Humble bragging is a social faux pas, but what about self-promotion as a business owner? Talking about yourself—let alone tooting your own horn—can feel awkward even in appropriate contexts, depending on your personality. But learning to harness the art of self-promotion can really help you build your brand, and building your brand is critical to business growth and success.
You may already be sold on the benefits of leveraging PR for your business or agency. Think about self-promotion as part of your broader efforts to make your brand known and build its reputation. The problematic caveat here for many women is that unlike in traditional PR, in self-promotion, you are the one doing the promoting … and the focus is on you as the business owner and not necessarily on your business as a whole (although this may not always be the case).
If you’re a woman and that last sentence makes you cringe, you’re not alone. Being leery of self-promotion as a woman is a Thing—a documented Thing. Women tend to feel more reticent about sharing their accomplishments compared to men. Researchers have dug into this phenomenon, in some cases citing American gender norms about modesty being part of femininity as part of the problem.
There’s also this reality called the likability bias. The likability bias or likability penalty describes how a woman is often liked less when she asserts herself. Generally, men don’t face the same sort of bias in social situations or in the workplace. So, how do you go about promoting yourself in a way that won’t make you less liked?
Self-Promote the Classy Way
First things first, you do not have to be liked by everyone to be happy or lead a successful business. (Just want to be clear that being liked is not the goal.) But, if you’re quick to write off self-promotion as a business strategy because you don’t want to face the likability penalty, then these tips are for you.
Here are a few times and places that can work well for self-promotion:
Remember, the most important thing about self-promotion is that you do you. If self-promotion doesn’t come easily to you, be honest with yourself about WHY. Are you buying into some ancient idea that you’re not supposed to talk about yourself because modesty is the best policy? Or are you genuinely afraid of being less liked?
Give self-promotion some thought, and we trust that you’ll find the right way to share your accomplishments in a way that feels natural to you.
If you would like help with self-promotion or building out your PR strategy, book a call with us!