It’s Okay to Promote Yourself — in Fact, It’s Necessary. Here’s How to Do It Better.

It’s Okay to Promote Yourself — in Fact, It’s Necessary. Here’s How to Do It Better.

"Nice" people don't talk about their successes, their industry standing, their awards or what they and their company can do to make the prospect's life that much better. You wait for that handful of previous customers to tell their friends. Traffic, customers, prospects and money come when you promote yourself, not by magic! Stop doing what isn't working so you have time to figure out and focus on what will bring in business. Could you hire a marketing consultant to give you a hand - even for just a few hours? Make sure the person you hire has actually helped at least two other people achieve what you want to achieve! Read books! It's OK that you can't afford to do everything, or don't have time, the interest or the talent. Or hire people to show you the best way to achieve it, or even hire someone to do it for you. You deserve to share those testimonials (with permission, when appropriate) with your prospects.

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It's Okay to Promote Yourself -- in Fact, It's Necessary. Here's How to Do It Better.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you ever heard the expression “Pride goeth before a fall” or you were ever scolded by a teacher or a parent for “thinking too much of yourself,” chances are promotion of yourself and your business is a challenge for you.

There’s a problem with that: You can’t grow a business if no one knows about you.

“Nice” people don’t brag. “Nice” people don’t boast. “Nice” people don’t talk about their successes, their industry standing, their awards or what they and their company can do to make the prospect’s life that much better. After all, who wants to be seen as arrogant?

One of the worst adages wrongly applied to business is, “Good things come to those who wait.” Ba-humbug!

So you wait for the phone to ring. You wait for that handful of previous customers to tell their friends. You wait for the Magic Business Fairy to come turn your business from “barely-getting-by” into a NASDAQ listing. Ain’t gonna happen.

A young friend started an online clothing store just two months ago. Yesterday, she complained, “I’ve got cute stuff, a great website, a perfect shopping cart, fast shipping. I ran a one-day-only 50 percent off sale, but I didn’t even get one order!” I said, “That’s because you don’t have traffic. Get traffic, then you get sales.”

Traffic, customers, prospects and money come when you promote yourself, not by magic! Start intelligent promoting today.

If you don’t fiercely believe in your company, and share your positive message over and over and over and over again, including your own part in its quality products or service (especially if your business is still mostly you!), your sales will never get any better than they are today.

You have to get out there and shout it from the rooftops!

For example, there are millions of people on social media. If you write a blog or a book that no one is reading, it is not a “lead generator” for your business. If you have a sign and a great location but very little foot traffic, you are not marketing your business. In 2016, an astonishing 787,000 books were published in the USA, most self-published. The average sales? 117 copies in two years!

Throwing something into the world and crossing your fingers is not a marketing strategy.

Here are three real, practical, hands-on steps you can and should do today to promote yourself and your business effectively — and fast.

1. Get over it.

If you want to have insecurities about whether or not it is proper or right or even holy to be a self-promoter, nurse those worries on your off hours. No fewer than 40 hours a week, pretend like you have the best product or service in the…

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