Self-satisfied and proud young man in blue shirt looks forward. He is proud of himself.
Self-promotion is a part of most occupations and the transportation industry is no exception. When done correctly, self-promotion can be an incredibly useful tool. It can validate your authority, while bolstering confidence in a reader or potential client.
Too often, self-promotion comes off as clumsy – an attempt to give a person, product or service undeserved credibility. In worst case scenarios, it’s used to intentionally mislead.
There are varying degrees of right and wrong ways to promote yourself and/or your company. Here are some things to consider next time you self-promote:
- Understand that self-promotion is necessary. Giving information about yourself or your company is not bragging. It’s an important and informative preface to most interactions.
- While your achievements shouldn’t define the value of the content or conversation, you need to tell others why they should listen. An expert has to define his or her expertise. The best way to do this is to reference accomplishments, past and present business ventures, titles and accolades.
- Self-promotion, when well-executed, will leave a reader or potential client with a solid understanding of your character, motives and ability to enlighten them on a given topic. It’s the foundation for the information you’re going to share with them. Whether that foundation is built on years of experience, or just a few specific case studies, self-promotion should be honest. Transparency is important.
- Self-promotion should be detail-oriented. If you’re promoting a service, don’t just say, “We’re great; use our company for your transportation needs.” Explain why you’re a great value. Provide useful information in your pitches.
- Readers or potential clients will be investing their time getting to know what you do, so you must explain who you are and why they should trust you.
- Be wary of self-promotion that sounds like a sales pitch. Proper self-promotion aims to educate, not sell.
- There’s a fine line between thoroughly-described background information and bloated, lionized language. If self-promotion constantly pushes a reader to a directive or attempts to funnel them to a certain action, it can be a red flag.
- If you’re skeptical about the value of a statement, read it out loud. This helps identify silly, sensational language that lacks credibility. At its worst it can sounds like some hack shouting about an “incredible, limited-time offer” on TV.
- Vague language will also trip alarms. Offer details, substance and specific examples or don’t bother saying anything.
To promote what you do, you have to get your name and company out there. As long as you don’t over-exaggerate, you should be able to successfully balance the act of self-promotion.