Post image for 18 Successful Self Promotion Tips to Carry Into the New Year

18 Successful Self Promotion Tips to Carry Into the New Year

on December 28, 2010

Last week I asked my readers if they had any self promotion techniques that worked really well in 2010 that they’re going to carry into the New Year. I got 18 great responses as you see below. Not only are they great tips, but they’re now promoted in Spark Minute. That’s my self-promotion tip for you for 2011. Next time I offer you some free PR, take me up on it. They did. Enjoy. Especially the one from my sister at the end. BTW, this is the blog post she was referencing. And please feel free to add some more self promotion tips in the comments.

1. Favorite Self-promotion Tip

Mix business with pleasure on social media. The personal/professional boundaries we try to adhere to are blurry and artificial anyway, throw them out – but don’t throw out common sense at the same time.

Thanks to Denise Howell of TWiT; CBS Interactive

2. Give Away Your Best Stuff – And Be Sure To Inform, Educate And Entertain

A number of people have said it before “give your best stuff away for free.” Over the past few years I did just that and it worked out very well for me.

I created an hour long talk called “Launch Lessons” which explores how various companies have succeeded with and badly flubbed consumer technology launches. During the talk I take all of these examples and use them to give the audience 15 rules to follow for success.

The talk was designed to entertain while informing. There are NO BULLETS. It has videos, audio clips, pictures, news clippings… but no bullets–and I bring actual products to supplement the slides.

Its an entertaining hour and lets people know I am an expert without my ever having to say so.

During the talk, I do no self promotion of my business–but do hand out a take-home sheet with “The Rules.”–and my one page business brochure on the back.

This has driven more business leads than I can count.

If you are interested in booking me for a talk to your group or company, please let me know. No charge in the Bay Area. Outside, just pay my expenses.

Thanks to Joshua Weinberg of The Digital Life Consulting Group

3. Asking Community Members For Help

I got tired of passively hoping our community would promote us and started asking them. If someone tweeted “Thinking about UserVoice or [competitor]. Thoughts?” I’d ask one of our customers who I know had tried the competitor. 9 times of our 10 the customer would respond and sing our praises. Turns out sometimes you just need to ask.

Thanks to Evan Hamilton of UserVoice

4. A Traditional Start

Our must successful outreach effort began with a HARO inquiry response for an article on smart phone addicts. I reached out to the reporter, who featured me and my biz partner Mike Granetz in an article that ended up being on the front page of the Washington Post. We pulled out all the stops to promote the article — lots of Tweets, status updates, eNewsletter feature, blog post, etc. Generated a ton of response and made the phone ring, even though the article was about technological addiction and did little to actually reinforce any online marketing/web presence development expertise (which is what my company specializes in). Instead of trying to push our profession, we consented to be profiled for what many consider a character flaw, but it worked really well in terms of awareness, site traffic, etc.

Thanks to Jay Ferrari of PeakTwo, LLC

5. Best Self Promotion Tip? Don’t Promote Yourself. Just Be Yourself. Big Time. In Public.

I tweet. A lot.

It sounds simple but it works.

it works because I don’t do it *in order* to promote myself.

I do it because I care a whole lot about some things and because it’s a performance space and being “private” in public has been the cornerstone of performance for decades. I like to connect people to each other. I do it because twitter is the closest the web has to a hot stand-up comedy room. It’s the closest you can get to the old web, where it was pretty easy to get into it with people you wanted to know, or knew slightly but wanted to know better.

Some of what I’m tweeting about is LGBT rights. I’ve met many major activists and journalists and some artists I really respect because of it. Even one legendary one.

I’ve heard from people at my shows and people listening to my podcasts and signing up for my newsletter and people taking my workshops that twitter is part of how they found me.

A second tip: I share what I’m learning from my writing and performing. I keynote about this stuff at conferences and teach it and talk about it on places like the TWIT network. And some of those people end up at my shows.

Thanks to Heather Gold of @heathr

6. The Thanksgiving Book Give Away

In November, I gave away 50 copies of different books in my business library. They sold out in an hour and I had my highest page count this year on a single day on my web site. Total cost- $125.

Thanks to Barry Moltz of

7. Most Opened Email Ever…

My most opened email by a long shot was one titled “Oops. I’m sorry…” I had sent a message on a holiday when I meant to schedule it for later, and sent another to apologize for intruding on a holiday. It was my most opened email campaign ever! Not sure of the marketing lesson learned…

Thanks to Patty Azzarello of Azzarello Group Inc.

8. Simple: Periodic And High Quality Blogging …

… works better than many social media “tricks.” Sorry to disappoint with such an uncool advice, but Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are HUGE, but good quality content under your name all over Google is HUGE-ER!

Thanks to Anton Chuvakin of Security Warrior Consulting

9. Getting Coverage – Build A Relationship With The Reporter

We had an absolutely wild launch day with extensive coverage of our tool Verify. What did we do to get this? The most important thing to remember is that when you pitch reporters you are not reaching out cold. Reporters have hundreds of important breaking news in their inbox every day. Most of the time your news are not as hot as most of the news in their inbox. You cannot afford to reach out cold. Instead you build genuine relationships with them over time, long before the launch. This involves work months or maybe years in advance of pitching. Here are some tips:

– You have reach out and give the reporter something first (tip them off on breaking news perhaps) before asking them for anything.

– You’re building a genuine relationship. You want to impress them first. Try bumping their stories to the top of Techmeme, tipping reporter off about breaking news (, sending in issues you find with their articles, responding to their questions in articles and social media.

