Promoting Yourself: Why You Have to Do It and How to Do It Well

Entrepreneur holds up mobile phone during a conference presentation.
An entrepreneur promotes his new smartphone at the 2014 DEMO Conference in San Jose, California. (Stephen Brashear)

This post was adapted from a presentation by Rhett Power, an entrepreneur and leadership expert. To learn more about Rhett, visit his website at

If you look at the most successful people in any field, you’ll almost always see someone incredibly talented in the art of self-promotion. I speak with lots of professionals and often they say, “I don’t have to be bothered with selling myself. I’ll let my record do that.”

The problem is that only people familiar with your story understand your skill set. For the rest of the world, you have to do some purposeful marketing. The fact is that marketing is required in today’s business world. You wouldn’t create an awesome product and never advertise it. Apply that same logic to yourself. You have to promote yourself, your ideas, your accomplishments and your business today to get ahead.

Ready to get started? Follow these steps:

  • Be confident in yourself. If you aren’t inspired by your actions or ideas, no one else will be either.

  • Determine your unique value. Understand what makes you different than your peers: your strengths, your passions and your goals. If you left your job today, what would your company and colleagues miss?

  • Update your CV. Ensure that your resume accurately reflects who you are and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. If you need help defining your goals, check out this resource on Setting and Achieving Goals.

  • Build a network. Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Ask those in your target audience to subscribe to your pages and update on a daily basis. Make sure your updates are germane to your business and expertise. Want to improve your networking skills in real life? Check out this resource on professional networking.

  • Be social. Change your profile picture and update your work status on all social media. Sell yourself by being current and providing the world with up-to-date information. When possible, find a way to display your personal creed.

  • Create your own website. Your website should highlight your professional accomplishments and skills while reflecting your beliefs and overall value. Make it about you — not your company or clients. Learn to talk about yourself and become comfortable telling your story.

  • Become a thought leader in your field. Use a blog or a platform such as LinkedIn to blog about your industry or profession.

Be active in your community. Look for opportunities to join local decision-making boards or to speak at local civic clubs. Being visible is the best way to build your audience.