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Posted: August 14, 2017, 12:00am by Bill Hobbs
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The Art Of Self-Promotion

Anything you do that puts you in the spotlight can be considered self-promotion. It’s a given that some people have a natural talent for promoting themselves. There will always be the kind of people who need to soak up the rays of the spotlight, but many of us don’t fit into that category, instead preferring to stand to the side and settle for whatever remaining light is left over. Unfortunately, to be successful you need to get noticed, and to get noticed you need to do something that will get you noticed. This doesn’t mean you have to jump up and down, waving your hands and shouting “Look at me! Look at me!”. There are more subtle ways of getting noticed that aren’t as hard on your joints.

Since this post is about the art of self-promotion, let’s think about what constitutes art. In the dictionary, “art” is defined as “the expression or application of creative skill and imagination.” So the art of self-promotion would be to skillfully promote yourself or business in an expressive, imaginative, and creative way. In creative spheres, people tend to remember whatever falls outside of normal expectations. 

During the 1984 Super Bowl Apple Computer broadcast, there was a commercial that is still considered one of the most creative and innovative television advertisements of all time. This commercial portrayed a group of seemingly mindless drones, marching toward or sitting on benches, watching a large screen of a man giving mindless instructions. It was a dark, drab image, reinforcing the bleak nature of the society. Interjected in small segments was a blonde woman in a white top and colorful shorts, running and being chased by what could be considered the dystopian society’s thought police. She carried a sledgehammer, and when she got close to the screen, she threw the sledgehammer, causing the screen to explode and the mindless drones to be hit by the explosive force. At this point in the commercial, the following words could be heard and seen: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.” After the verbiage was complete, the screen faded to black and the colorful Apple logo appeared. This commercial, which creatively utilized the concepts in George Orwell’s novel “1984”, introduced Apple’s Macintosh line of computers and set the stage for what is now one of the most successful and recognized companies in the world. Link to video

We are all creative in varying degrees, and your job in promoting yourself is to be as creative as you can be. If you don’t consider yourself creative enough, then there is nothing wrong with seeking out help from creative friends or hiring creative professionals. Be willing to take reasonable risks in your promotions. You may consider running your ideas by several of your more trusted friends to get their impressions. Some may not get your ideas, while some may give you suggestions that could improve them. 

Here are some helpful hints to get your creative juices flowing:

  • What is the name of your company and how could you use a play on words for this name?
  • What interests you? If you’re interested in a particular sport like soccer, maybe you can sponsor a youth soccer team.
  • What are the current social media trends? Maybe you see an interesting meme that you can take advantage of.
  • If there is an event that happens near you, what promotional stunt can you do to garner attention?
  • If you see something you like that another business has done, modify the idea to your specific area of expertise.
  • Collect useful examples of self-promotion—if you like the idea, chances are that others do, too.
  • Whatever means of artistic expression you employ to spread word of your business, remember to keep creativity in the equation.