comes out from a place of passion, a place of help and support first and foremost.
Effective self-promotion comes across as serving others first, versus ineffective self-promotion that serves the person promoting first.
When you effectively promote yourself, more prospects will be readily open to doing business with you. They will then return the favor to you in the form of increased sales, profits, success and wealth.
We are all creatures of habit. In fact, 95% of what we think and do is habitual. It takes time to form new beliefs and act upon new habits. But, if you believe that what you have to offer can truly help others, it’s your DUTY to let as many people know about it as possible. Act in spite of discomfort!
Hopefully this introduction to shameless self-promotion has opened your mind to a new way of thinking and believing. If so, this book will be the ultimate guide to helping you promote yourself effectively, and will offer you tons of proven, low cost marketing ideas at the same time. Once your beliefs are open to promoting yourself, you will begin to seek out and ACT on more and more opportunities.
When opportunities appear (believe there will be more than you can handle) ACT upon them quickly! Look for more ways to promote yourself, your services and/or your products. When you do, you will instantly stop sabotaging lost opportunities and stop robbing yourself of the success and income that you truly deserve.
Debbie Allen “An Inspirational Powerhouse” is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales, marketing and effective self-promotion. She is the award-winning author of five books on business success and personal development including Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and Skyrocketing Sales. As an international business speaker, Debbie has presented before thousands in ten countries around the world. She is one of less than 450 women worldwide to have achieved the honor of Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association and International Speakers Federation. Learn more about this “Pass It On” featured expert at www.DebbieAllen.com