How To Rock At Self-Promotion Without Looking (And Feeling) Like A Complete Tool

 
How to rock self-promotion without looking like a tool-01.png

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When creating an online business, we know it will come with a certain amount of self-promotion in order to get our stuff out there in the world. This includes social media, networking and generally talking about ourselves, what we do and why people should be interested in what we have to say. This is not always comfortable and sometimes it can feel downright painful.

Wanting to share our art and stories with the world is already vulnerable-making enough, and now we need to get out there, cap in hand, and spruik our value to the world? Ouch. Not only this, but there is so much noise out there and so many people who seem to not only feel ok about self-promotion, but it’s kind of the thing they do best!

If you’re like me and find all this a bit icky, then you probably end up doing other work instead and get stuck in the sweet spot of feeling like you’re so busy and productive and moving your business forward – and you are – but how will anyone ever find you if you don’t put yourself out there?

I knew I needed to find some ways to do it differently if I ever wanted to get out and about, and get myself noticed, and to be honest, this is an ongoing thing for me and I’m not always the best at it.

I think of myself an outgoing introvert so while I enjoy talking to people and can be pretty gregarious, damn do I need a lot of alone time to recharge the old batteries! This also means that it’s not in my nature to seek out new relationships and I get really uncomfortable when I feel like I am asking for favours or blowing my own trumpet.

I wanted to find a way to put my ideas out there that didn’t feel hideously out of my comfort zone, and as a total bonus, I wanted this to be fun! I also knew that I wasn’t the only one who was probably looking for the same thing. So, I created Shout Out Cards.

What are shout out cards? Shout Out Cards are playful, printable social media and community building tools, designed for bloggers and online entrepreneurs to help them get their content and brand out there. They’ve been designed so that you can use them as props in your social media posts, in any way you’d like. They are great as a stand-alone item, perhaps posed alongside some other fun objects, or as part of a selfie of your lovely self. You’re really only limited by your imagination. For more ideas and to get your hands on the freebie set, check out shoutoutcards.co/freebie.

There are heaps of ways these can be used. Shout Out Cards are a great way of celebrating your own milestones (again without looking or feeling like a tool, because the cards say it for you!), Celebration is a key way of keeping momentum going when you’re working towards a bigger goal as it gives you a bit of a boost and shows you that you’re on the right track.

You can also use these cards to shout out the achievements of your online buddies, and help grow and reinforce genuine relationships with your peers.

Reach out to some of your online heroes without feeling like you’re just trying to get something out of them or that you’re a crazy stalker (this is a biggie, so I’ve also done a couple of posts just about this. To get these tips, be sure to check out post one and post two.)

I think the cards lend themselves super well to Instagram, but any posts where you’re sharing photos would be great.

As I've touched one, they've been designed to serve a few different purposes such as helping you mark and celebrate milestones in your business journey, to help you get noticed by others online, including influencers as well as just to add a splash of fun to your social media posts.

These are supposed to be playful so as well as some fun and colourful designs, plus black and white versions, for each card I’ve also created colouring-in versions so you can make them look more on brand, and get all the fun and chill-out benefits of some mindful colouring.

I want to get you started right away so I’ve put them together in one download, and you can grab these now by clicking the button below.

I’m really excited to share these with you, and would love, love, love to see hear how you’re using them! Be sure to use the #shoutoutcards when you’re posting so I can look in on you and help you celebrate your business. Not only will I get to check out your milestones, but by using this hashtag others in our community will be able to too!

I think it’s going to be a fun experiment to see how people use these. I’ve got a few ideas of how these will work, but I know you’re a creative bunch and reckon you’ll probably blow my ideas out of the water! Go on, I dare you to show off your amazing ideas.

Also, I’d love to hear any ideas you have for more cards. I’m always working on these and will keep adding more designs to the shoutoutcards.co website, so let me know what you’d love to see. Leave a comment below or check out shoutoutcards.co and contact me directly.

 

5 More Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes

 

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Hi there, and today I want to share Five More Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes. This follows on from an earlier post where I shared another five ways non-sleazy ways to get noticed by your online heroes.

As I introduced in this previous post, I believe one of the best ways to run a successful business you love is through making and nurturing genuine connections with others. I’m not interested in the all-take-and-no-give kind interaction – and I say ‘interaction’ as that is no kind of relationship – where you’re only about boosting your own numbers. And anyway, I think that’s only a short-term strategy as sooner or later people can sense a phoney and won’t stick around.

Number one: be active in their community

Facebook groups in particular are great here as there is so much potential for genuine interaction and engagement, and to be really helpful. Help others with their questions. Ask questions of your own, or even ask for help. Spark conversations, but probably not controversies. Don’t forget that others love being able to help too and by asking for advice or assistance you are giving them the opportunity to be generous and helpful.

A bonus here is that you will naturally come to the attention of your online hero as a helpful, engaged and intelligent member of their community, and they may even be inclined to consider working or partnering with you in the future on something that intersects with what you can offer and the needs of their community.

Number two: create a raving fan post 

A 'raving fan' post is where you do a profile of one or more people and businesses you genuinely admire and talk a bit about why you’re a raving fan. How have they helped you? How have they entertained, delighted or engaged you? How has applying what they’ve taught helped you in your life? Why do you read and follow them? Be open and honest.

These posts can take any style you like. A written blog post, a video or podcast, or posts on social media. Whatever floats your boat. And not only are you reaching out to someone you admire but you’re also providing people in your community with a thoughtful recommendation to a helpful resource.

Bonus points with this tip for reaching out to them on social media or email to let them about your post and to basically just say thanks. Who doesn’t love a heartfelt compliment? Share the love!

Number three: ask them directly for their help

Email can work, or social media is a good one for this too. This is not about taking the piss and asking for something big or outrageous, but maybe saying you loved xyz post or idea and asking them to expand on these ideas further, or to ask for advice on how to do something that ties into their expertise.

Be gracious and respectful. Make it clear that you know they’re busy and don’t need an answer right away as it will make it more likely for them to help you out, and always be sure to thank them for their time.

You know, you will probably get a few no-thank-yous when trying this approach, but heck, you may just get a yes-please! And how amazing would that be!

Number four: offer to partner up in a joint venture

Joint ventures, or JVs, are a business partnership of sorts where you and another party or parties join forces to create something of value for both of your respective audiences. A really popular JV I’ve seen around the interwebs is where two businesses run a free webinar together, where they both teach something of value on a particular theme, and then each package one of their related products or services for sale in a special bundle.

This is a great way of getting your brand in front of the audience of someone who is in a similar field to you, and who by signing up, have shown an interest in what you have to teach. It is also potentially a great way to make a few sales by offering a fantastic deal on your products or services, and quickly turning some of these new subscribers into customers.

If you’re proposing a JV to someone you really want to work with, it can be really worthwhile to do a lot of the work in preparing it. We’re looking to present an easy ‘yes’ to someone who is really busy and in-demand, so do your research and put together a professional strategy for how this could run.

In terms of other Joint Ventures, if you feel like it would be beneficial not just to you but also to your online hero, you could also suggest teaming up to create an all new product together. Do your homework here and consider how you could offer value to this potential partner and their audience, and what a potential collaboration could look like.

Number Five: create a guest post, or provide something of value to the audience of your online hero

There are so many great forms this can take: write a blog post, create a Facebook livestream, run a challenge, create a mini-course and so on. The important thing to remember is to align your offer with something that would be helpful to their audience, and to provide something which offers genuine value and insight.

The content you provide needs to be original, in other words, not something else you’ve used on someone else’s site, but you could write an article or do a live post which then directs the audience to a challenge or freebie that isn’t just for them. Just make sure that you are clear with this when you’re approaching the business owner to avoid confusion, disappointment or bad faith.

BONUS TIP: USE SHOUT OUT CARDS TO GIVE THEM A SHOUT OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I hope you found these suggestions useful. As a bonus tip I also wanted to add how valuable, and simple, it can be to just give someone you admire a shout out on social media. To have a fun and easy way to do this, I’ve created Shout Out Cards which are social media and community building tools aimed to give you a visual prop to use in your posts. One of the cards in the freebie set is Shout Out Sunday, and as you might have guessed from the name, encourages weekly shout outs to anyone and anything you admire. Um, on a Sunday. One of the best bits of using these cards is that by using #shoutoutcards you get to follow along with others shouting out, and even better, they get to follow along with your shouts outs! Nice.