– Your pitch has to connect with at least two articles the reporter has written. If it doesn’t, you’re pitching the wrong person.

Building relationships with reporters (

Thanks to Dmitry Dragilev of

10. Drafting On The Coat-tails Of The Famous

Follow an extremely high-profile person/brand in your sector/vertical on Facebook. When writing a status update on your own Facebook page, address a point made by the high-profile person using the ‘@’ symbol before their name and, in so doing, your status update will appear both on your feed and on their wall for all of their (many) followers to see. For example, you might post on your own page, “Recently I was checking out a post by @ogilvy on their website and noticed….” This post would then show up on Ogilvy’s Facebook page.

Thanks to Ward Supplee

11. Edutainment – Timely, Relevant, Funny

If you market enterprise software, you typically think tweeting about your latest press release is cutting edge. Or tweeting about your blog talking about your press release is the triple crown.

Now more than ever, our messages are intertwined and competing against everyone’s – not just your competitors, but Nike, Google, Facebook, NFL, MMA – they all drag attention away from your attempts to captivate an audience. And, mainstream advertising is getting funnier, racier and more contextual.

I thought that I’d never be able to use South Park (one of my loves) professionally. But, took a chance in a corporate blog. It ended up paying great dividends. Sales watched with amusement and forwarded to clients. Clients related directly to the concept of “Captain Hindsight.” It opened up new dialog and opportunities.

Here’s the link:

Thanks to Scott Fingerhut of Informatica

12. Free Apps

We have an app building service ( that makes it easy for anyone to build their own app using a simple Web based interface in less than an hour. Unlike others in this space, we have no monthly fees that blow up the seemingly low price to get started.

In order to promote this service, we built a number of apps ourselves and submitted them with a note on one page that the apps were built with uBuildApp. One of the first was for the Affiliate Summit trade show which I have been attending for years. When I was telling people about our service, many had already heard of us through the app.

We also built apps for popular and topical subjects including Justin Beiber, the BP Oil Spill (this app was a top 25 in News), and David Pogue. These apps have driven traffic and customers to our service for over a year, and we aim to build more as we see opportunities.

Thanks to Brad Waller of EPage, Inc.

13. Awards

Awards are a great way to promote the great job you are doing for customers. Vantage has won over 20 PR and Video awards over the past 2 years including top Mobile PR firm. These awards help us win business. We been very successful helping clients win top tier awards like the Wall Street Journal Tech Award. So we started doing the same for ourselves. Readers can research applicable awards and apply.

Thanks to Rob Adler of Vantage Communications

14. Triple-Dipping For The Cause

The issue: my startup (not current one) needed exposure but had limited funds.

The opportunity: CES was doing a vertically-relevant track.

The solution: I got a friend to fly me down on his private jet, another friend to put me up in a 5-star hotel, and my colleague organizing the track to get me a pass to the track.

The result: Our startup received exposure and networking at an industry-leading event at a fraction of the normal cost. Plus, I had a blast in the process (is that a fourth dip?).

Thanks to Diane Bisgeier of Thump Games

15. The Louder And More Unique You Are, The More They Talk About You

Stop tweeting and start talking. The largest gains in promotion that you’ll ever see come from opening relationships with others in your space and showing how you’re unique. No one is going to be a bigger cheerleader for your brand than you are, no matter how good your products, your services, and your website are.

But they will be your cheerleader if your enthusiasm is contagious enough and that comes from being “real.” Stop the elevator speeches, the canned responses, and the tired buzzwords. It’s lazy and ineffective and it’s the verbal equivalent to spam.

You’ll never differentiate yourself from your competition with your so-called “synergy” and “groundbreaking developments” unless you can convey what truly makes your product unique – what makes it stand out from the 400 other start-ups that look exactly alike.

No matter what “new developments” come down line, no promotional method will ever match the power of personality – let that shine through in your promotional efforts instead of just sounding like everyone else and you’ll get farther in less time than the other guys.

Thanks to Robert Stukes of Entrepreneur Stream

16. Conversation, Not Just Communication

As I was starting my business, I researched social media and wondered how I could use the right application for each client. Even when I took the steps to become social media certified by the DMA, my last priority was using what I had learned for the business.

I brought on a social media manager (Carrie) and with a tip I learned early on, decided to focus on engaging with our customers. Creating TWO-WAY CONVERSATIONS, not just feeding them information. With this mindset we are successfully developing our voice and content – and more importantly, are building relationships with our clients!

Thanks to Janet Osterdock of ZOOM Cross-Media

17. Getting Off My A$$ And Getting My Facebook On!

Working in Film and Television, crews come together, collaborate and say our goodbyes until next time.

While Facebook may be a bit overdone these days, I’ve used it in my Steadicam business to stay in touch with my colleagues and clients and to genuinely get to know them better. We don’t hound each other for work, but we’ve all found a place to share stories and photos from our latest jobs and our personal lives. Its like passing neighbors or friends on the street, saying hi but staying involved and visible.

Not only has this kept me in touch with people I enjoy to working with, it has directly resulted in new work, new clients and better relationships in my industry.

Got a consumer or pro video question? Follow me on TWITTER and I’ll help you any way I can!

Robert Starling, SOC
Steadicam Owner / Operator
Las Vegas and Los Angeles

Thanks to Robert Starling of Robert Starling, SOC – Steadicam Operator

18. My Brother

I got my brother to write a really funny ad for my new novel, by capitalizing on the Bernie Madoff tragedy. Bad for the Jews (him). Good for the Jews (my novel).

Thanks to Debra Spark of

BTW, this is the post my sister was referencing.

Stock photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Previous post:

Next post: