Self Promotion Isn't Evil

Self PromotionIf you think self promotion is evil then you really shouldn’t be in business for yourself.

I was reading an article recently by Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media on creating Facebook fan pages that your customers want to join. In it she made several great observations on what small businesses should be doing with their facebook fan pages to engage their public and bring their fan page to life (definitely check it out after you read the rest of this).

She reference another article by Pat Sexton of SEOish. He’s completely sick of Facebook fan pages, so much so that it makes him want to vomit. Graphic, I know, but a point well made.

What brought these two articles together for me though was the first comment left on Pat’s article by Aaron Weiche of Five Technology web design and internet marketing blog. I think his comment pretty much surpassed the whole point Pat was making in the article.

He humbly disagreed:

“Requesting to be “fanned” one time just serves as notice that you have a presence on Facebook. I’m OK with that. If you hit me up 10 times in a month, that’s crap. A one-time reach out to let me know you exist is cool.

If I’m a business owner, and I am, I can’t rely on the community to rally around me all the time. Sometimes you need to start the ripple yourself, I know I do.”

I think that’s very succint Aaron and a brilliant point.

It’s also a point that Lisa made right at the end of her article on creating Facebook pages people want to join.

The Point Of This Post

If you can’t be bothered reading the background above of what I’m trying to get across here is the 5 cents that matters:

People you are passionate about a topic will search for information on it. That’s a given and something that the online industry survives on.

However (and this is a massive “however”), just like Aaron said, if the request is genuine, or it’s a situation where a business owner needs to promote something just to let their “future customers” know that they exist, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

To round it up into a more industry recognised term, it’s called targetted advertising.

It’s not evil, and it shouldn’t make you want to vomit. You should do it to sell products and services with advertisements in niche magazines, advertising on niche websites, and appealing to niche communities. There is nothing wrong with it at all – as long as it’s not spamming of course, sometimes I really just don’t want to be a fan of your stupid facebook page and I reserve the right to ignore you much like 90% of people ignore 90% of advertisements.

While it’s great to have people rallying their support for you and your business, sometimes you really do just have to start the ripple yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Photo credit: bixentro

Josh Kohlbach

Josh is a software entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. He spends most of his time helping e-commerce store owners. This is his personal blog where he shares his thoughts and other tidbits on online business and life in general.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. We are actually doing self-promoting daily in social media. 🙂 We’re just lucky to have various ways to achieve that which at the same time, build lasting relationship with other niche-like contenders. As you said, there’s nothing wrong to do some self promoting as long it’s well moderated and not crossing the line. I personally think you’ve done a good one yourself to send me that email. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll have the time to read the ebook and let you know what I think soon.

    Well written, thanks for sharing this.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last article: How to Optimize Google Buzz for Social Network Benefits =-.

    1. Thanks Ching Ya, great to hear from you!

      You’re spot on, this is especially relevant for those active in social media. Everyone does it, why not do it in an open and honest way is what I think. Well moderated and not crossing the line is a perfect way to sum it up.

      Thanks for the plug on the mini web design business ebook! It’s actually dropped significantly in price since we last emailed about it.

      And for other folks reading – if you ever need to promote a product and get it in front of important people (like Ching Ya), don’t be afraid to email your contacts directly and actually ask them to take a look. The worst outcome is that they are too busy and can’t afford the time. Personally, I appreciate it when people approach me because it means I’m doing my job at building up my authority.

  2. No matter how famous famous people are, I suspect they keep an ear pretty close to the ground.

    Think about all the has-beens. They slack off their game a little bit, get a little bit arrogant, and gone, practically overnight. David Lee Roth.

    Then you have Malcolm and Angus, who show up swinging for the bleachers, every time they step up to do their thing.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last article: Blogging Alliance – Which way are you reaching: up, down or across? =-.

    1. That’s true, and the funny thing about self promotion is that not only is it not evil, but it’s something that you actively have to do. All.. the.. time. Consistently. Look at big brands like Coke and Maccas.. every second ad on TV is for one of them. Just about every ad break – that’s massive exposure for their brand. And they aren’t afraid to stand up and say “we’re awesome! buy our shit!”

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