Visit shoutoutcards.co/freebie or click one of the buttons in this post to get your hot little hands on these free cards, then make sure you use the hashtags to get your stuff noticed. I know I’ll be looking!

 

5 Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes

 

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Hi there, and today I want to share Five Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes, and these are strategies which I’ve seen used time and time again to great effect by many of the successful bloggers and business owners I follow online, as well as from conversations I’ve had with other business buddies.

We all know that one of the best ways to see growth in your business is to find ways to connect with others. A couple of great ways to do this can be through engaging with your community and growing your list, or in building genuine relationships and entering into joint ventures with other business owners

There are collaborations with others who are at a similar stage in their business to you, which is totally great and one of the best ways to form friendships online, but one of the most effective ways to grow your business is to come to the attention (and hopefully even work with) the influencers in the online space, and while these strategies will work in helping you connect and engage with others, it’s these industry leaders I want to focus on in today’s post.

Before I get into this list of Five Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes, one key thing I believe is crucial to keep in mind when looking to get noticed by your online heroes is for you to genuinely admire and respect what they do. I don’t see the point of the scattergun approach where people suck up to anyone with a big following and hope some of their success rubs off. This approach may “work” for others, but I just don’t dig it, and it’s not what this post is about.

So, these online heroes we’re talking about – they get hit up a lot from others who want to work with them or try to get them to promote their stuff, so how do you stand out from the crowd? And, importantly, how do you do this without looking and feeling like a jerk or a bit of a stalker? I’m so glad you asked! Spoiler alert – a lot of this has to do with being genuine and helpful! Ok, let me get started with Five Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes.

Number one: Send them a shout out via social media

Taking the time to talk about someone you admire and a couple of reasons why you really like them is a brilliant way to not only compliment and show your support for someone else (and who doesn’t like compliments!), but it also shares their stuff with your audience and can actually help them grow their own following as it raises their profile among people who may not have heard of them. This also helps with your own know, like and trust factor because your audience get the benefit of what they can learn from your online hero but also they learn they can count on you for really great and honest recommendations. Again, this is one of the reasons it’s so critical to genuinely admire the influencer you’re promoting because why would you waste anyone’s time promoting something you couldn’t vouch for?

A fun way to do this is by using a free tool I’ve developed called Shout Out Cards. These are printable cards which can be used as props in your social media posts, and they come in a few different sizes and colours, including a colouring-in version, which is really cool. These were designed to make it easier to give a visual focus to this kind of post, which may not naturally lend itself to being so visual, so I’d love for you to check them out.

Check out shoutoutcards.co/freebie to get your hands on the free set of these cards, and hit the button below:

 

Number Two: a round up post

In keeping in the spirit of shout outs, a big shout out to Melyssa Griffin from MelyssaGriffin.com for this idea. I’m a big fan of hers and she has really great ideas for list building and growing your business, and in a free challenge she ran earlier this year she introduced me to the round up post. I assumed I knew what these were, but turns out I hadn’t really seen these around before but I loved the idea. So let me summarise it for you – a round up post is where you ask a few experts and leaders in your industry to provide their thoughts on a particular topic, and then you bring all these together in the one post. Their answers don’t need to be long – in fact, short and sweet can be perfect as it helps encapsulate an idea in an easily accessible way for your audience. Then, once it’s ready to go, you can let these contributors know and ask if they’ll share it with their audience. Genius. These folks are busy so make sure you make it easy for them to share, and to contribute their thoughts in the first place. Not only are you more likely to get a ‘yes’ but by being helpful and respectful you’re also more likely to leave a favourable impression.

