“Don’t be a shrinking violet.”
“Don’t hide your light under a basket.”
“God helps those who help themselves.” [I think I’ll have another helping, thanks.]
To make it in this competitive world, we are advised to work hard to get to be known, the first part of Known-Liked-Trusted, K-L-T, a magic triad “guaranteed” to make one a Social Media success, at least. Fame, celebrity, reputation are different aspects of the same thing: how we are viewed by others. What we do, what we say and write, and what we are all contribute.
Especially to a woman from the Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, or Christian tradition, self-promotion may seem both wrong and hard.
What if that is not your style, and you don’t want it to be? Jorge S. Olson’s The Unselfish Guide to Self-Promotion will help you feel better about demonstrating to others how good you are, and Olson shows how to do it skillfully.
You can do well by doing good for others, as author and entrepreneur Jorge S. Olson declares,
Want to be famous? Start writing.
Writing is one of the greatest and most noble ways of unselfish self-promotion. Through your writing you are able to entertain, you can teach, you allow your readers to imagine and dream. Writing is truly one of the ultimate tools for unselfish self-promotion.
Be generous, be unselfish in your self-promotion, as Olson writes:
…the notion of promoting yourself by being unselfish is very powerful, and you will be an expert by the time you are done reading this book.… Being unselfish is nothing new in business or politics, especially among seasoned salespeople. In sales, you place the customer first. This is an example of unselfish promotion.
To help others, you have to understand their needs and wants. They will then appreciate what you do for them, because what you choose to do will be appropriate to their wants and needs. Unlike most people, you will be spending somewhat less time thinking about yourself and somewhat more time thinking about them. Give them what they want, not what you want.
The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for Olson’s Three Cs: Communicate, Collaborate, Commercialize. Get known, liked, trusted. Form partnerships, alliances. Give value for value.
When you write, you establish a link, a connection with people that lasts at least as long as it takes them to read what you have written, and which may stay in their minds much longer. You have usually given them something of value, which may make them want to reciprocate.
Writing helps you add to your promotional toolbox, which includes Internet marketing, articles, social networking, public speaking, your business card or cards (some people use several different types), books, press releases, videos, webinars….
The key is that you give before you get.
Olson recommends that you make the effort to find out what it is that you really enjoy, “find your high.” You may have several things that bring great satisfaction. Getting to know yourself is crucial; as Socrates advised, “know thyself.” Clarify your goals. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Put yourself first, and know that others will put themselves first, but that you can often find mutually advantageous propositions.
Olson advises us to venture forth smilingly, for our own happiness and to be attractive to others. Be upbeat, not beat up. Optimism attracts. Pessimism repels.
Listen! The best salespeople are the best listeners, eager to learn and satisfy the desires of their customers. “Talking is not selling.” By listening, you’ll ingratiate yourself with the person talking to you, and you will learn as well. By the way, maintain eye contact. Looking elsewhere suggests you are distracted or bored.
“Remember, listening is about the other person; listening means letting the other person speak their mind, or unwind, or understand their problems, or understand how they actually want their problems solved. It is not about you. Listening should be unselfish.” Listening should be enhanced with questions that move the dialog forward, uncovering more information. Virtues can be overdone, however, so being a “pushy listener” will repel; ask your questions gently and judiciously.
Black and white: to be known as an honest and trustworthy person, you have to make it a habit to make your actions be placed on firm principles of right and wrong, and Olson recommends that you think of someone old whom you admire greatly and ask yourself what that person would think of the choice you’re about to make.
Big picture promotion: “don’t promote for today, don’t promote for tomorrow, you have to promote for life.” You are in it for the long-run. Know where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Because we are not our jobs, the big picture has got to be more than just a career goal. “Promote yourself, not your job, not your hobby, not your business. Promote yourself. You have much more to offer than your occupation.”
“ABS-Always be selling.” Initially repulsed by the stereotype of salesmen, Olson came to realize that much in life is selling:
Slowly I realized that many social interactions, not just commercial interactions require sales; in normal conversations, in social gatherings, convincing your kids or spouse to do something, and many other normal social activities require some kind of convincing or selling.
Here’s where Olson and I part ways:
Don’t always be selling. It’s obnoxious. Yes, do good, contribute, but don’t tell the rest of us how wonderful you are, how much you have to offer, or where we are going wrong.
Sometimes, give selling a rest.
Dr. Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org), a retired scientist, is now an author, editor, and writing coach. His first book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, was published by Outskirts Press in 2011. Also available from online booksellers are two memoirs he co-authored, The Shield of Gold and Kidnapped Twice, and two memoirs he edited, High Shoes and Bloomers and But…at What Cost. On Twitter, he is @douglaswcooper. His writing, editing, coaching site is http://writeyourbookwithme.com/blog