Blowing your own trumpet is what my clients call it when they feel uncomfortable about what they perceive they have to do by way of marketing, i.e. talk about themselves in a show-offy way about how wonderful they are, their business is and the results their products and services help their clients achieve.
It is just another example of where we are all a bit naturally ALL or NOTHING. Our first assumption, before we have examined anything, always appears to be A or Z, black or white. We forget about the almost infinite number of choices and gradations there are between the two extremes of anything.
If you are quite a shy person, you naturally assume you are going to have to stand on a very tall box with a bullhorn at Hyde Park Corner to blow your own trumpet in a useful marketing sense. You are not.
Here are my tips.
1. Keep an eye out for marketing done subtly and well and in a way that is your taste. Keep an eye out also for it being done outrageously and in-yer-face, admire both and know you don’t have to do either for you will be finding your own unique way that feels great and which it just so happens your clients and customers also appreciate. Your marketing will be what we call a brand match for your ideal customer. Whoa, Judith! You went a bit jargony there. Yes, I did. Apologies, Gentle Soul.
2. Model it, and borrow the best bits. Be prepared to experiment. Come out slowly, or as fast as all hell. You won’t know how it’s working until you have a go. Let’s crack on then, but at your own speed. I will probably encourage you to do it a bit faster than you’d like. You want to eat, don’t you?
3. The funny thing about this is how quickly we acclimatise. Your next problem after you find peace with your trumpet work is that you will be asking me for ways to accelerate and amplify it. Ha! Gotcha.
4. Be an engager, not a broadcaster. What’s the difference? A broadcaster makes an announcement and disappears, not noticing or caring if we have replied or responded. And days later, if at all, they pop back and they might make a cursory response to ours on theirs. YUK. I really dislike that and try as hard as possible not to be a broadcaster. I’ll start a conversation and intend to respond to everyone who contributes to it or engages with it, except perhaps the nutters and sometimes I even embrace them too. But that’s entirely my choice.
5. Establish rapport. This is a very fine art and one which I am not sure you can learn, but perhaps you can. Anyone I see failing at this, and they are mostly conspicuous by their absence, have not yet found a way to connect with their audience. Keep looking. I’ll help. I love marketing, me.
6. Know that you are not, in a marketing sense, 100% unique. Whatever it is that you like and share, however weird, will find a sizeable audience that likes it too. As I am writing this chapter of my book I am staying as a guest in a house that overlooks a piece of land where over the three-day weekend at the end of August they are doing battle re-enactments. There’s the rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire. Each to their own. But the fact is that’s a tribe of people bound together by a common interest which I might think bizarre but I bet you know or have met or have heard of someone who likes that. So it will be with whatever your quirky interests are. Flaunt your quirks and give people who share your weirdness a chance to connect with you that way. That’s rapport. Easy, yes?
7. Be good at one social media channel, not across all of them. It’s probably enough, unless what you do is social media marketing for yourself and your clients and, in that case, go bonkers and fill your boots. One platform done well is enough for a one-man or one-woman band. I ignore all of them now except Facebook. I used to have a go at all of them, except the visual ones, nothing there for me. I’ve even had the courage of my convictions and come off LinkedIn after it failed to produce a client after 15 years. Doh. I could have packed that one in ages ago then, get my point?
8. If at the end of all of this you still feel you are blowing your own trumpet, you are doing it all wrong. See me after school.
Put down that trumpet, get off the box and tell me how you are going to share your fire with those you can help.