Number three: Share or promote their stuff on social media

You may be doing this already, but I definitely wanted to add this to the list. Sharing their stuff may be through initiating an original post and sharing their stuff (and as I mentioned about, Shout Out Cards are a great way to do this), but another way is to use the share buttons you see on people’s blog posts, or on sign up confirmation pages for their webinars, challenges and so on. A lot of these come with pre-populated text for your post, but why not mix it up a bit and add a thoughtful comment about how it helped you and/or how you think this particular article or activity might help, entertain or enlighten your audience. Not only are you helping your online hero get their stuff out there, but you’re also curating a discerning and helpful collection of great content for your audience.

One thing that’s really important to remember when sharing others’ stuff is to give full credit to it being their work. No ambiguous sharing – be really clear that this is who created this and this is where it’s from.

Number four: Buy their stuff. Be their customer.

I just want to add a little caveat here: you should do this only if you really will use their product or service, that you genuinely want what they’re offering and have the money to do it. This is not about buying votes or being a brown-noser, but more about being a participant in an exchange of value.

Being a customer shows not only that you’re a genuine follower of their business, what they’re about and what they stand for, but that you also understand their business and find their teachings valuable.

Number five: provide them with a testimonial

As a customer or user of their stuff you’re in a great position to contact them to tell them how much you value their product, service or just their business in general has helped you in your business and life endeavours. Again, being genuine is key here, and if you can provide facts and stats on how applying their teachings has helped you achieve xyz, then even better. A great thing with this tip is you don’t have to be a paying customer to do this. Just from applying their teachings, even if those were free, if you can demonstrate how they’ve helped you, then why not thank them in the way of a testimonial? Genuine compliments are always a good idea and if it can help them show their audience that they’ve been of service to you then it’s a win-win. Plus as a bonus point, if they use your testimonial in their business then you also get your name in front of their audience. Is there such a thing as a win-win-win? Well, there is now!

Alright my friends, that was my list of Five Non-Sleazy Ways to Get Noticed by Your Online Heroes. I hope these were helpful to you and maybe sparked some ideas for how you can get yourself out there and get noticed by people you admire.

I’d love to hear if you’ve used any of these strategies in the past, or if you have an idea for how you’d like to apply them in your business. Why not leave a comment below, or hit me up on social? I can be found at @plancreategrow on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Before signing off, I wanted to remind you real quick about the free Shout Out Cards. Make sure you check out shoutoutcards.co/freebies to get your hands on these puppies, or just click one of the big buttons in this post. These cards are a lot of fun and I hope they help inspire you to create opportunities to grow your community and boost your social media posts.

 

5 More Quick Happiness Boosts for Bloggers

Hey bloggers! It's time to get happy with these 5 quick happiness boosts. Click through to read these quick happiness boosters for bloggers and download your free cheatsheet.

Today I'm trying something a bit different. As I've talked about previously, I want to try a few different things out in this whole blogging thing, and today I am pretty happy to be introducing audio posts. Check out the recording below to get your ears on five of my happiness boosts for bloggers.

 
 

Not a fan of listening to posts? Well, I've got you covered too, friend. Check out the summary below:

We all have our down days where we're just not feeling it. When doing the work that we usually love can feel like a total drag. Here are some of my five top happiness boosts for bloggers:

Happiness Boost #1: Having flowers or plants in your workspace

Liven up your space with flowers or plants to add a shot of nature to your office. It will inject some brightness and freshness into your day.

Happiness Boost #2: Gratitude

Get out of your own head, and take a few minutes to write down some of the things that make life that little bit better.

Happiness Boost #3: Crank up the tunes!

Feeling down? Try something upbeat. A bit frustrated? Put on some a chilled track and just float away. Metaphorically of course!

Happiness Boost #4: Get creative doing something other than work

Break out of the work you're doing and try something different. Creative pursuits are fun and allow different parts of your brain to fire up.

Happiness Boost #5: Help someone else

Being useful is a great boost to morale and could be just what the doctor ordered to lift you from a down mood. And someone else gets some help too! Win win.

Enjoyed these happiness boosts? Well, there's more where that come from! Check out 5 Happiness Boosts for Bloggers. Spoiler alert: it has a free cheatsheet too!

Now it's your turn. Have you tried any of these before? Do you have any other tips and tricks you use to boost your happiness? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you.