Rethinking Self-Promotion: Are You Promoting Yourself, or Your Ideas?

by Mack Collier

I’ve always said that there are two types of speakers:  Those that want the spotlight on themselves, and those that want the spotlight on their ideas.

Shockingly, I fall in the latter category.  I do a decent amount of speaking, but I *hate* the actual act of speaking.  I hate being in front of a room full of strangers and having to be the center of attention for an hour.  But I love speaking because speaking allows me to share ideas that I am passionate about.  Yet if the focus shifted and I had to talk about myself for an hour, I would probably pass out 30 seconds into it.

It seems many bloggers are the same way.  I have talked to many colleagues and it seems many of us hate to promote ourselves.  We know we need to tell you about your products or services or what we provide, but it just feels ‘icky’ to do so.

And yet, if you ask us to talk about our friends and tell you why they are awesome, we can do that all day, or at least I can.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this disconnect as I’ve been promoting Think Like a Rock Star.  For starters, I love promoting this book.  Which is odd, because typically I hate promoting myself or anything that I am doing.  But I love promoting this book because of what it represents:  A way for companies and brands to embrace and empower their fans.

So in my mind I’m not promoting a product or myself, I’m promoting an idea.  I’m promoting an idea that I am extremely passionate about.  Maybe that’s why so many of us hate self-promotion?  Maybe we are spending too much time focused on the ‘product’ instead of the importance of the product?  Maybe you’ve written an ebook on how to be a better blogger.  Instead of trying to promote the product itself, maybe it would be better for you to promote why being a better a blogger is so important?  What could you accomplish if you were better at blogging?  What doors would open for you?

Many of us don’t like to promote ourselves, so perhaps we need to instead shift our thinking to promote the ideas we are passionate about?  What do you think?

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