Self Promotion

If you are someone who happens to be self-employed like I am in the voiceover and music industries, what are you doing to promote yourself on a daily basis or are you even promoting yourself at all. Are you the type of person who is not afraid to assert yourself, or would you say you are on the  quiet and shy side. Are you afraid to tell people about what you do because it may feel a little uncomfortable or maybe kind of like you are bragging? Are you afraid of coming off too pushy? Or, on the other hand, because you have a passion for what you do, does talking about it come naturally to you everywhere you go?

As I write this, I’m thinking back to when I recorded my very first demo. I was very excited about the professional quality of it, and when it was all completed, I was all set to sit down and begin making phone calls to introduce myself to prospective clients. All of a sudden, I felt paralyzed. Does this sound familiar? Have you been there? I remember thinking, Oh this can wait a few days, and then a few days turned in to a couple of weeks. Subconsciously, I was making excuse after excuse and if I remember correctly, I was probably spending a good part of the day on Facebook instead, not that there’s anything wrong with spending time on Facebook, but I think you get the gist of what I am saying.

So what was it that snapped me out of this, you might ask. Honestly, I had to do some self talk and give myself a wake up call. I woke up one morning and said, If you don’t do this for yourself, noone else is going to do this for you. This is your business, not anyone else’s.  I realized that I had to take a chance and jump in with both feet. There was no boss standing over my shoulder saying You’ve got to make those phone calls now.

I have now become very used to making phone calls and introducing myself to people, and it has become second nature to me. Have I made mistakes along the way? Of course. We all do, and we learn from them. That’s the cool part.

I’ve put together some possible suggestions which I hope may be helpful, especially to those of you who are getting started in your own businesses:

1: Before calling and introducing yourself to the Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 company or the Creative Director of an ad agency, do a little homework. Look at the company’s website to find out exactly what they do. Jot down notes about things that you particularly like about their site so that you can compliment whoever you are speaking with  regarding what you noticed.

2: Before picking up that phone, put a little script together sticking to the main points so as not to get off track. In other words, put your 30 second pitch together.

3: Test it out on a close friend who has been in his or her own business for a long time, and ask them to critique it.

4: Now. Go ahead and make that first call, and when you do, be yourself, listen carefully to how the person on the other end of the line is responding, and don’t forget to smile.

These are just a few little suggestions to encourage you to get started.   I believe that There is an art to this thing called self promotion.

If any of you would like to respond or have any other  thoughts after reading this, I always welcome new input.

Isn’t there an old saying that says Practice makes perfect?I believe that the more you practice the art of self promotion, it’s bound to get better and better instead of scarier and scarier. Go for it, and good luck!