Remember how as a kid your mom always told you it’s rude to brag? Now, we don’t want to cause problems by implying that your mom doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but she almost for sure wasn’t giving you advice on your online marketing strategy.

Taking pride in your awesomeness is a must for any business. Shameless self-promotion doesn’t have to be obnoxious, as long as you can learn the fine art of balance.

Being More than Your Own #1 Fan

Self-promotion is not about shoving your most delightful qualities down your audience’s throat. When done properly, casually sharing your expertise should come across as—well, casually sharing your expertise, and not at all like boastful swaggering. The goal here is to gain attention for your business, which is 100% a good thing.

Tasteful self-promotion vs. actual bragging is like the difference between interviewing a pleasant up-and-comer and Tom Cruise. One guy is charmingly humble in front of all those cameras, and the other is jumping up and down on Oprah’s couches like a maniac, frighteningly drunk on his own perceived gloriousness. Ew.

Never in a million years would we advocate the Tom Cruise approach to self-promotion. But we do think that if you want your clients to believe in your business as much as you do, you need to be open and honest about the greatness that sets you apart.

Proud vs. Pushy

In order for anyone to take your business seriously, you need to convey a certain level of confidence in your own ability. After all, why should your clients trust you if you don’t believe in yourself?

Every blog and social post you publish speaks to your credibility. If you sound like you know what you’re talking about, folks will listen. While there’s no bigger audience turn-off than announcing why you know better than everyone else, people really respond positively when they feel you’re contributing to their knowledge base in a way that benefits them. And they’ll be that much more inspired to share that information (and their recommendation for your business) with other people, too.

Putting Your Plan in Place

Right about now, you’re probably feeling excited about singing your own praises while simultaneously cruxed out over how to get the ball rolling. We’ve got good news for you—the easiest way to self-promote is to just keep doing what you’re doing:

  • Write those blogs. Your business blog is the ideal platform for demonstrating how much you know about your niche in a comprehensive yet low-key way.
  • Fling your wisdom across those social media channels. Share tidbits about your business that maximize your likeability factor, showing your fans you’re more than just another pretty face.
  • Leverage those online reviews. Take time to thank the loyal clients who leave you positive reviews, and earnestly address issues brought to light by negative reviews.

In short, be yourself (assuming you’re naturally likeable; curmudgeons should fake it), and treat the internet like a giant cocktail party—a party whose host you hope invites you back for next time. As long as you’re incorporating your greatness as part of your branding strategy in a natural, unforced way, you don’t have to worry that you’re embarrassing your mother with your crappy manners.

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